UKZN Co-hosts 2nd Virtual International Conference on Biotechnology
UKZN partnered with HeriCure Pvt. Ltd (India) to host the 2nd Virtual International Conference on Biotechnology.
President of the conference and acting Dean of Research in the College of Health Sciences (CHS), Professor Anil Chuturgoon noted that the conference aimed to inspire, innovate, and engage with the scientific community around the world on natural bioactive compounds for infectious diseases. Recently, scientists around the globe have begun investigating the possibility of plant-based alternatives to therapy for the control of these diseases.
Professor Dileep Tiwari, conference chair and chief organiser who is the founder and CEO of HeriCure Healthcare Ltd. in Pune-India stated that the conference’s objective was to present innovative research on the theme of Prevention is better than Cure. Tiwari, who is an honorary associate professor in UKZN’s Discipline of Pharmaceutical Sciences has more than 15 years’ experience in research and development, diagnostics, clinical research, bio-therapeutics research, product development and the manufacturing of diagnostic kits and bio-therapeutics products. Several of the chairs and presenters at the conference are senior professors at UKZN including Tricia Naicker, Gert Kruger and Fernando Albericio.
Professor Busisiwe Ncama, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the CHS delivered the welcome address. ‘I wish you well as you journey through this conference looking for healthcare solutions that are affordable and based on creativity and innovation. Billions of people around the world are affected by non-communicable diseases with respiratory diseases featuring at the top of the list. Low and middle-income countries have the highest burden of these diseases, many of which are preventable. We look to you, as the experts, to find solutions to tackle this health challenge and others.’
Professor Sangeeta Shukla, Vice-Chancellor of Jiwaji University in Gwalior, India delivered one of the key-note addresses. ‘COVID-19 represents one of the biggest challenges facing the world today,’ she said. ‘Scientists are at the heart of eradicating this pandemic through research into diagnostics, treatment and vaccines. This catastrophic human crisis is a result of scientific warnings not being adhered to as well as the constant mutation of the virus.’ She added, ‘The use and discovery of natural biotechnology compounds are essential in the development of new therapies and drug discoveries.’
Central to the vision of the conference; come, create and collaborate, were the three categories under which the technical presentations, including awards, fell. These were Best Innovative Research Award, Best Oral Presentation Award - Research Scholar & Post-doc and Best Oral Presentation Award - Post Graduate.
Words: MaryAnn Francis