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Head of Department: Associate Professor Lauriston Kellaway

Departmental Profile

The Department of Human Biology is made up of a broad range of scientific and clinical disciplines and interests. These include Anatomy, Physiology; Biokinetics, Biological Anthropology; Biomedical Engineering; Cell Biology; Exercise Science; Healthcare Technology Management; Human Nutrition and Dietetics; Neuroscience; and Sports Medicine. Staff within the Department of Human Biology are also actively involved with Sports Management Diploma offered by the Faculty of Commerce.  Professor Noakes continues to be consulted on various issues related to exercise science and sports medicine and is therefore in the public eye. His A rating with the NRF was renewed during the year. Professor Vicki Lambert was appointed a Fellow of the University and this was formalized at the December graduation ceremony. During the year, the UCT/MRC Research Unit was made a FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence and selected as one of four International Olympic Committee (IOC) Research Centres worldwide, the latter receiving a substantial research grant for a four year period. In addition Professors Mike Lambert and Wayne Derman were promoted to full professors within the Department and Associate Professor Malcolm Collins was promoted to Chief Specialist Scientist within the MRC. Members of staff have on a regular basis presented work at numerous national and international conferences.  The 2009 academic year was as busy as usual. Human Biology gained four new academic staff members (Drs Jacqui Friedling, Nicholas Sachs, Roisin Kelly and Janetta Harbron) and lost two staff members with the retirement of Professor Kit Vaughan and Dr David Boonzaier. Professor Vaughan was re-awarded his A-rating from the NRF and will continue his connection with the Department as an Emeritus Professor.  Professor Sue Kidson stepped down as HOD at the end of 2008, but was appointed part-time Deputy Dean of Postgraduate Affairs for the Faculty of Health Sciences in 2009. A/Professor Laurie Kellaway took over as HOD in January.Professor Alan Morris was appointed Associate Editor of the South African Journal of Science from January 2009. The Department was a co-host as part of Anatomical Society of Southern Africa (ASSA) for the 17th Congress of the International Federation of Associations of Anatomists held at the Conference Centre in Cape Town in August. Professor Graham Louw chaired the Organising Committee and was elected the new president of IFAA at the meeting in August. Some 10 staff and students presented papers at IFAA.  Dr Jacqui Friedling and four postgraduate students attended the Forensic Bone Trauma course in Pretoria immediately after IFAA.  Students and staff of Biomedical Engineering attended various conferences in the United States during the year; the Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Sessions in Orlando in January, the International symposium for Magnetic Resonance in Honolulu and the Congress on the Potentials of the Brain in Bloomington in April, the International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging in Boston and the Organization for Human Brain Mapping in San Francisco in June, along with the World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering in Munich, Germany in September. A/Professor Tania Douglas was appointed Director of the MRC/UCT Medical Imaging Unit. Professor Viv Russell was invited plenary/symposium speaker at the 5th International Conference on Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, ADHD workshop in Japan and SONA conference in Egypt.She also presented her research at the SFN meeting in the USA. A/Professor Laurie Kellaway and other staff and students of the division of Physiology attended the Biological Psychiatry Congress and the Physiological Society of South Africa annual conference, while the staff and students of the Division of Cell Biology attended the Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology in June in Killarney Ireland.Dr Emily Davis of Cell Biology was awarded the Roche Young Researchers Award.  Dr Lester Davids and Dr Robea Ballo of Cell Biology took part in the Scifest Africa 2009 in Grahamstown in March and presented a very popular public talk on skin.  A/Professor Marjanne Senekal, Head of Division of Human Nutrition presented a paper at the 7th International Conference on Diet and Activity Methods in June in Washington.


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