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Head of Department: Associate Professor Lauriston Kellaway

Departmental Profile

The Department of Human Biology (HUB) includes Anatomy; Biological Anthropology; Biomedical Engineering; Cell Biology; Exercise Science and Sports Medicine; Healthcare Technology Management; Human Nutrition and Dietetics; Neurosciences and Physiology. 

Academic staff within the Exercise Science and Sports Medicine Research Unit continue to be consulted on various issues related to exercise science and sports medicine and are therefore in the public eye. Staff and Students within the Unit presented several papers at a wide range of international and national conferences. Fifty-three of Prof Timothy Noakes’ scholarly articles were cited in the scientific literature at least 53 times by December 2010, giving him an h-index (an international measure of impact and productivity) of 53. During 2010 all his published articles were cited over 10 000 times.  The Unit hosted the Exercise Associated Heatstroke Consensus Meeting and the 4th Clinical Sports Medicine conference during March and October, respectively. Both events attracted world-class international speakers.  Prof Mike Lambert and Assoc Prof Edward Ojuka successfully renewed their NRF ratings during the year, while Dr Catherine Draper was also rated by the NRF for the first time.  The research of Assoc Prof Andrew Bosch on the effect of ingestion of protein hydrolysate on recovery from exercise was successfully translated into a commercial product, "PeptoSport". This was achieved with the assistance of Dr Andrew Bailey of the University Research and Innovation Office.

Dr Julia Goedecke was given the SEMDSA award for best published paper in the basic sciences for 2010.

Dr Mike Posthumus was awarded the best poster prize at the International Scientific Tendinopathy Symposium in Umeå, Sweden, 29 Sept-2 October 2010 for the poster entitled: Posthumus M., Schwellnus MP and Collins M. A potential link between Achilles tendinopathy risk and endurance running ability.

2010 was once again a busy academic year.  HUB had four academic promotions: Dirk Lang to Associate Professor and Kishor Bugarith, Lester Davids and Lester John to Senior Lecturer.  Prof Sue Kidson stepped into the role of Deputy Dean for Post-Graduate Affairs on her return from sabbatical, but she had kept her links to the Department and is still researching and working with students. Emeritus Prof Kit Vaughan was awarded the UCT book prize for his biography of Allan Cormack.  Dr Lester Davids was awarded an NRF Y-rating for young researchers.  Prof Graham Louw presented his inaugural lecture in April.  Prof Alan Morris was elected to the Academy of Sciences of South Africa and has been appointed to the editorial board of the South African Archaeological Bulletin.  He continues to be the Associate Editor for Palaeontology, Archaeology and History of Science for the SA Journal of Science.  A/Prof Laurie Kellaway has been honoured by his appointment to the Chair of the Southern African Society of Neuroscience . A new Powerlab system in the form of an Early Research Career Grant was awarded to Dr Asfree Gwanyanya. Dr Liz van der Merwe was awarded a Carnegie Research Development Grant, and was elected Honorary Editor for the Anatomical Society of Southern Africa.

The Division of Anatomy and Cell Biology was represented at several local and overseas conferences.  Alan Morris was an invited participant at the Wenner-Gren Symposium on the history of physical anthropology at Teresópolis in Brazil. Rachel Alexander, Jacqui Friedling and Bruce Dando attended the Human Tissue Symposium: Medico-legal and Ethical Implications, hosted by the University of KZN in Durban in October, where issues around the use of human tissues in teaching and research were debated. Vicky van Kets, supervised by Dr Lester Davids, attended the South African Institute for Physics Conference at the CSIR in Pretoria where she won an award for her oral presentation. Dr Davids co-chaired the scientific organizing committee of the annual MRC Research Day and took part in the SciFest in Grahamstown. Prof Vivienne Russell presented scientific papers at conferences in Durban, Oslo Norway and San Diego USA. She was also an invited plenary speaker at the inaugural Neuroscience meeting in Pretoria in May and the SA Neurosciences Symposium in Durban in September.

The Division of Human Nutrition was represented at the biennial National Nutrition Congress in Durban by A/Prof Marjanne Senekal, Janetta Habron, Fiona Hermann, Beheya Najaar, and Zarina Ebrahim.  Ms Habron’s presentation won the Unilever young scientist award and she was given first prize for best oral presentation at the conference.  Ms Sharmilah Booley attended the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Meeting in Washington in June.  Marjanne Senekal and Ms Janetta Harbron also attended and presented posters at the 4th Congress of the International Society of Nutrigenetics/ Nutrigenomics (ISNN), Pamplona, Spain in November.


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