In 1981 Professor Noakes began his exercise research in a small laboratory in the basement of the former Department of Physiology within the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, with one laboratory assistant and a single bicycle. By 1989, the research had grown to such an extent that the Medical Research Council (MRC) and UCT agreed to fund a MRC/UCT Bioenergetics of Exercise Research Unit (BERU). In August 1995 the Unit moved into the Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA) in Newlands and in 2000 changed its name to the UCT/MRC Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine (ESSM). As of 2015, ESSM became the Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine with Professor Vicki Lambert as the new Head of Division. Although located in SSISA, ESSM remains part of the Department of Human Biology within the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town.