H 3-D Drug Discovery & Development Centre hosts its 1st Drug Discovery symposium

Under the directorship of Prof Kelly Chibale, the H 3-D Drug Discovery  & Development Centre hosted its 1st drug discovery symposium at the beautiful Vineyard Hotel in Cape Town.  This symposium which took place between the 15th and 18th of October 2012, was attended by the ACGT intern, Mr Thabo Khoza.  The symposium kicked off with the newly appointed minister of Science and Technology, Mr  Derek Hanekom, opening the symposium. This was the minister’s first official address as the minister of Science and Technology.  The minister handed over to Prof Chibale to chair the symposium.

The theme for the symposium was “New Paradigms in Drug Discovery”  and focused on drugs for malaria, TB, and cardiovascular diseases, diseases which are prevalent in Africa. The symposium had speakers from across the world with the Keynote Lecture on “Drug Discovery for Malaria: Results from the NITD Led NGBS Consortium”  being delivered by Prof Paul Herrling (Chair of the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases in Switzerland).  This four-day symposium was well attended by students and researchers from South African Universities and science councils. Few representatives from the ACGT partner institutions (UP, CSIR  and Wits) attended the symposium with some even presenting their posters at the event.

On the 3rd night of the symposium, the delegates were treated with a celebration dinner in which Mrs Yvonne Chaka Chaka, who is also the UNICEF special ambassador on malaria in Eastern and Southern Africa , entertained the delegates with music.

The symposium ended off with a series of lectures, some of which focused on the pharmacogenetics as well the state of research in South Africa, particularly capacity building in the field of drug discovery.

To view the full programme  click here.

The 3rd Proteomics Symposium and Workshop goes national

The ACGT and CSIR partnered to organise the 3rd Proteomics Symposium and Workshop, which was held in both Pretoria (CSIR) and Cape Town (University of the Western Cape (UWC) and Centre for Proteomic and Genomic Research (CPGR)). The events comprised of a one day symposium, followed by a two-day workshop. The event was generously sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology.
The CSIR hosted the 1st leg of the symposium and workshop from the 3rd – 5th of October 2012. Dr Raymond Sparrow (CSIR) welcomed the delegates before introducing the symposium’s keynote speaker, Prof Kathryn Lilley. She is the director of  the Cambridge Centre for Proteomics at Cambridge University and delivered an interesting talk titled “Using mass spectrometry to give proteins addresses”. Other noteworthy presentations came from delegates from the ACGT partner institutions (Universities of Pretoria and the Witwatersrand, as well as CSIR) and from delegates from Stellenbosch University and UNISA. There were also three short presentations delivered by young vibrant students from the University of Pretoria and UNISA.

The two day workshop  was facilitated by Prof Kathryn Lilley and Dr Stoyan Stoychev and focused on the  design of quantitative proteomic experiments, particularly the use of gel-free approaches for complex lysate characterization. This workshop format comprised of short lectures. All attendees were supplied with workshop booklets that included prepared notes on the lectures. On the second day of the workshop, the attendees were taken on a tour of the Proteomics facility at CSIR. The attendees were later divided into groups and challenged to find solutions to scenarios, using the information they were taught during the workshop.

The 2nd leg kicked off at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) for the symposium on the 8th of October 2012. Prof. Michael Davies-Coleman (Dean of Natural Sciences Faculty, UWC) opened the symposium and welcomed all the delegates. Prof Bongani Ndimba (ARC/UWC) chaired the symposium. Prof Lilley once again delivered the keynote address, similar to her talk at the symposium in Pretoria. Her address was followed by presentations from researchers from the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University and CPGR. After the oral presentations, there was a poster and networking session in which Mr Rodney Hart, Mr Shaun Granett and Deidré Kruger presented outstanding posters.

The next day the delegates gathered at the River Club for the 2-day workshop (09 October – 10 October 2012). Again, the workshop was facilitated by Prof Lilley and Dr Stoychev and it ran the same way as in Pretoria. The workshop was concluded with a tour of the CPGR by Greg Khoury (Operations Manager, CPGR). The UWC and CPGR played a pivotal part in organising the symposium and workshop for the Cape Town leg.

To view presentations, click links below:

Pretoria Symposium

Cape Town Symposium


To view more pictures of the event visit the ACGT Facebook page