Department of Physiology Shines at the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences Open Day

Posted on March 17, 2024

Pretoria, 16 March - The University of Pretoria's Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences hosted an exceptional Open Day this past Saturday, aimed at inspiring a new generation of STEM students. The event, a showcase of academic excellence and innovative research, was particularly notable for the outstanding participation of the Department of Physiology.

The day kicked off with an inspiring address by Prof Erasmus, Dean of the Faculty, in the university's Aula, setting a high bar for the day's activities. Following this, the Rautenbach Hall became a hub of curiosity and discovery, as prospective students and their parents explored the diverse degree offerings across departments. The Physiology Department, under the adept leadership of Prof Annie Joubert, Head of Department, was especially well-represented, with distinguished faculty members including Prof Peet du Toit, Prof Mia van Rooy, Prof Janette Bester, Prof Iman van den Bout, Dr Evangeline Nortje, Mr Michael Kleynhans, Mrs Dalene Crafford, Ms Tebogo Lebelo, Dr Mlindeli Gamede, and Mrs Maryna Botha, engaging with attendees and imparting valuable programme information.

The highlight of the day was the campus tours, where the Physiology, Anatomy, and Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology (BGM) Departments collaborated to offer a hands-on experience of the Bioscience cluster. The tours, particularly popular among visitors, showcased the Natural Sciences 1 building, where the vibrant offices and laboratories of the participating departments are located.

Dr Evangeline Nortje and Mr Michael Kleynhans, representing the Department of Physiology on the NAS Open Day steering committee, played their part in organizing this successful event. Their efforts, alongside their colleagues, ensured a seamless and informative open day, reflecting the collaborative spirit and dedication of the department.

Special commendations are due to the various research groups within the Department of Physiology for their engaging presentations and exhibitions. The Cancer Biology team, led by Prof Iman van den Bout, the Occupational Hygiene group with Dr Nico Claassen, and the Neurophysiology research group showcased the cutting-edge research and career opportunities within their fields, capturing the imaginations of prospective students.

An innovative highlight was the unique AI-generated image exhibited by Dr Nortje and Mr Kleynhans, symbolizing the department's diverse research fields. This creative touch added a memorable flair to the day's proceedings.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to all the faculty members and postgraduate students who contributed to the success of the Open Day. Your dedication and teamwork not only showcased the Department of Physiology in the best possible light but also played a crucial role in guiding the next generation of scientists.

A special note of appreciation goes to Dr Evangeline Nortje, whose leadership and organizational prowess were instrumental in the day's success. Her efforts underscore the department's commitment to excellence and innovation.

Left: Dr Nortje, Right: Mr Kleynhans

The Department of Physiology is immensely proud of its contribution to the University of Pretoria's Open Day. This event has once again highlighted the vital role of collaboration, dedication, and academic excellence in shaping the future of science and education.

- Author Department of Physiology

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