Professor Karen Sliwa

Professor Karen Sliwa (MD, PhD, FESC, FACC) is the project leader of HEDUAfrica and Director of the Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Research in Africa (, University of Cape Town, and Director of the Soweto Cardiovascular Research Unit (, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

She also has a clinical appointment at the department of Cardiology, division of Medicine, Groote Schuur hospital, University of Cape Town.

Her main area of clinical and pathophysiological research is heart failure, cardiac disease in pregnancy and in particular Peripartum Cardiomyopathy, a serious cardiac disease women develop shortly pre-or postpartum.

Karen has, together with her long-term collaborator, Prof. Simon Stewart, Head Preventive Cardiology, Baker IDI, Melbourne, Australia, established a population study in Africa called the ‘Heart of Soweto Study’ to investigate the prevalence, presentation and management of cardiac disease in an urban African population.

She has recently expanded her population studies (under the umbrella of the ‘Heart of Africa studies’) to other African countries, including Mozambique, Nigeria, Cameroon and Sudan.

She has designed a number of innovative research programs and leveraged funding for several major research projects.