Surgical Research Society Meets at Medical School
The 42nd Annual Meeting of the Surgical Research Society of Southern Africa was hosted by UKZN’s Department of Surgery at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine.
Dr Damian Clarke, President of the Surgical Research Society, welcomed attendants, saying that ‘in terms of surgical research, there have been many changes that have impacted on us as a society, with an emphasis on surgical research being an essential component of higher surgical training. Our mission has always been to develop young researchers and to provide a platform for them to present their findings to an audience of the best surgical minds in the country.’
Professor Richard Hift, Dean and Head of the School of Clinical Medicine at UKZN, said the meeting was ‘a conjunction of two important components: surgery and society. However, there is a third concept: community of practice. Support is a powerful aspect among professionals with shared ideals. Medical research has taken a dip over the last 20 to 30 years, however, high awareness provides a need to be strong in research, as well as to improve research, its resources and output.’
Oral presentations made at the Conference were divided into various categories including Burns, Trauma, Breast Surgery, Laparoscopic Surgery, Gastrointestinal Surgery, Laboratory and General Interest. Medical students from around the country also presented at the Conference, with a poster session being conducted on the last day.
The two-day Conference featured a variety of presentations from local and international keynote speakers.
Professor Cliff Shearman, President of the Society of Academic and Research Surgeons (SARS) in the United Kingdom, spoke about the production of competent and fit surgeons in the UK during his presentation titled: “Vascular Surgery Training – A New Dawn, or will all UK trainees have to come to South Africa and Australia to Train?”
Dr Thomas Hubert, Secretary General of the European Society for Surgical Research (ESSR) and Head of the University and Hospital Department for Experimental Research at the University Of Lille in France, spoke on: “Translational Research on Diabetes; Endocrine and Metabolic Surgery, from Pig to Patient”.
Paediatric Surgeon and Head of Department at IALCH Professor Grenville Hadley – who was the 2014 DJ Du Plessis Lecturer at the Conference - presented on: “Aluta Continua: Paediatric Surgical Research with Limited Resources”.
Mr Jason Ali (SARS Patey prize winner) of the University of Cambridge in England spoke on: Heterogeneity in Indirect Pathway CD4 Tcell Alloresponses.
Mr Johannes Norden, a final year Medical student from the University of Rostock in Germany presented a paper titled: “Rage Blockage and Hepatic Microcirculation in Experimental Endotoxemic Liver Failure”.
Prize winners at the event
The Bunny Angorn Prize for the Best Clinical Presentation was won by Dr Lucien Ferndale of Greys Hospital in Pietermaritzburg who spoke on: “A Quality of Life Assessment Tool for Dysphagia”. The Bert Myburgh Prize, which is presented to the runner-up, was awarded to Dr Jennifer Downs of the University of Cape Town, who presented on “Flow Velocity Measurement in Haemodialysis Access using 4D MRI: a Pilot Study of Feasibility”.
The Sceales-Antrobus Prize awarded for the best presentation in the Breast Cancer category went to Ms Tanya Augustine of the University of Witwatersrand, whose topic was: “The Immune-Mediated Cytokine Profile of Hormone-Dependent and Hormone-Independent Breast Cancer Cells in 3D In Vitro System”.
The Asklepius Prize for the best paper by a Medical student was awarded to Ms Heather Rae of the University of Free State, for her talk on: “Understanding of Medical Abbreviations Across Different Medical Departments at an Academic Complex in Bloemfontein”.
From UKZN, Mr Neil Moodley won the prize for Best Poster during the Poster session at the event, with the runner up being Ms Janeshree Govender.
- Words and photograph: Zakia Jeewa