University of Cape Town

CapeTownLogoThe Faculty of Health Sciences at UCT has the oldest medical school in Southern Africa. Some famous advances in healthcare – including the world’s first successful heart transplant in 1967, and the research that led to the development of the CAT scanner – gave the faculty and Groote Schuur Hospital international standing as sophisticated, tertiary medicine facilities.
The participating UCT research group led by Professor Malcolm Collins focuses on elucidating the molecular mechanisms causing common exercise-and occupational-associated musculoskeletal soft tissue (tendons, ligaments and skeletal muscle) injuries. It has published seminal papers and several patents on the identification of genetic risk associated factors for common tendon and ligament injuries.

Participating staff
Prof Malcolm Collins PhD, Group Leader
Ass. Prof Alison September PhD, human molecular geneticist
Dr Michael Posthumus PhD, exercise physiologist
Ass Prof Sharon Prince PhD, cellular and molecular biology
Andrea Gibbon, PhD student
Nonhlanhla Sharon Mkumbuzi, PhD student

Relevant publications
1. Abrahams Y, Laguette M-J, Prince S and Collins M (2013) Polymorphisms within the COL5A1 3’-UTR that alters mRNA structure and the MIR608 gene are associated with Achilles tendinopathy. Ann.Hum.Genet. 77: 204-214.
2. Laguette M-J, Abrahams Y, Prince S and Collins M (2011) Sequence Variants within the 3′-UTR of the COL5A1 gene alters mRNA stability: Implications for musculoskeletal soft tissue injuries. Matrix Biol., 30: 338-345.
3. September AV, Cook J, Handley CJ, van der Merwe L, Schwellnus MP, and Collins M (2009) Variants within the COL5A1 gene are associated with Achilles tendinopathy in two populations. Br J Sports Med 43:357-365.