UP’s Head of Nuclear Medicine awarded South African Medical Research Council Presidential Award

Posted on March 05, 2021

Head of Nuclear Medicine at the University of Pretoria (UP) and at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital (SBAH) Professor Mike Sathekge was awarded the Presidential Award at the seventh South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) Scientific Merit Awards held recently. He shared the honour with Professor James (Jimmy) Volmink, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University

This year's Presidential Award was awarded to scientists who have dedicated their lives to making a positive contribution in the arena of medical research and public health. The Awards aim to support and celebrate excellence in health research and give recognition to world-renowned science. 

Prof Sathekge said this award bears testimony to the fact that despite challenges, society needs to remain grounded in the fundamentals and inspire continuous improvement rather than perfection, with academic growth that is inclusive and contributes to societal development. “It is humbling and yet very exciting to receive an award from this premier scientific institution, which is led by world-renowned expert Professor Glenda Gray, who has enabled our country to benefit from the J&J [Johnson & Johnson] COVID-19 vaccine.

“Acknowledging achievement can have a serious return on investment. In my case, this award is not mine only but it belongs to my family, our department, UP, SBAH, NuMeRI, friends and, importantly, those from historically disadvantaged backgrounds," said Prof Sathekge. 

An internationally acclaimed researcher, Prof Sathekge is also the CEO/Head of the main Nuclear Medicine Research Infrastructure (NuMeRI) in South Africa. The B-rated scientist's research focuses on theranostics, targeted radionuclide therapy, new radiopharmaceuticals, infection imaging and PET/CT, leading to him winning various prestigious awards for his research in the field of nuclear medicine. 

“The Faculty of Health Sciences is truly proud of Prof Sathekge's achievement. We hope this acknowledgement will inspire our colleagues to continue with their commitment to conducting research that has a positive impact on society,” said Professor Tiaan de Jager, Dean of UP’s Faculty of Health Sciences. 

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