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From the UCT Executive
Global recognition for UCT’s Department of Construction Economics and Management
The Department of Construction Economics and Management at the University of Cape Town (UCT) has received the International Real Estate Society’s (IRES) 2021 Corporate Leadership Award. The award recognises outstanding leadership at international level in support of real estate research and education. It also acknowledges the department’s support of the African Real Estate Society (AfRES).
10 Jun 2021
Pan-African study identifies genetic component to rheumatic heart disease risk in Black Africans
A study published in JAMA Cardiology is the largest of its kind to provide insights into the genetic determinants of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in Africa. RHD is a sequela (effect/result) of rheumatic fever, characterised by permanent heart valve damage. Despite being completely preventable, RHD remains rampant in poor communities where there is widespread overcrowding and poor access to health care.
10 Jun 2021
UCT academic selected to participate in global body on artificial intelligence
Associate Professor Deshen Moodley from the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Department of Computer Science is one of 19 international fellows who will participate in the University-Based Institutes for Advanced Study (UBIAS) network’s 4th Intercontinental Academia (ICA).
09 Jun 2021
UCT’s H3D secures significant partnerships to fast-track work in Africa
The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Holistic Drug Discovery and Development Unit (H3D) recently entered into two important strategic partnerships. These collaborations will assist the unit with developing new tools to advance treatment outcomes for the African patient population, and enable capacity building in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to aid drug discovery in Africa.
08 Jun 2021
Groote Schuur Hospital performs South Africa’s first bowel enteroscopy
A team of academics at the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Division of Medical Gastroenterology have performed South Africa’s first successful bowel enteroscopy (endoscopy of the small bowel). The cutting-edge procedure was carried out at Groote Schuur Hospital (GSH) and is set to transform the way clinicians access and examine the previously inaccessible small bowel – using a minimally invasive technique.
04 Jun 2021
National innovation award for UCT engineer’s urine project
The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Associate Professor Dyllon Randall has won the South African Institution of Chemical Engineers (SAIChE) 2021 Innovation Award for a project on the development of a fertiliser-producing urinal and urine bio-brick process.
03 Jun 2021
Effecting change in STEM must start at school level
Dr Zina Ndabeni made history when she joined the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Department of Physics in 2020. As the first black South African woman to take up an academic role in the department, Dr Ndabeni said there’s serious work to be done to nurture young black students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
03 Jun 2021
UCT scientist awarded prestigious AXA Research Chair in Non-Communicable Diseases
Lara Dugas, an Honorary Professor in Human Biology at the University of Cape Town (UCT), has been awarded a prestigious AXA Research Chair, titled The AXA Research Chair in Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Epidemiology. The Chair is only the second awarded to a researcher in Africa and will allow Dugas to continue her ongoing research into how the lived environment impacts long-term NCD outcomes in African populations.
02 Jun 2021
Interactive video games improve cognitive performance in older adults with memory complaints
The decrease in cognitive performance that occurs with aging leads to decreased health status and quality of life, and may lead to older adults experiencing memory complaints, associated with poor executive function and delayed recall.
01 Jun 2021
Clarity of facts related to Athol Williams’ repeated allegations about UCT
The University of Cape Town (UCT) respects and applauds Mr Athol Williams for his efforts to blow the whistle on fraud and corruption. We recognise that exposing fraud and corruption is a service to the nation. We also appreciate the profound toll such a process can take on the whistle-blower.
01 Jun 2021
New study suggests falcons have natural ‘eye makeup’ to improve hunting ability
Dark ‘eyeliner’ feathers of peregrine falcons act as sun shields to improve the birds’ hunting ability, a new scientific study suggests.
01 Jun 2021
Invite: The three theses of decolonisation and the school curriculum – UCT Mafeje-Jordan Seminar Series
At the third instalment of the University of Cape Town (UCT) Mafeje-Jordan Seminar Series 2021, Edwin Etieyibo, professor of philosophy at the University of the Witwatersrand and adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Alberta, Canada, will present on why decolonising the school curriculum is important.
31 May 2021
The origin of African jackals revealed – new study
New research published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society has found the origin of some of the most emblematic groups of African carnivorous mammals: jackals. The international group of researchers describe a new species of canid (current family that includes foxes, wolves, and jackals) named Eucyon khoikhoi , providing vital information about the origin of the group outside of North America – where the canidae family originated from more than 35 million years ago.
31 May 2021
UCT professor elected as Fellow of South African Academy of Engineering
Harro von Blottnitz, professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Cape Town (UCT), has been elected a Fellow of the South African Academy of Engineering (SAAE). His election places him among an elite group of 213 fellows who straddle the worlds of academia and industry, and who are considered thought leaders in their fields.
28 May 2021
Response by UCT and the Faculty of Health Sciences to email smears against the university’s academic in relation to the proposed River Club development
The University of Cape Town (UCT) and its Faculty of Health Sciences notes with great concern the email smears against academic, Professor Leslie London, regarding his activities with the Observatory Civic Association (OCA) in relation to the highly contentious proposed River Club development. Professor London is an accomplished and highly respected UCT academic, with a substantial history of engaged scholarship, specifically in the area of human rights advocacy and activism.
27 May 2021
Orchid sexually exploits male beetles – a world first from Africa
Dr Callan Cohen, a research associate of the University of Cape Town's (UCT) FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology , has discovered a world pollination first: an orchid that sexually exploits longhorn beetles. The near-extinct Disa forficaria , known from a single remaining plant in the mountains near Cape Town, mimics a female beetle so convincingly that the male beetle mates with the flower, thus pollinating it.
27 May 2021
Decolonising ecology? How to adopt practices that make science more equitable
Knowledge systems outside of those sanctioned by Western universities have often been marginalised or simply not engaged with in many science disciplines, but there are multiple examples where Western scientists have claimed discoveries for knowledge that resident experts already knew and shared. This demonstrates not a lack of knowledge itself but rather that, for many scientists raised in Western society, little education concerning histories of systemic oppression has been by design. Western scientific knowledge has also been used to justify social and environmental control, including dispossessing colonised people of their land and ways of life and discounting existing knowledge systems.
24 May 2021
Africa has higher death rate among critically ill COVID-19 patients than any other world region, study suggests
Death rates among adults in the 30 days after being admitted to critical care with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection appear considerably higher in Africa than globally, according to a prospective observational study from 64 hospitals in 10 African countries published in The Lancet .
21 May 2021