UCT researchers shine at NSTF awards

09 June 2008

Winners: Dr Virna Leaner and Prof Johann Lutjeharms with their NSTF awards, Lutjeharms won the lifetime achievement award, Leaner the Distinguished Young Black Researcher Award.

UCT's Professor Johann Lutjeharms of the Department of Oceanography walked off with the Individual Over a Lifetime award at the 10th National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) ceremony on 27 May.

Lutjeharms is UCT's fifth consecutive award winner in this category.

Dr Virna Leaner of the Division of Clinical Laboratory Sciences collected the Distinguished Young Black Researcher award.

Professor Dan Stein was UCT's third finalist at the awards.

Lutjeharms' award recognised his dedicated and innovative research on oceans and how they affect our weather and climate.

"The effect of changes in the physical environment, including climate change and environmental degradation on the well-being of the South African people, is being increasingly recognised, and he has provided decision makers with knowledge to inform their activities. He was one of the pioneers of the use of satellite remote sensing techniques in combination with in situ observations."

Leaner's citation pays tribute to her widely-published research, which addresses the molecular biology underlying the development of cancer, particularly cervical cancer, one of the major diseases affecting South African women.

"The main objective of her work is to characterise markers of cervical cancer and the role of transcriptional regulation in the development of the disease."

The awards were presented by the Minister of Science and Technology, Mosibudi Mangena.

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