Leading scholar visits UCT

13 December 2012 | Story by Newsroom

Dr Alan BernsteinFamed: the visiting Dr Alan Bernstein shared latest research and opportunities with UCT staff and students recently.

It's not often that a distinguished international dignitary takes time out to mentor emerging researchers, and share news on the latest research developments and funding opportunities.

But Dr Alan Bernstein, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Institutes for Advanced Research (CIFAR), did so recently for members of UCT's Faculty of Health Sciences, at the invitation of Professor Valerie Mizrahi, Director of the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IIDMM).

In a packed three days, Bernstein delivered a seminar, met early and mid-career IIDMM researchers, and mentored postdoctoral research fellows and PhD students. He also met with senior scientists, and with Professor Danie Visser, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, to explore possible opportunities within CIFAR's existing global research networks.

"My discussions with faculty were very positive," Bernstein noted. "I have not sensed as much optimism about the future - about the scientific advances being made in our ability to diagnose and treat TB, the exciting progress that has been made recently in isolating broadly neutralising antibodies against HIV, and the momentum and energy provided by Professor Mizrahi as the Director of the IIDMM."

Throughout his career, Bernstein has championed the principles of an open, collaborative global scientific community to meet the scientific, public health and humanitarian challenges posed by health issues, in particular HIV/AIDS. In this regard, he has collaborated with a number of IIDMM Members.

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