UCT’s Mandy Mason is among five young scientists to scoop one of the Crick African Network’s (CAN) first African Career Accelerator Awards.
The recent IDM Postgraduate Student Publication Competition, an initiative of the Institute Transformation Committee, was adjudicated by Emeritus Professor Siamon Gordon, Chair of the IDM’s International Scientific Advisory Committee and Emeritus Professor Wieland Gevers, Founding Director of the IDM. A total of 13 original research and 4 review articles were received from which the winning entries were selected and announced at a prize-giving event held in the IDM on 26 November. All 17 publications illustrate the high quality of research underway in the IDM and highlight the great depth of talent in our next-generation researchers.
Researchers at the University of Cape Town’s Biopharming Research Unit (BRU) have created a promising new vaccine candidate to help prevent the devastating effects of African Horse Sickness (AHS). And they’re producing it in tobacco plants. “We’ve got a vaccine candidate that’s extremely immunogenic,” says Prof Ed Rybicki, Director of the BRU. “It also produces neutralising antibodies when administered to healthy horses.” That means that the vaccine works really well in initial tests, but needs to be tested against an actual outbreak of AHS before it can be sold. BRU recently published these results in the respected Veterinary Research journal.
It was previously believed that a group of proteins known as CCCs, which transport chloride ions and positive ions together across the membranes surrounding cells, sets the chloride driving force. However, it has recently been suggested that negatively charged ions that are unable to cross the membrane (or ‘impermeant anions’ for short) may set the driving force instead by contributing to the net charge across the membrane. Düsterwald et al. used a computational model of the neuron to explore these two possibilities.
Researchers from UCT and the Institute of Tropical Medicine (Belgium) have shown that a four-week course of moderate dose prednisone reduced the risk of tuberculosis-associated immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (TB-IRIS) by 30% in HIV-positive patients. This is the first trial to show that TB-IRIS can be prevented in these patients and represents an important contribution to the body of knowledge on management of HIV-TB co-infection.
TB-IRIS is a serious risk in people living with HIV, resulting in hospitalisation of a quarter of people who experience it. The syndrome occurs in 18% of patients with HIV-associated TB initiating antiretroviral therapy.
Paediatric cardiologist Associate Professor Liesl Zühlke has recently won the prestigious SA Medical Research Council/ UK Department of International Development(MRC/DFID) African Research Leader Award. The award, valued at £750 000 (R14.565 million) over 5 years, will assist Prof Zühlke in continuing her research of children with heart disease in Africa, in partnership with Prof Bernard Kheavney (UK) as well as local partners Prof Mark Engel, Dr Gasnat Shaboodien, Prof Raj Ramasar, Prof Mpiko Ntsekhe, Dr Blanche Cupido and Prof Ntobeko Ntusi.
The co-chairs of HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P 2018), the world’s only scientific meeting dedicated exclusively to biomedical HIV prevention, have announced that the 2018 Desmond Tutu Award for HIV Prevention Research and Human Rights will be presented to HIV researcher, physician and community advocate Linda-Gail Bekker of Cape Town, South Africa. The presentation will take place at the Opening Plenary of this year’s HIVR4P conference, Monday 22 October in Madrid, Spain.
Congratulations to Dr. Joseph Raimondo and his team for receiving the Wellcome Trust Seed Award. Seed Awards help researchers develop novel ideas that will go on to form part of larger grant applications to Wellcome or elsewhere.
The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) recognised two of South Africa’s foremost scholars with gold medals at its prestigious Annual Awards Ceremony held in Pretoria on 10 October 2018. ASSAf annually awards ASSAf Science-for-Society Gold Medals for outstanding achievement in scientific thinking to the benefit of society. This year the awards were presented to physician-scientist, Professor Linda-Gail Bekker, and palaeoanthropologist, Professor Lee Berger.
Twenty of the country’s leading scholars and scientists were inaugurated as Members of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) at the annual Awards Ceremony on 10 October 2018. As the official Academy of South Africa, ASSAf has as core function to honour the country’s most outstanding scholars by electing them to Membership of the Academy. ASSAf Members are drawn from the full spectrum of disciplines. New Members are elected each year by the full existing Membership. Membership of the Academy is a great honour and is in recognition of scholarly achievement. Members are the core asset of the Academy and give of their time and expertise voluntarily in the service of society.
CIDRI-Africa Contributing and Principal Investigators A/Prof. Helen Cox and Prof. Valerie Mizrahi's editorial on genomic approaches to Mtb drug susceptibility testing was published yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
A primary analysis published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows positive results in a clinical trial conducted in tuberculosis-endemic regions.