College of Health Sciences Welcomes New HOD
‘It is an exciting opportunity for me to join the UKZN community and there is a lot of room for growth and progress,’ Masekela said. ‘I couldn’t help but see how everyone is so welcoming and happy to have a leader after a long time. I hope to foster great leadership and growth in the Department.’
Masekela has a threefold vision to increase research outputs in the Department. She plans to focus on the throughput of the Department for both undergraduates and postgraduates, make the Department the best in the country and improve its footprint in the continent.
Her research interests include bronchiectasis in children; cystic fibrosis in non-Caucasians in Africa; lung physiological testing, particularly lung function testing in children, and the determination of normative lung reference equations in African children and adults.
Masekela has published 18 peer-reviewed publications and ISBN accredited journals and has written two book chapters on respiratory diseases in children in the tropics in an international Tropical diseases textbook and the European Respiratory Society Monograph.
She has presented her research and given invited lectures at national and international pulmonology congresses, winning the prize for the best abstract for the MECOR, the Fellow-in-training award for the best presentation at the American Thoracic Society Meeting in New Orleans 2010 and the best poster presentation award from the International Paediatric Pulmonology Congress in Portugal in 2013.
Masekela is currently working on the Paediatric and adult Spirometry project, which has collated data from over 4 000 individuals to determine normal reference equations for Spirometer.
She is a passionate teacher and has been involved in both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and has supervised four successful Master in Medicine in Paediatric students and is currently supervising two PhD students.
She has been involved in the training of seven successful Paediatric Pulmonology Fellows and also initiated a Paediatric Pulmonology Outreach Project to Polokwane Hospital, which resulted in the successful training of a Paediatric Pulmonologist who is currently working in the province. She has acted as a reviewer for local paediatric and pulmonology journals and the European Journal of Paediatrics.
She is an executive member of the South African Thoracic Society and is at present the past chairperson of the National Asthma Education Programme. She is the Secretary of the Pan African Thoracic Society and is on the scientific advisory committee of the South African Cystic Fibrosis Association.
Masekela said: ‘I am very passionate about my work, especially research because it may assist in developing locally relevant therapeutic interventions that are applicable in a developing world context.
Born in Polokwane, Limpopo, Masekela loves adventure sports and hiking. ‘I climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in 2013 and I am a keen but slow runner.’