Page 25 - UCT2012 Research Dashboard

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Research Dashboard
Professor Chinsamy-Turan has published extensively –
both in international scientific journals (including four
publications in
and a recent publication in
) and in the popular press. Her academic
Microstructure of Dinosaur Bone – Deciphering
Biology Through Fine Scale Techniques
was published
by Johns Hopkins University Press, USA, in 2005 and her
popular-level book for children titled
Famous Dinosaurs
of Africa
was published by Struik, SA, in 2008. Her latest
academic book is titled
Forerunners of Mammals: Radiation.
Histology. Biology
(2012, Indiana University Press, USA),
and she has another in the pipeline with Cambridge
University Press.
Champion of Research
and Capacity Development at
Higher Education Institutions in
South Africa
Professor Kelly Chibale holds the South African Research
Chair in Drug Discovery at UCT, and is the director
of the MRC/UCT Drug Discovery and Development
Research Unit. He is a former co-director of the UCT
Drug Discovery Signature Theme and established the
Drug Discovery and Development Centre (H3-D) in 2010.
Professor Chibale joined the University of Cape
Town in 1996 and has since built up an outstanding
and impressive record of attracting and successfully
supervising students and postdoctoral researchers,
particularly those from designated groups. He has
supervised to graduation 26 PhD and 21 MSc students.
His research focuses on the discovery of potential drugs
that fight malaria, tuberculosis, and helminth (parasitic
worm), as well as cardiovascular and fibrosis diseases.
His research group currently comprises 44 researchers,
including 17 postdoctoral fellows, 19 PhD students, and
8 MSc students.
Professor Chibale has identified the need for South
African scientists to enhance the drug-discovery
capability of the country to address its health needs
in particular, but also those of the rest of the African
continent. Thus research into the discovery of potential
medicines against the major diseases in South Africa
and Africa is critical, along with the training of a new
generation of South African and African scientists
with the key modern pharmaceutical-industry skills
required to discover modern medicines. In response to
this need, Professor Chibale has developed a number
of partnerships with major global organisations,
including pharmaceutical companies and not-for-profit
organisations, which have been critical in building the
much-needed research capacity and infrastructure at
both UCT and other higher-education institutions in
South Africa.
In a major breakthrough in 2012, Professor Chibale
led the UCT drug-discovery team that discovered
a compound that he and international research
collaborator Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) hope
will lead to the development of a single-dose treatment
for malaria. The compound, named MMV390048,
the first compound researched on African soil to enter
preclinical development in partnership with MMV. This
project was voted and awarded the 2012 MMV Project
of the Year award. In addition, the news of a possible
single-dose cure for all strains of malaria not only
dominated headlines around the world following its
release in August 2012, but Elsevier's
Malaria Nexus
review voted it their most popular story of 2012. (
see page 20
Professor Chibale has published more than 130 articles
in peer-reviewed journals, including a number of
publications in leading journals in the field of drug
discovery, such as the
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
Drug Discovery Today
His recent awards have included the 2010/11 NSTF–BHP
Billiton Awards in the category TW Kambule NRF Senior
Black Researcher. This award gave recognition to Professor
Chibale’s role in the establishment of H3-D, Africa’s first
integrated modern drug-discovery centre, and the setting
up of various modern technology platforms for the discovery
of potential medicines. In 2009, he was elected Life Fellow
of UCT and Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa. He
was also awarded the Alan Pifer Research Award for 2011.
This is the UCT Vice-Chancellor’s award made annually “to
a single researcher at UCT in recognition of outstanding
research that demonstrates relevance to the advancement
and welfare of South Africa’s disadvantaged people”.
Professor Kelly Chibale