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Professor and Head Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Ayesha Motala is currently Professor and Head of the Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology at the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine of the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital in Durban, South Africa.

She holds an MBChB and MD (University of KwaZulu-Natal), FRCP (UK) and FCP (South Africa). She is primarily a clinician with a particular interest in postgraduate clinical training in Internal Medicine and clinical and epidemiological studies. She spent two sabbatical periods abroad, at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (UK) and at the Arabian Gulf University in Bahrain.

Research interest has focused on the epidemiology of diabetes mellitus in South African Indians and urban and rural black Africans and studies on the genetic determinants of type 2 diabetes. During her sabbaticals, she was involved in studies on diabetes epidemiology in Migrant Chinese in Newcastle and on genetic determinants of Type 2 diabetes in Arab populations.
Current research includes studies on epidemiology of diabetes and other CLDs in Africans, including a genome wide association study of type 2 diabetes, and clinical studies on coronary heart disease in African and Indian subjects with type 2 diabetes, metabolic complications of anti-retroviral therapy, metabolic syndrome in severe mental illness and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in diabetes.

She has served as chairperson of the Society for Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes of Southern Africa (SEMDSA), vice – chairperson of the International Diabetes Epidemiology Group, member of the WHO Consultation for the definition, classification and diagnosis of diabetes mellitus and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Consensus group on IGT / IFG, and is currently on the Executive Committee of the IDF BRIDGES Committee for Translational Research.


  • –present
    Professor and Head Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, University of KwaZulu-Natal