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24 October 2005

Biomedical sciences give research awards

To whet young students appetite for research, the School of Biomedical Sciences recently hosted its first undergraduate research day, sponsored by the Faculty of Health Sciences' research committee. For the event, 20 students were selected to present their biomedical research projects to fellow students and a panel of academics. The bulk of the presenters were from the Special Study Module of the new MBChB curriculum, the rest were biomedical engineering students. Cash prizes and medals were then awarded to the top three projects. The honours went to first-prize winner Michelle Pentecost for her work on distinguishing crohn's disease and intestinal tuberculosis; Kiran Singh was runner-up for his project on the impact of socio-economic status on adherence to antiretroviral therapy in clients attending the antiretroviral clinic at GF Jooste Hospital in Cape Town; and Dalia Hick finished in third spot for her paper, Factors Influencing Ascorbate to Oxalate Conversion In Vitro and In Vivo. "The main goal of the day was to stimulate and create awareness of research among undergraduates," says Associate Professor Ariah Katz of the Division of Medical Biochemistry. "The faculty was truly impressed by the level of the presentations. And we envision this to be the first of many more research days to come."

UCT projects tops

Cell Life and Hot Platinum, projects incubated by UCT researchers, have won category prizes in the Emerging Technology Top 100 awards, the new offshoot of the annual Technology Top 100 (TT100) programme.

TT100 is touted as South Africa's foremost business excellence awards programme.

Cell Life, lead by Dr Ulrike Rivett, and Hot Platinum, lead by Associate Professor Candy Lang and Ali Brey, are both spin-out projects from the engineering and built environment faculty.

Hot Platinum won the Most Promising Emerging Enterprise category and Cell Life took the laurels in the Most Noteworthy Achiever in the social responsibility, not-for-profit category.

The Emerging Technology Top 100 awards are designed to attract entrants from small- to medium-businesses.

The TT100 competition is open to a range of sectors, from biotechnology to manufacturing - any kind of technology that the public can use in innovative ways.

Companies are evaluated on criteria that include business outcomes, export possibilities, equity ownership and environmental impact.

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