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Meet the HOD

Prof Malcolm Collins obtained a BSc degree majoring in Biochemistry and Human Physiology from Stellenbosch University. In 1988 he received a BSc (Hons) degree Cum Laude in Biochemistry, also from Stellenbosch University, followed by a PhD in Medical Biochemistry on collagen gene expression from UCT in 1993. After completing Post-Doctoral work, also in extracellular matrix protein gene expression, at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA, he joined UCT's and the South African Medical Research Council's Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, which is located within the Department of Human Biology. He remained part of the unit until taking on the headship of the Department of Human Biology as of January 2014.

Prof Collins' doctoral and post-doctoral work in extracellular matrix biology, in particular collagen, gene expression, stimulated his current research focus on elucidating the molecular mechanisms causing common exercise-associated musculoskeletal soft tissue (tendons, ligaments and skeletal muscle) injuries. He has developed a very productive research team at UCT, which has published a number of seminal papers on the identification of genetic risk associated factors for common tendon and ligament injuries. This UCT-based research group is currently internationally recognized as the pioneers and authority in this area of research. As a result he has developed an international and national, interdisciplinary network of research collaborators, consisting of clinicians and scientists. He has supervised or is currently supervising, several post-doctoral fellows and nearly 40 masters and doctoral students. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers, review articles and book chapters. He is a South African National Research Foundation (NRF) B-rated scientist, a Fellow of the European College of Sport Science and is a member of editorial teams of several international Sports Medicine and Exercise Science scientific journals. Several patents have also been filed as a result of the research and the practical application of the work is currently been developed in collaboration with several stakeholders. Besides his research interests, he also supports undergraduate teaching in Physiology and the training of Honours students in the Faculty.