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Wits Health Sciences Research Day and PG Expo promises to showcase health through research

The 2012 Health Sciences Research Day and Postgraduate Expo takes place on Wednesday, 19 September 2012 under the theme: Excellence. Relevance. Determination. Transforming Life through Research Excellence.

This biennial event exposes the staff and postgraduate students to leading research work taking place in the Faculty of Health Sciences. It is a showcase for relevant and exciting research discoveries in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Wits. It strengthens links, collaborations and co-ordination of research efforts amongst research entities and individuals working in the field of health sciences and related disciplines.

For 2012, presentations both oral and posters have been invited in five thematic tracks: infectious diseases; diseases of lifestyle; education, policy and systems; molecular and comparative biosciences; and clinical sciences and therapeutics for health. The themes were created to give an opportunity for all research whether basic or clinical to be showcased.

"The visibility of the Faculty's research has grown significantly in the last decade or so, and the breadths of the activities which have been performed are covered by the themes to envelope the whole breadth of research ongoing within the Faculty. The themes define the Faculty's activities," says Dr Bavesh Kana, HSRD Committee Chair and former HSRD winner.

The prizes are worth the effort for entrants: R20 000 is awarded for the best overall oral presentations and R10 000 for the best poster presentations. The best student oral presentation receives R5000 and the best poster presentation collects R2500 for each thematic track.

"By awarding big prizes we hope to encourage participation of the best of the Faculty's research, to make it incredibly competitive and to have huge prestige associated with it. The history speaks accordingly previous winners have had their studies published in high impact journals and have been invited to present their work at international conferences. The value of the prizes raises the bar of the event and Research Day could be seen as a good indicator of what's to come in terms of imminent research breakthroughs," says Kana.

Prof. Beverley Kramer, Assistant Dean for Research and Postgraduate Support in the Faculty of Health Sciences says she is excited to see young researchers excel during the 2012 HSRD.

"We need to see that our emerging researchers are well-trained and that they stay at Wits in the long term," says Kramer.

The following round table discussions also take place during HSRD, hosted by the HSRD Organising Committee, addressing South Africa many unique health challenges which currently threaten to undermine its overall economic, social and technological advancement Tuberculosis (TB) and AIDS.

A world without AIDS?

Discussion leader: Lynn Morris: National Institute for Communicable Diseases of the NHLS/Wits


Penelope Moore NICD of the NHLS/Wits on Research towards a cure

Francois Venter WRHI on PreP and prevention

Alex Welte South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis, University of Stellenbosch on Theoretical perspectives on elimination of infection and epidemics

Venue: Hospital Auditorium, Wits Medical School

Time: 14:40-15:30

Eliminating TB

Discussion Leader: Gavin Churchyard Aurum Institute


Bavesh Kana DST/NRF Centre of Excellence for Biomedical TB Research on Why is it so hard to kill the tubercle bacillus?

Kerrigan McCarthy Aurum Institute on What will it take to control TB in SA: a modelling perspective

Neil Martinson Perinatal HIV Research Unit on What will it take to control TB in SA: the role of TB case finding

Venue: Marie Curie Lecture Theatre, Wits Medical School

Time: 14:40-15:30

Colliding Epidemics Africa in Transition

Discussion Leader: Michle Ramsay Sydney Brenner Institute for Molecular Bioscience & NHLS


Brandon Wainwright Queensland Institute for Molecular Bioscience, Australia on Essentially the beginning an understanding of molecular and cellular processes

Stephen Tollman MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt) on Sizing the collision a population perspective on burden and risk

Alisha Wade Wits School of Public Health on Clinical management for chronic care what does it take?

Venue: Neurosciences Auditorium, Charlotte Maxeke Hospital

Time: 14:40-15:30

Contact: Vivienne Rowland
University of the Witwatersrand

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