Nailah Conrad, PhD

Nailah Conrad has a PhD in Medical Biochemistry from the University of Cape Town (UCT) and trained as a Coach and Lead with the Hasso Plattner School of Design Thinking. She lectures for UCTs Health Innovation and Design course, where she guides groups of multidisciplinary students to innovate for health through the application of design thinking methodologies. She also facilitates the use of design thinking tools for a wide audience, including the finance industry, NGOs, international development organizations and post graduate university students. Nailah believes that innovation can bring value to people’s lives when it is based on their needs – and when these needs are well understood. She hopes this approach can lead to better health services and products to alleviate South Africa’s high burden of disease.

Courses Taught

Special Topics in Design and Development

Select Publications

Conrad, N., & Farao, J. (2020). Emergency remote teaching for design thinking in health innovation. Global Health Innovation, 3, 1.2. 10.15641/ghi.v3i2.1021.

Conrad, N., Schwager, S., Carmona, A., Sturrock, E. (2016). The effect of structural motifs on the ectodomain shedding of human angiotensin-converting enzyme. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 481 (1-2):111.116.

Farao, J., Malila, B., Conrad, N., Mutsvangwa, T., Rangaka, M., Douglas, T. (2020). A user-centred design framework for mHealth. Plos one. 15(8).

Hendricks, S., Conrad, N., Douglas, T., Mutsvangwa, T. (2018). A modified stakeholder participation assessment framework for design thinking in health innovation. Healthcare. 6(3), 191-196.

Saidi, T., van der Westhuizen, D., Conrad, N., Mutsvangwa, T., Douglas, T. (2020) Learning by solving as a pedagogical approach to inclusive health innovation, Development Southern Africa, 37:3, 418-431.

Van der Westhuizen, D., Conrad, N., Douglas, T., Mutsvangwa, T. (2020). Engaging Communities on Health Innovation: Experiences in Implementing Design Thinking. International Quarterly of Community Health Education. 41(1), 101-114.


  • PhD, Medical Biochemistry, University of Cape Town
  • MSc, Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Cape Town
Nailah Conrad, PhD

SIT Graduate Institute

Affiliated Faculty

MA in Sustainable Development Practice

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