Research Rewarded at Annual Health Sciences Symposium
More than 130 oral and poster presentations were made by staff and postgraduate students at the College of Health Sciences’ (CHS) Annual Research Symposium held on the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine campus in Durban.
The Symposium’s Scientific Committee received an impressive 151 submissions for presentation at the two-day event, from which 132 were accepted, with 86 being oral presentations and the remainder poster deliveries.
The event contributes significantly towards the achievement of CHS’s Strategic Goal 1 (Student centeredness and excellence), Goal 3 (Research intense through PhDs) and Goal 4 (Health sciences research leadership), according to Symposium Chair and CHS Dean of Research, Professor Moses Chimbari.
The College boasts 2 200 registered postgraduate students this year.
Chimbari said it was pleasing to see the hard work of novice and seasoned researchers showcased at the Symposium. Their kaleidoscope of research topics was geared towards improving the country’s health professions and most importantly, the lives of fellow human beings.
‘The College Management has once again committed itself to appreciating the good work being done across the College and to promote excellence by giving wonderful prizes to outstanding presenters by students, staff and credentialing staff.’
The CHS was congratulated by SA Medical Research Council Vice President, Professor Cristina Stefan, whose keynote presentation was titled: “Research in the Health Sciences in South Africa”.
Stefan applauded South African health scientists for successfully increasing life expectancy over the past decade. She said thanks to increased scientific research, the county was in an active process of transformation. ‘We are definitely making progress but need to move faster to close the gap between South Africa and the rest of the world,’ she said.
Stefan said Africa had the potential to lead global research. Evidence suggested that PhD students excelled when they had both a research supervisor as well a personal mentor to consult with as they progressed.
Addresses were also made by the College’s fractional research professors: Professor Per I. Arvidsson of the Karolinska Institutet, Professor Hans-Peter Lippof the University of Zürich, Professor Bob Hickner of the East Carolina University, Professor Takafira Mduluza of the University of Zimbabwe and Professor Vivian Russell of UKZN. They spoke on their progress in a range of on-going research projects they have embarked on following their appointments within respective disciplines of the College.
A total of 27 awards were issued in recognition of outstanding research presented during the Symposium. The winners, who received cash prizes of either R30 000 towards attending an international conference or R15 000 for a national conference, were:
Dirk Lamprecht - R30 000
Saiyur Ramsugit - R15 000
Garth Horsten - R15 000
Precious Sibisi - R30 000
Shoohana Singh - R15 000
Sharana Mahomed - R15 000
CREDENTIALING STAFF: ORAL
Lihle Qulu - R30 000
Debbie Fewster and Bongiwe Ndlovu - R15 000
Pam Pillay - of R15 000
CREDENTIALING STAFF: POSTER
Takshita Sookan - R30 000
Sanjeev Rambarose - R15 000
Nosipho Ntombela - R15 000
Akeem Akilimali and Resign Gunda - R30 000
Savaniah Nagiah - R15 000
Lara McGillewie - R15 000
Vanessa Korb - R30 000
Dhiraj Sikhwal - R30 000
Katya Govender - R15 000
Rivona Harricharan - R30 000
Christine Driver - R15 000
Naeem Sheik Abdul and Santhuri Rambaran - R15 000
Thabiso Tlaila - R30 000
Chanelle Mc Arthur - R15 000
Kashmeel Maharaj - R15 000