UKZN Researcher Elected Society of Neuroscientists of Africa Representative
Human Physiology Lecturer and Neuroscientist based in UKZN’s School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences, Dr Lihle Qulu, has been selected as a Southern Hemisphere Region Representative for the Society of Neuroscientists of Africa (SONA).
SONA, a non-profit organisation registered in Kenya, functions as the umbrella organisation for regional and national neuroscience societies and groups in Africa. The society’s mandate is to promote neuroscience research and teaching in Africa.
‘This appointment was unexpected and I am very excited as the opportunity will give sub-Saharan scientists like me a platform and exposure to formulate neuroscience research collaborations,’ said Qulu. ‘Most importantly, I hope that my contribution towards the Society will assist in establishing curriculum development of neuroscience and escalate mental awareness in the sub-Saharan region. I would really like to see an upswing in the number of neuroscience conferences held in this region and more research collaborations.’
Qulu received the news of her appointment after her return from Regensburg University in Germany where she was researching ways on how the incidence of rape can be reduced in South Africa. Her research work focuses mainly on the psychopathology of a rapist and how rape is defined in the African context.
To determine if rehabilitation measures can be effective in the mind of a rapist, Qulu and research colleagues, Dr Suvira Ramlall and Professor Musa Mabandla aim to develop a two-fold research model they hope can be used on animals and humans.
‘I will forever be grateful to the UKZN College of Health Sciences for all the support and resources they give me. The support and mentorship I constantly receive from conventional researchers such as Professor Chimbari, my mentor and Dean Professor Musa Mabandla and many other people in the College is remarkable,’ said Qulu.
She will attend the SONA Conference in Uganda in June and is looking forward to tackling any challenges that may arise over the next four years.