Chemist's to-do list balloons

13 March 2006

Pity the poor soul who has to manage Assoc Prof Kelly Chibale's diary. Cast an eye at his schedule. He has to keep up his own research into medicinal chemistry and synthetic organic chemistry in the Department of Chemistry, and he supervises almost 20 postgraduate and postdoctoral students. Last year, his new synthetic-chemistry lab was selected by the Tropical Diseases Research unit of the World Health Organisation (WHO) as one of its synthetic/medicinal chemistry workstations. And he's been meeting regularly with his collaborators from the US and the WHO on a proposed new consortium, the African Biotherapeutics Institute, which the group plans to launch later this year. Then in January, he was invited by the WHO to join, as a co-opted member, the Research Strengthening Group (RSG) of the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases. The task of the RSG is to strengthen training activities among both individuals and institutions in the programme. Also in January, Chibale was accepted as a full member of UCT's Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine (IIDMM). And even more recently he was appointed as scientific advisor to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). How does he juggle all of these? "By the grace of the Almighty God," he says. And the support of his wife and three boys.

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