Prof Zodwa Dlamini to spearhead SA-MRC/UP Extramural Research Unit for HIV-Associated Cancers

Posted on October 11, 2019

Professor Zodwa Dlamini is no stranger to excellence. She is the Inaugural Scientific Director of the Pan African Cancer Research Institute (PACRI) at the University of Pretoria. She is the 2018 recipient of the SA-MRC Silver Award, as an outstanding South African scientist who has contributed to raising the profile of Science in South Africa. She is a distinguished member of the Council for Scientific Advisers of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), an international scientific body composed of scientists of the highest profile and international standing, nominated by member state in the substantive fields of ICGEB. Prof Dlamini is an overseas Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM), an elite group of physicians or scientists elected to the Royal Society of Medicine following nomination and committee review, comparable to members of the National Academy of Medicine in the United States.

Women who have made strides in advancing science and building the knowledge base in their respective disciplines will lead the six newly established SA-MRC extramural units. The launch of the Extramural Research Units is the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) concerted efforts to contribute to South Africa’s scientific edifice and its knowledge economy.

Prof Dlamini is certainly looking forward to the challenge. “I am really honoured to be awarded the Directorship for this SA-MRC/UP Extramural Cancer Research Unit, the only SA-MRC extramural cancer research unit. It was a steep competition, only 6 out of 64 women applicants were awarded extramural research units in the country.”

This award could not have come at a better time as she has recently been appointed by the University to lead the newly established Pan African Cancer Research Institute (PACRI), which is a huge boost to PACRI’s research agenda.

She added, “This unit is set to feed into the University’s and SA-MRC strategic objectives by providing an integrated transdisciplinary research effort distinguished by scientific excellence. It is driven by a clear vision of research progress, new knowledge, new discoveries, technological developments, and the next generation of highly qualified researchers in cutting edge cancer research leading to national and global scientific impact.’”

The Precision Prevention and Novel Drug Targets for HIV-Associated Cancers (PPNDTHAC) Extramural Unit aims to map the landscape of cervical and oesophageal cancer in order to understand the underlying causes of these cancers and to discover targets for the development of novel and more effective targeted therapeutics. Professor Dlamini will be making a difference and changing lives through new knowledge and research.

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