UCT’s finalists for this year’s ‘Science Oscars’


In recognition of their fantastic investigation and progressive contributions to science, engineering and engineering, four experts and a investigate crew from the College of Cape Town (UCT) have been picked as finalists in 5 types for the 2021/2022 NSTF-South32 Awards. Their get the job done ranges from acquiring value-effective vaccines to advancing sports activities science, coming up with basic safety into African transport methods and advancing new frontiers in robotics engineering.

The Countrywide Science and Technological know-how Discussion board Awards, in partnership with South-32, also recognized as the ‘Science Oscars’, are the most prestigious investigation awards in South Africa. Considering that 1998, they have celebrated the do the job of individuals advancing the sustainable socio-financial development of the nation and increasing the quality of lifetime for South Africans.

This 12 months, the NSTF-South 32 Awards will be held on 21 July under the topic: Fundamental Sciences for Sustainable Development, encouraged by the United Nations’ topic for 2022. A distinctive award relevant to this topic has been included to the year’s line-up. The Awards Gala Meal will be held as a hybrid celebration and simultaneously from two venues in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and will be broadcast dwell on the NSTF YouTube Channel.

The UCT finalists

Dr Sharief Hendricks
TW Kambule-NSTF Awards: Researcher

Dr Sharief Hendricks, a senior lecturer in the Division of Physiological Sciences in the UCT Office of Human Biology, grew up in Mitchell’s Simple where his passion for sport and tough function led him into a career of investigation in improving sporting disorders and welfare for athletes and stopping personal injury. Aside from getting globally recognised, his function has experienced an affect on the evolution of rugby scrum regulations in South Africa, minimizing the incidence of injuries and optimising effectiveness. He was detailed amid the Mail & Guardian 200 Younger South Africans in 2019. Hendricks is also a going to fellow at the Leeds Beckett University in England.

Dr Emmanuel Margolin
TW Kambule-NSTF Awards: Emerging Researcher
Particular Once-a-year Concept Award: Simple Sciences for Sustainability

Dr Emmanuel Margolin, from the UCT School of Health Sciences, is the director of investigate and development at Molecular Farming (Nant-SA), a person of the initially vaccine-manufacturing vegetation in Africa. In advance of the start of Nant-SA, Margolin did his postdoctoral fellowship at the Antivira Vaccine Advancement Team in the UCT Division of Virology. His function encompasses research on establishing vaccines for HIV, SARS-CoV-2 and other emerging viruses. Margolin made a way to develop vaccines from plant proteins that was not probable ahead of. This new engineering could make it doable for Africa to generate expense-economical and speedily scalable vaccines, therefore supporting to curtail the continent’s reliance on the World North. Margolin’s investigation is anticipated to have applications that lengthen into remedies for cancer and infectious ailments.

Affiliate Professor Amir Patel
TW Kambule-NSTF Awards: Emerging Researcher

Associate Professor Amir Patel is a robotics engineer in the UCT Department of Electrical Engineering. His research investigates revolutionary motion seize systems for wildlife locomotion. He aims to realize the dynamics of animals’ fast manoeuvres by finding out their morphology and sensory control. Two robotic platforms have been made in his lab: Dima, a cheetah-impressed robot with a tail, and Baleka, Africa’s initially bipedal robot. Patel’s function ranges from human biomechanics to neuroscience and currently covers distant sensing the well being of wild animals from their movements and very important indications. This innovation will help in the cost-successful and protected conservation and management of wildlife and likely in detecting and preventing disease outbreaks. His patents have also led to a start out-up organization which is making employment in science, engineering and technologies.

Professor Marianne Vanderschuren
Engineering Exploration Ability Growth Award
Exclusive Yearly Theme Award: Fundamental Sciences for Sustainability

Professor Marianne Vanderschuren, from the UCT Section of Civil Engineering, holds the DST-NRF/CSIR Good Mobility Investigate Chair, component of the South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI). Her analysis seeks to boost the country’s transportation procedure for susceptible road-people. Her occupation has been committed to improving sustainable transportation techniques in Africa with a distinctive concentration on street targeted traffic, air pollution and, extra just lately, the gender inequity and safety of females. She has supplied street basic safety workshops locally and throughout the continent, in nations around the world like Cameroon, Kenya, Lesotho, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Jointly with her colleagues, she produced the curriculum and class outlines for the Transportation Management Method for Africa that will soon be presented by the Kwame Nkrumah College of Science and Technologies in Ghana.

Biopharming Investigate Device
Innovation Award: Corporate Organisation

The Biopharming Research Device (BRU), led by Professor Edward Rybicki in the Office of Molecular and Cell Biology, was set up in 2013. Its investigation themes protect areas related to social effectively-getting, this kind of as agriculture, human health and fitness and vaccine generation with a exclusive aim on protecting against outbreaks of zoonotic illnesses. Just one of its targets is to deliver large-price proteins from plants for use in human and animal vaccine creation. They have a notable portfolio of 13 patent households in the international biomedical area. This delivers appreciable money to the state by means of licencing and was the basis of the development of Cape Bio Pharms Ltd. The foreseeable future of BRU innovation is promising with breakthroughs in vaccines for cervical most cancers, HIV, SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses on the horizon.


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