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 Our research 

Staff of the Environment & Health Research Unit

Unit Director
Professor Angela Mathee

 

Technical & Administrative Support
Ms Mirriam Mogotsi

Ms Sheillah Ndlovu
Ms Felicia Mpiti

Research Scientists
Professor Lesley Bourne
Professor Halina Röllin
Dr Nisha Naicker

Ms Palesa Nkomo
Ms Joy Oba

Ms Tshepo Mahuma
Dr Tahira Kootbodien
Ms June Teare
Ms Louise Renton
Ms Patricia Albers
Ms Manyeleti Sambo
Ms Thandi Zwane
     

Professor Angela MatheeProfessor Angela Mathee PhD
Director: Environment & Health Research Unit;
Director: World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Urban Health
Location: Johannesburg (Broll Place)
E-mail: amathee@mrc.ac.za
Telephone: 011 274 6078

Angela Mathee currently heads the Medical Research Council's Environment & Health Research Unit and is also Director of the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Urban Health. She is a Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg and an Associate Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand. She has a PhD from the School of Public Health (University of the Witwatersrand) and an MSc degree in Environmental Epidemiology & Policy from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her main research interests are exposure to lead amongst South African children and urban housing and health. For her research on lead poisoning in South African children, Prof. Mathee won the 2007 Health Category of the Shoprite-Checkers/SABC2 Woman of the Year competition.
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Research Scientists

Professor Lesley BourneProfessor Lesley Bourne PhD
Location: Cape Town
E-mail: lbourne@mrc.ac.za
Telephone: 021 938 0313

Lesley Bourne currently holds the position of Senior Specialist Scientist in the Environment & Health Research Unit. She is a dietician with qualifications from Natal and Stellenbosch Universities as well as additional qualifications in Public Health from UCT. She has a special interest in the welfare of low income groups, and has a “hands on “ community based background in public health. Her current research foci include the health implications of shifts in diet, physical activity, and other lifestyle related issues in low income groups in South Africa and other lesser developed countries (ie the “Nutrition Transition”), the implementation of health and health related policies in South Africa, and various aspects of health promotion. This includes a new focus on HIV/AIDS and Nutrition and HIV/AIDS and Development. Additionally Dr Bourne chairs the Work Group for the development of Paediatric Food Based Dietary Guidelines for South Africa. She has authored and co-authored over 40 articles in peer reviewed journals and has presented many papers both locally and internationally.
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Prof Halina RöllinProfessor Halina Röllin PhD
Location: Johannesburg (Broll Place)
E-mail: halina.rollin@mrc.ac.za

Professor Halina Röllin is a Chief Specialist Scientist at the Environment and Health Research Unit. She graduated with an MSc degree in chemistry from the Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland and later obtained her PhD from the Faculty of Science of the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. She is an Extraordinary Professor at the School of Health Systems and Public Health at the University of Pretoria. Professor Röllin has authored and co-authored more than 50 scientific publications including 4 book chapters, and has lectured extensively at national and international scientific symposia and conferences. She is a member of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, The Toxicology Society of South Africa, South African Spectroscopic Society and Public Health Association of South Africa. Prof Röllin is best known for her research on toxicology of metals and their role in human health and disease both in environmental and occupational settings. At present she is involved in multidisciplinary international research projects on the effects of persistent toxic substances present in living environment on the maternal health and birth outcomes in South Africa and elsewhere.
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Dr Nisha NaickerDr Nisha Naicker MBBCh, FCPHM, MMed (Community Health)
Location: Johannesburg (Broll Place)
E-mail: nisha.naicker@mrc.ac.za
Telephone: 011 274 6072

Dr Nisha Naicker is a Specialist Scientist with the Environment and Health Research Unit. She manages the Health, Environment and Development (HEAD) study, which is a study of inequity in health and living conditions in selected Johannesburg areas. Dr Naicker is currently studying the role of lead poisoning in maladjusted behaviour (violence and agression) in the Birth-to-Twenty cohort.
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Palesa NkomoMs Palesa Nkomo MSc (Med) Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Location: Johannesburg (Broll Place)
E-mail: pnkomo@mrc.ac.za
Telephone: 011 274 6070

Palesa Nkomo is a Senior Scientist with the Environment and Health Research Unit.  She holds a B.S. degree with a major in Biology from the University of Kentucky (USA), and a Master of Science in Medicine in the field of Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the University of the Witwatersrand. Palesa is undertaking a PhD, on the association between lead poisoning and violent criminal behaviour (homicide) in South Africa. She also has an interest in manganese toxicity.
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Joy ObaMs Joy Oba MSc. (Med), MPH
Location: Johannesburg (Broll Place)
E-mail: joba@mrc.ac.za
Telephone: 011 274 6064

Joy Oba is a Senior Scientist with the Environment and Health Research Unit. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Health specializing in Health policy and management as well as an MSc (Med) in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. She is undertaking a PhD on climate change (global warming) focusing on the health impacts of heat on outdoor formal sector workers due to climate change in South Africa. She also has a keen interest in the use of Hookahs (Hubbly Bubbly) among the young population of South Africa.
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Tshepo MahumaMs Tshepo Mahuma MA Anthropology (Medical)
Location: Johannesburg (Broll Place)

E-mail: tshepo.mahuma@mrc.ac.za

Telephone: 011 274 6075

Tshepo Mahuma is a Senior Scientist with the Environment and Health Research Unit. She holds a Master’s degree in Anthropology specializing in Medical Anthropology from the University of Johannesburg. She is interested in community health with a focus on community perceptions of health. Tshepo is planning to undertake a PhD on indoor thermal heat stress in residential houses. She also has an interest in health issues associated with nutrition and water.
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Tahira KootbodienDr Tahira Kootbodien, MBChB
Location: Johannesburg, Broll Place

E-mail: Tahira.Kootbodien@mrc.ac.za
Telephone: 011 274 6068

Dr Tahira Kootbodien is a Senior Scientist with the Environmental Health and Research Unit.  She will be graduating with a Masters in Public Health from University of Cape Town.  Dr Kootbodien is planning to undertake a PhD on the community health implications of radon exposure near mine dumps. She will also be involved in the Health, Environment and Development (HEAD) study.
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Ms June TeareMs June Teare, MSc (Med), DMT (Histology)
Email: june.teare@mrc.ac.za
Telephone: 011 274 6071

June Teare is a Senior Scientist with the Environment and Health Research Unit.  She holds an MSc (Med) from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.  She is preparing to undertake a PhD on the quality of marine recreational water and its impact on the health of bathers and beachgoers.  She is also keenly interested in the health implications of people living in poverty-driven informal settlements.
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Louise RentonMs Louise Renton
Email: louise.renton@mrc.ac.za
Telephone: 011 274 6080

Louise Renton is currently a Chief Research Technologist with the Environment and Health Office of the Environment & Health Research Unit. She is involved in a number of studies within the group and will be embarking on her MPH shortly.
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Ms Patricia AlbersMs Patricia Albers, BSocSci (Hons) (Environmental Management and Analysis), MSc (Community Health)
Location: Johannesburg (Broll Place)
E-mail: Patricia.albers@mrc.ac.za
Telephone: 011 274 6069

Patricia Albers is a scientist with the Environment and Health Research Unit. She holds an MSc in Community Health specializing in Environmental Health from the University of Pretoria. She has interests in air pollution, substance abuse and other aspects of urban health. Patricia is planning to undertake a PhD on maternal hookah pipe use and associated birth outcomes.
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Ms Manyeleti SamboMs Manyeleti Sambo, BSc (Hons) Medical Science
Location: Cape Town
E-mail: Manyeleti.sambo@mrc.ac.za
Telephone: 021 938 0313

Manyeleti Sambo is a research with the Environment and Health Research Unit. She holds a B.Sc Medical Science degree with a major in medical microbiology from the University of Limpopo. She is currently registered for an M.Phil degree in Maternal and Child Health at the University of Cape Town. She is planning to study the association between domestic hygiene, diarrhoea and nutritional status in children under the age of two years in Khayelitsha.
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Ms Thandi ZwaneMs Thandi Zwane
Location: Johannesburg (Broll Place)
E-mail: thandi.zwane@mrc.ac.za
Telephone: 011 274 6079

Thandi Zwane is currently a Senior Research Technologist (Community Research Nurse) with the Environment and Health Research Unit. She holds a Diploma in General Nursing, Midwifery, Community and Psychiatry and also BTech in Community Nursing. She is involved in a number of studies within the group and will be embarking on her MPH shortly.

Technical and Administrative Support

Mirriam MogotsiMs Mirriam Mogotsi
Location: Johannesburg (Broll Place)
E-mail: mirriam.mogotsi@mrc.ac.za
Telephone: 011 274 6067

Mirriam Mogotsi is currently a Research Technologist with the Environment & Health Research Unit. She is currently studying a BA HON (DST) with the University of South Africa. She is extensively involved in a number of studies within the group. Her duties include organization of fieldwork, sample preparation, data capturing and assist in office administration.
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Sheillah NdlovuMs Sheillah Ndlovu
Location: Johannesburg (Broll Place)

E-mail: sheila.ndlovu@mrc.ac.za

Sheillah Ndlovu provides ad hoc hygiene and administrative assistance within the E&HRU. She has obtained an Office Assistant Certificate with Boston Business College.
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Felicia MpitiMs Felicia Mpiti
Location: Johannesburg (Broll Place)

E-mail: felicia.mpiti@mrc.ac.za
Telephone: 011 274 6060

Felicia Mpiti oversees all aspects of the administration of the Environment and Health Research Unit, as well as the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Urban Health. She is currently studying towards a BCom degree (Management) with the University of South Africa.
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Last updated:
8 April, 2014
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