South Africa’s top health researchers honoured for contributions to public health

Cape Town | The prestigious SAMRC Scientific Merit Awards gala event was held on 30 August 2018 in Cape Town. The annual event, a highlight in South Africa’s health calendar, recognises and celebrates leading health research through a set of established medal awards.

Dr Nesri Padayatchi, Epidemiologist and Deputy Director at the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), and Prof Bavesh Kana, Head of the Centre of Excellence for Biomedical TB Research at Wits University, Prof Bronwyn Myers Chief Specialist at the SAMRC’s Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Use Research Unit and Prof Penny Moore, Honorary Senior Scientist at CAPRISA, were honoured with Silver medals, which are awarded to scientists who have made important scientific contributions in the country.

Prof Zodwa Dlamini, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research, Innovation and Engagements at Mangosuthu University of Technology and Prof Eunice Seekoe, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Fort Hare, also received Silver medals for senior scientists with a focus on Capacity Development under Challenging Circumstances.

Gold medals are awarded annually to established senior scientists who have made seminal scientific contributions that have impacted on the health of people, especially those living in developing countries.

The recipients of Gold medals were Stellenbosch University’s Executive Head: Department of Psychiatry, Prof Soraya Seedat, Prof Gerhard Walzl, Executive Head of the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University, and Prof Anna-Lise Williamson, Research Chair in Vaccinology at UCT.

A Special Award for Contribution to Public Health Surveillance and Research was conferred to Professor Lucille Blumberg, Deputy Director of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases of the NHLS. “Lucille is an exceptional and dedicated epidemiologist with an immense breadth of knowledge who has dedicated herself to keeping the public protected and informed about various infectious disease threats,” said Prof Glenda Gray, SAMRC’s President and CEO, who presented the Special Award.

The gala event concluded with the Platinum Awards - only two of these are awarded to scientists each year - for a lifetime of outstanding endeavors in the field of health. The recipients were Professors Maureen Coetzee and Charles Feldman. Prof Coetzee is a Medical Entomologist in the field of malaria mosquito control and Prof Feldman is a Specialist Physician and a Distinguished Professor of Pulmonology at Wits University, with a focus on pneumococcal pneumonia.


For more information about the Awards please visit:



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