post-doctoral fellow

Claire van der Westhuizen


University of Cape Town

Claire is a postdoctoral research fellow based at the Alan J Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health, at the University of Cape Town (UCT). She qualified as a medical doctor at Stellenbosch University and worked in a clinical capacity in rural and urban hospitals in South Africa, and also in the UK. She was delighted to embark on a research career when she was awarded a research training fellowship funded by Fogarty International and administered by the University of California, Los Angeles. Through this fellowship, she was placed at UCT and she went on to complete her PhD, titled Mental disorders and violence-related injuries: prevention opportunities in emergency centres, in the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health. She was then awarded the Harry Crossley postdoctoral fellowship to continue her work in emergency centres (ECs). She has since garnered experience in research, data management, teaching and supervising Masters students’ research.

The AMARI postdoctoral fellowship provides the opportunity for her to realise her goal of developing an adolescent EC intervention for problem substance use, in line with the Western Cape Department of Health’s current services and identified needs. Apart from EC brief interventions and substance use, her research interests include common mental disorders, implementation science, violence and injury prevention opportunities in the EC setting.


Prof Katherine Sorsdahl, University of Cape Town

Prof Crick Lund, University of Cape Town

Pim Cuijpers from the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.