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Annual Research Day


The 44th Annual Research Meeting Report
Department of Medicine
Career and Capacity Building.


Our annual departmental research Meeting was held on the 19th and 20th September this year. It was opened by Prof Ntusi with a brief reflection of the huge loss to the department with the passing of Professor Mayosi and his impact on research and capacity building. It was well attended (over 200 attendees over the two days) with keynote lecturers Prof Kelly Chibale and Professor Raymond Chung, from Boston. It commenced with an afternoon of short lectures focusing on Career building: these were Prof Chibale presenting on his “10 commandments for a new researcher”, Prof Graeme Meintjes addressing funding successes and failures and Prof Rob Wilkinson reflecting on the NRF rating system. Prof Denver Hendricks addressed the FHS assisting young researchers which included many tips and useful web-links. Finally, this session was completed by Dr Greg Calligaro and prof Jonny Peter giving valuable insights into their foreign sojourns in London and Australia respectively. The day ended with 19 poster presentations and tea.

The 32 oral presentations kicked off late on the morning of the 20th due to unfortunate IT problems, which resulted in our program running late throughout the day. However, this did not diminish the quality nor the enjoyment of the presentations which covered the broad range of disciplines and all forms of research from qualitative, to quantitative to mixed methods and systematic reviews. This was interspersed with two excellent overview presentation from the Department of Pharmacology and The Division of Cardiology by Professor Gary Maartens and Mpiko Ntsekhe respectively Vincent Mphai from the Discovery foundation also gave a short talk at lunchtime.

The Jack Brock lecture was held on time by Prof Kally Chibale, ably introduced by Dr Malika Davids, one of our committee members. He spoke on Translational medicine, the drug discovery perspective which was a fascinating and exciting discourse. Everyone had new insights into the process behind the new discovery and his enthusiasm and exciting lecture style made for a riveting talk. We then continue with exciting oral abstracts, of a very high quality and introduced by members of the consultant body. After tea, we continued onto the Research dragons Den with dragons Profs Sonderup, Setshedi and Okpechi with four exciting and daring presenters, facilitated by Dr Blanche Cupido and Prof Zuhlke. The presenters were treated very fairly by the dragons with excellent advice and suggestions and our audience was extremely generous this year! Our final stretch of presentations was again of extremely high quality to end the oral presentations on a very high note.

Our final talk of the day was the 39th Bernard Pimstone Lecture, attended this year by Prof Pimstones wife and son and presented by Prof Chung. He spoke on the drug discovery within hepatology which resonated well with the earlier Jack Brock lecture and was delivered with eloquence and enthusiasm. We could also see how exciting it would be to work with Prof Chung and he really brought great honour to the Pimstone legacy. The event ended with many thanks, especially to Liziwe Figlan, the research day administrator, the committee and then of course the prize-giving. The awards were as follows:Best oral presentation – clinical: Dr Ali Esmail, Best oral presentation – basic science: Dr Phindile Gina, Best poster presentation – clinical: Dr Sarvani Chetty, Best poster presentation – basic science: Ms Devasha Redhi and DOM Best Publication Ward: Dr Rulan Griesel.

Prof Zuhlke finally thanked the committee, Prof Ntusi and the department of medicine and closed the event after handing over a small token of appreciation to the presenters in the Dragons Den.