Faculty of Veterinary Science hosts another successful Faculty Day

Posted on September 12, 2013

The title of Prof Horzinek’s lecture was “A personal journey through coronavirus evolution”. In a very thought-provoking and, at times, humorous presentation, Prof Horzinek focused on the complex natural history of Coronaviruses, the ideal objects to study evolution because they possess the largest viral RNA genome known to science. Due to their stochastic nature, genetic mistakes are highly probable. Mutations are due to the poor fidelity of the replicases and to the lack of a proofreading mechanism to correct them. Prof Horzinek discussed the consequences of point mutations, deletions, recombinations – and the quasi-species concept – to illustrate changes in the occupation of ecological niches by coronaviruses.

This year the award for the Bayer Researcher of the Year went to Prof Vinny Naidoo for the second time in four years while Dr Rhoda Leask was selected as OBP Young Researcher of the Year. The Bayer award for Best Scientific Paper went to Prof Celia Abolnik, Chair of the newly founded UP-PDMA Poultry Research Chair in the Faculty. Mr Ruan de Bruin was selected as winner of the Bayer Best Scientific Poster. Three teaching awards were also made as follows:

Zoetis Lecturer of the Year: Dr Patrick Page

Instavet Young Lecturer of the Year: Dr Catriona Lyle

Zoetis Veterinary Nurse's Lecturer of the Year: Dr Japie Venter

Pharmaceutical companies were well represented at Faculty Day and no less than 16 companies were present to share their services and products with the attendees.

The first “Faculty Day” was held on 5 September 1984 which focused on the research activities of the Faculty. Today Faculty Day of the amalgamated Faculty of Veterinary Science reflects a proud tradition, which had been nurtured by the original faculties of Veterinary Science of Medunsa and the University of Pretoria, of showcasing the combined research activities and skills of the two original institutions on a special, dedicated occasion.

Click here to access the 2013 Faculty Day Programme/Research Overview

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