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UCT Research Report '11
South Africa’s most important asset, its children. A second
report card was produced in 2011.
Collaboration between the University of Northampton,
UCT and the South African Medical Research Council has
led to several patents being lodged in 2011 with regard
to methods for determining susceptibility to soft tissue
injuries, and genetic risk factors for tendon and ligament
Dr Julia Goedecke’s NRF rating was renewed, while Dr
Tracy Kolbe-Alexander and Dr Robert Lamberts were
rated for the first time. Mrs Hendrina Victor was promoted
to Chief Technical Officer.
Several Biomedical Engineering, Physiology, Cell Biology
and Anatomy academic staff in HUB received awards
and accolades during 2011. Sharon Prince, promoted
to A/Prof, was awarded an NRF rating and received
an Oppenheimer Memorial Trust Sabbatical Fellowship.
Dr Bruce Spottiswoode (MRC/UCT Medical Imaging
Research Unit) was promoted to Senior Lecturer in the
2011 cycle and was given a Y rating by the NRF. Dr
Spottiswoode hosted a hands-on Freesurfer (brain image
reconstruction software) course at the Centre for High
Performance Computing. A/Prof Tania Douglas was
inducted as a Fellow of the South African Academy
of Engineering and also acted as Guest Editor of the
March 2011 issue of
Continuing Medical Education
. A/
Prof Ernesta Meintjes returned from a sabbatical at the
Laboratory of Neuroimaging of the University of California,
Los Angeles, funded by a Fulbright Fellowship. A/
Prof Meintjes was part of the research group awarded
R6.6 million by the NRF towards an MRI scanner. She
and her collaborators have also received two NIH R21
grants and one NIH R01 grant. Substantial equipment
was received for a new Real-Time PCR system for Cell
Biology. The new Forensic Anthropology lab was fully
renovated in 2011. Capex funding provided a much-
needed total refurbishment of A/Prof Dirk Lang’s lab and
Dr Lester Davids’ Redox lab and a new tissue culture
facility on L6. Researchers and students in Biomedical
Engineering and the MRC/UCT Medical Imaging Research
Unit presented papers at conferences on Human Brain
Mapping, Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, Biomedical
Imaging and Engineering in Medicine and Biology, in
Quebec, Montreal, Chicago and Boston, respectively.
Publications and presentations at conferences have
continued as outputs in all of the Departmental divisions.
A/Prof Laurie Kellaway was co-organizer and lecturer at the
IBRO School for Computational Neuroscience held in Cape
Town, attracting 40 selected international students. His
postdoc, Dr Amod Kulkarni, won best poster presentation.
Prof Vivienne Russell also lectured and tutored students
in the IBRO school. She was recently promoted from
Associate Editor to Editor-in-chief of Behavioral and Brain
Functions and continues to act in her capacity as Deputy
Chief Editor of Metabolic Brain Disease, publishing a
Special Issue on “Neuroscience in Southern Africa” based
on neuroscience research in 2011. Prof Alan Morris has
continued in his post as Associate Editor of the
SA Journal
of Science
and he was an invited speaker at the African
Geological Colloquium in Johannesburg. Professor Morris
published a book on forensic anthropology,
and Murdered
and was awarded a Fulbright Visiting
Scholar Award to Columbus Ohio for 2012-2013. Prof
Graham Louw was an invited speaker at the Anatomy
Education meeting in Sao Paulo Brazil. Six anatomy
staff and students attended the Advanced Statistics for
Biological Anthropology course in Pretoria and several
staff and students took part in the 39
Anatomical Society
of Southern Africa conference in Johannesburg. Prof
Vivienne Russell and several students presented scientific
papers at international conferences, including the Brain
Disorders Meeting in Bethesda Maryland USA, the Society
for Neuroscience Annual meeting in Washington USA, the
IBRO World Congress of Neuroscience in Florence Italy,
and national neuroscience conferences in Durban and
Stellenbosch. Toni Sterley (PhD student) was awarded a
Commonwealth Fellowship to further her studies at McGill
University Canada, during the first half of 2012. She also
attended the aforementioned IBRO School where she was
awarded a Fellowship to the Ecole Polytechnique Federale
de Lausanne in Switzerland for the academic year 2012-
2013. Dr Lester Davids presented his PhD student Dr
Dhesnie Keswell’s work at the International Pigment Cell
conference in Bordeaux, France, where it was awarded the
best poster presentation prize. A/Prof Sharon Prince, her
students and colleagues, presented papers on aspects
of cancer cells at international conferences in Singapore,
Scotland, Torino Italy, St Malo France, Suzhou in China,
and the Southern African Society of Human Genetics.
Aretha Cooper was awarded best speaker prize at the
UCT Clinical Laboratory Postgraduate Research Day.
The Division of Human Nutrition was represented at the
biennial National Nutrition Congress in Durban by A/Prof
Marjanne Senekal, Janetta Habron, Fiona Herrmann,
Baheya Najaar, and Zarina Ebrahim. Ms Habron’s
presentation won the Unilever young scientist award and
first prize for best oral presentation. Ms Sharmilah Booley
attended the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition
and Physical Activity Annual Meeting in Washington
in June. Marjanne Senekal and Janetta Harbron also
attended and presented posters at the 4th Congress of
the International Society of Nutrigenetics/Nutrigenomics
(ISNN), Pamplona, Spain in November. Two staff members
of the Division of Human Nutrition graduated with higher
degrees, Janetta Harbron with a PhD and Fiona Herrmann
with an MSc Med. Dr Lauren Hill attended the Critical
Care Conference and presented a poster on antioxidant
supplementation in the critically ill (systematic review)
and an oral presentation on hypoglycaemic episodes
in critically ill patients managed with an insulin infusion
protocol. Sharmilah Booley represented the Division at