New Nuclear Medicine HoD
Said Nyakale: ‘I have been blessed with the opportunity to be able to push myself and be in a position to make a greater impact while at the same time give back and pass on, but there are definitely some sleepless nights ahead for me.’
She said her appointment presented one of the biggest challenges she has had to face in her life.
Nyakale (40) says even before she understood what it meant to be an academic, she knew that she would be involved in a career which required a constant search for new knowledge and implementation of an ever-growing body of knowledge.
‘I have always wanted to be a doctor, and when I achieved that, I wanted to specialise and Nuclear Medicine was a natural choice for me. I achieved that, but knew there had to be more. I become restless if I feel redundant and stagnant. So by virtue of this trait I had to keep progressing and keep doing more,’ she said.
Her research interests are in brain imaging. ‘In the time I have been in KwaZulu-Natal, I have also started developing a fascination for infection imaging and plan to do some work in that area,’ said Nyakale.
‘The Nuclear Medicine Department, although established in Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital, has made great headway but is still in the development stages and yet to produce its first graduate in UKZN. I will be very happy if I can play even a small part in ensuring that the Department grows in UKZN as it has in other academic institutions in our country and the world, and demonstrate the significant contribution Nuclear Medicine makes to the Medical field and the impact it can make to patient management if used appropriately.’
‘I hope we can create an awareness that molecular imaging and targeted radionuclide therapy are key to effective minimally invasive patient management and can play a significant role in the development of drugs and other treatment methods to combat many currently untreatable diseases.’
Nyakale’s postgraduate qualifications include a MMed Nuclear Medicine (University of Pretoria), FCNP (SA), and a Fellowship training in PET/CT imaging from the University of Pisa Medical School in Italy.