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Robert Millar rated 'A' for a 5th time by the National Research Foundation

11 Apr 2018 - 08:00
Professor Robert Millar


Congratulations to Professor Robert (Bob) Millar who has for a fifth time been rated ‘A’ by the National Research Foundation of South Africa - internationally recognised as a leading scholar in his field. Robert is a Full Member of the IDM and of the Department of Integrative Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT;  Professor and Director, Centre for Neuroendocrinology, University of Pretoria; and Research Fellow at the Centre of Integrative Physiology, University of Edinburgh, UK. Robert’s research focuses on peptide regulators of reproductive hormones.

This accolade is not surprising, as Robert received two other very major awards in 2017:
• The 2017 African Union Kwame Nkrumah Award for Scientific Excellence (AUKNASE), a continental award given in recognition of outstanding scientific achievement, and contribution through science, to socioeconomic development in Africa. Robert received this prestigious award during the African Union Summit, Addis Ababa, 28-29 January 2018.
• The highly prestigious Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship Award for his work in neuroendocrinology. The award recognises excellence in scholarship and acknowledges cutting-edge, internationally significant work applicable to the advancement of knowledge, teaching, research and development in South Africa.

Robert also remained President of the International Neuroendocrinology Federation for 2017, the global representative of all Neuroendocrinology Societies.

Possibly his most notable research output for 2017 was recorded in the journal publication:
“Neurokinin 3 receptor antagonism reveals roles for neurokinin B in the regulation of gonadotropin secretion and hot flushes in postmenopausal women”. Skorupskaite K, George JT, Veldhuis JD, Millar RP and Anderson RA. Neuroendocrinology (2017) DOI:10.1159/000473893.
The novel effect of an antagonist of the brain hormone Neurokinin B on post-menopausal hot flushes, which affect 60-80% of women, is described in this paper. The new treatment is a major breakthrough, decreasing hot flushes, and may reduce cardiovascular disease, replacing the need for the standard oestrogen replacement which may itself also increase risk of breast cancer and stroke. In addition, the response to the neurokinin B antagonist was very rapid in the women tested, with a significant fall in both night time and day time symptoms after only 2 days of treatment, whereas oestrogen generally takes several weeks to become effective.