International Scholars Visit UKZN’s Morphology and Andrology Group
UKZN’s Morphology and Andrology Group (MAG) hosted two international scholars, Dr John Basgen and Dr Abraham Osinubi, whose two-week visit focused on collaboration with staff and postgraduate students.
The purpose of the visit was to strengthen capacity in postgraduate research of its group members and students as well as improve collaborative strengths between the diaspora and UKZN, said Clinical Anatomy Lecturer, Dr Onyemaechi Azu.
‘International collaborations allow the exchange of new ideas and inspire new research production,’ said Basgen of the Charles R. Drew School of Medicine in California in the United States.
He said he had enjoyed Durban as well as his visits to UKZN laboratories where he learned about research equipment available to staff and students.
‘The highlight of my interactions with the students was teaching them stereology and discussing their research projects,’ Basgen said.
‘Our ongoing collaboration is related to measurement of structure within the testes and kidney in models of HIV treatment and diabetes. Tissue specimens will be processed at UKZN and sent to my laboratory for sectioning and imaging. The images will be returned to UKZN for stereological analysis.’
‘I have always wanted to visit UKZN so when the invitation came from Dr Azu, I took up the opportunity to further strengthen our collaborations,’ Osinubi said.
‘I found members of staff of UKZN to be highly dedicated, warm and accommodating. The postgraduate students were interested in testicular toxicology using my quinine model and unbiased stereological techniques. There was also great enthusiasm on their part to learn more and embrace case-based learning.’
Osinubi said international collaborations were the hallmark of academic excellence. ‘They allow maximisation of resources at the disposal of the worldwide scientific community. Indeed, laboratories have become a global village!’
He is currently conducting joint research in diabetology and reproductive anatomy, joint supervision of postgraduate students, the development of a robust case-based learning platform for the Institution, and review and assessment of postgraduate theses.
The visit included a trip to the University of Witwatersrand’s Morphology Laboratory as part of the collaborating units with MAG-UKZN. The engagements were highly rewarding and enjoyed by the international colleagues.