Two UP malaria experts receive international travel scholarships

Posted on July 30, 2019

Two researchers from the Malaria Parasite Molecular Laboratory in the Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology at the University of Pretoria (UP), Dr Jandeli Niemand and Dr Dina Coertzen, received travel scholarships to attend the Setting our Sights on Infectious Diseases conference held at the Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research (WCAIR) 2019 in Dundee, Scotland.

These travel grants were supported by the Medicines for Malaria Venture, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Novartis and Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative to enable young scientists from disease-endemic countries to attend the conference. The conference focused on novel aspects of drug discovery for tropical neglected diseases and was attended by over 150 leading international researchers.

Dr Niemand explained that the travel grant had allowed her to present at the WCAIR conference the work that had been funded by her first research grant as primary investigator in a project completed in 2018.

“I am in the process of completing two research papers derived from this, but input from the leaders in the field of drug discovery enabled early assessment of the work’s potential impact in the field and suggested additional avenues of investigation,” she said.

Dr Coertzen highlighted the importance of travel scholarships to young scientists.

“Receiving an international travel bursary to attend this conference enabled me to attend one of the foremost international drug discovery conferences. The research presented exhibited the current research trends within the field and meet the leading researchers in the field of parasite drug discovery. My research presented at this conference not only enabled me to receive feedback and input from my peers but also to network and establish future collaborations to further the quality of my research outputs,” she said.

- Author Martie Meyer

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