03 September 2014 Volume :2 Issue :46

SA Women in Science Awards 2014

SA Women in Science Awards 2014
CAPRISA Statistician Nonhlanhla Yendi-Zuma.

Statistician Nonhlanhla Yende-Zuma received a TATA Africa Scholarship valued at R60 000 which will sponsor her PhD studies. The announcement was made at the Women in Science Awards 2014 held in Johannesburg in August. The prestigious award in “recognition of her outstanding academic and research ability”, was presented by Minister of Science and Technology Mrs Naledi Pandor at a special awards dinner. Nonhlanhla is registered for her PhD in Biostatistics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Her research focuses on the statistical methods of estimating the causal effect of treatment in randomised controlled trials using an instrumental variable. Her supervisor, Professor Henry Mwambi Academic Leader in UKZN School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, who strongly recommended Nonhlanhla for the award said that ‘the work will definitely propel Nonhlanhla’s Biostatistics skills to even higher heights and be among top mentors in Biostatistics to other upcoming young Statisticians’.

In nominating Nonhlanhla Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim CAPRISA’s Associate Scientific Director said: ‘as one of the Statisticians at CAPRISA, she has been involved in several pivotal studies where she has made substantive contributions to study design statistical analysis and interpretation of the data. Several of these studies have been published in high impact journals and Nonhlanhla’s contributions are recognized as a co-author’.

‘Mrs Yende is already playing a critical role in terms of her contribution to undertaking large and complex studies in HIV/AIDS and TB that is changing the prevention and treatment landscape. Her PhD will further enhance her understanding and capacity to analyse large, complex datasets with multiple timepoints, manage the quality of study conduct through generation of monthly reports, and

meaningfully interpret the data and to contribute to manuscript preparation and methodological advances in Statistics.’

Deputy Director of CAPRISA Dr Nesri Padayatchi hosted a special function to congratulate Nonhlanhla for her “outstanding achievement”. Nonhlanhla paid tribute to CAPRISA and her mentors for the ‘opportunities to advance her career and for being part of the team that transforms raw data that is collected at our clinics into meaningful and useful information’. ‘As a mother of two, it’s not easy juggling between raising children, my full time job and my studies.  But time management and the support I get from my family helps me a lot.  In the midst of it all, I make time to work on my PhD.  In addition, having a wonderful and supportive mentor and Head of Department like Anneke Grobler keeps you motivated to do the best all the time.’

-          Smita Maharaj


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