Full day for NIH visitors

04 April 2011

(Front from left) Dr Francis Collins, Prof Heather Zar, Dr Roger Glass, and (back, from left) deputy dean Prof Gregory Hussey and Stacy Wallick Doing the rounds: (Front from left) Dr Francis Collins, director of the NIH; Prof Heather Zar, head of UCT's School of Child and Adolescent Health; Dr Roger Glass, director of the Fogarty Institute for Innovation; and (back, from left) deputy dean Prof Gregory Hussey and Stacy Wallick of the Fogarty Institute for Innovation.

A delegation from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US visited UCT recently to inspect a number of research sites, meet with the Faculty of Health Sciences deanery, and attend the first Vice-Chancellor's Open Lecture of 2011, where Dr Francis Collins, director of the NIH, and Sir Mark Walport delivered an address.

The full day's programme included a visit to the Khayelitsha Site B Community Health Care Centre, the base for several research projects of UCT's Clinical Infectious Diseases Research Initiative, and the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine. There researchers spoke to the delegation about their work, some of it funded by agencies of the NIH.

At GF Jooste Hospital in Manenberg, Dr Charlotte Schutz explained the Trial for the Optimal Timing of HIV Therapy After Cryptococcal Meningitis (COAT) study, which aims to decrease the mortality rate in cryptococcal meningitis in HIV-positive people. This is a recently-initiated project and is funded by NIH.

The delegation also visited the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital, where they met researchers to discuss NIH-funded projects.

The final stop of the day was at the collaborative Centre of Excellence, Chronic Diseases Initiative in Africa, which is a partnership that includes UCT, Stellenbosch University, the University of the Western Cape, the South African Medical Research Council, the Western Cape Provincial Government, the Shree Hindu Mandal Hospital, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Tanzania, and Harvard University in the US.

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