UKZN Professor a Runner-Up for Distinguished Young Woman Researcher Award
UKZN’s youngest Associate Professor in the College of Health Sciences (CHS) and Academic Leader for the Discipline of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Professor Tricia Naicker, is the second runner-up for the Distinguished Young Woman Researcher Award in the category of Natural and Engineering Sciences in the 2017 National Women in Science Awards (WISA).
‘I am very thankful for this recognition and hope my success encourages younger academics and students to pursue their goals in whichever subject they are passionate about,’ Naicker said.
She attributed her achievement to her innovative and supportive research team members at the Catalysis and Peptide Research Unit who she said were responsible for her nomination.
WISA recognises and rewards excellence and profiles notable women scientists in South Africa as models for the younger generation.
The theme for the 2017 WISA is Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Changing World Of Work, which is the 2017 priority theme for the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW).
Hosted by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the awards were held in Johannesburg, as part of the DST’s celebration of Women’s Month.
Following the ceremony, Naicker was invited to join the Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs Naledi Pandor on the interview panel on SABC 2 Morning Live TV show for a debate on the topic of Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Changing World of Work.
She spoke about the world class facilitates at UKZN and some of her team’s recent work that has led to a patent of innovative new molecules targeting drug resistant bacteria. Drug resistance is currently a severe global problem compromising the gains previously made in the treatment of diseases and control.
CHS Research Dean, Professor Moses Chimbari congratulated Naiker, ‘In the context of STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) I am excited and impressed that Tricia has excelled in a space generally dominated by males; the fact that she is young makes it even more phenomenal.’
Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr Panjasaram Vassie Naidoo also congratulated Naiker on her prestigious award, ‘You have really done us proud, and your interview with the Minister was really great. Well done. We hope you reach even greater heights.’
Words by: Nombuso Dlamini