Posted on October 17, 2013
The Ralph Kirsch Golden Pen Award was launched in honour of the late Emeritus Professor Ralph Kirsch, whose career in medicine spanned 50 years at UCT. He played a huge leadership role at UCT’s Facuclty of Health Sciences and he also made significant contributions to the advancement of academic medicine and healthcare in the country.
In her keynote address at the launch of the Award, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said Prof Ralph Kirsch was not only a doctor and teacher, but also a researcher, a scientist and a prolific writer who has published a number of articles, papers and book chapters. She appealed to professionals and scientists on the African continent to follow Prof Kirsch’s example of increasing pure and applied research outputs into the health challenges and burdens of disease-facing Africa.
‘Africa continues to suffer a disproportionately heavy burden of ill-health and disease. This has led the African Union Commission to start a process of consultations on the realisation of Agenda 2063, which requires the contribution of the health sector and of medical professionals and scientists,’ said Dr Dlamini-Zuma.
Dr Dlamini-Zuma conveyed her congratulations to Prof Sathekge for his outstanding work and on being the first recipient of the Award.
Prof Sathekge’s article titled ‘Dual time-point FDG PET-CT for differentiating benign from malignant solitary pulmonary nodules in a TB endemic area’ is cited in all continents and has local and global relevance. To view the article, please click on the link: http://www.samj.org.za/index.php/samj/article/view/4082/2942
The theme of this work has led to Prof Sathekge being invited to several countries as a guest speaker and has also been invited to contribute an article to a leading international nuclear medicine journal on position papers and the seminars of nuclear medicine. The title of this invited article was ‘FDG PET imaging in HIV infection and tuberculosis’.
Locally, this article was designated the Best Research Presentation of the South African Society of Nuclear Medicine, and as UP related work it was published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine (number one imaging journal). It was designated the Best Overall Clinical Publication for 2012 with the paper titled ‘Use of 18F-FDG PET to predict response to first-line tuberculostatics in HIV-associated tuberculosis’. At the time of the publication of this article in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, the editorial board selected the article to be highlighted in a press release as excellent work.
Furthermore, the International Atomic Energy Agency, which serves as the world's central intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical co-operation in the nuclear field, has requested Prof Sathekge to lead a multinational study on validating the role of FDG PET imaging in tuberculosis.
Prof Sathekge said his Department is honoured by the award named after a medical icon like Prof Ralph Kirsch. ‘We are humbled and motivated to develop ourselves and those around us,’ he said.
Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma hands over the Ralph Kirsch Golden Pen Award to Prof Mike Sathekge
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