Up and coming research stars receive awards

18 May 2015 - 12:15

How can we better understand drug-induced liver injury? What happens when HIV infections coincide with tuberculosis and diabetes? What mechanisms are behind the distribution and decline of animal species?

These are some of the questions the recipients of the Claude Leon Foundation Merit Award 2015 are attempting to answer. And they are well placed to answer it: the award recognises excellent scholarly work by early-career academics. It is, says Deputy Vice-Chancellor Danie Visser, an affirmation that each recipient is "truly one of the stars of UCT going forward."

The Merit Award recipients each receive R50 000 and have considerable freedom in how to use it for their research ? from attending international conferences to funding graduate students.

The Foundation was formed as a charitable trust out of a bequest made by Claude Leon in 1963. It is one of South Africa's larger endowment funds and is a longstanding and generous donor to UCT.


The award winners, from left to right: Drs Sebastian Skatulla (Department of Civil Engineering), Vanessa McBride (Department of Astronomy, who won the award in 2014), Grant Theron (Division of Pulmonology), Tolu Oni (School of Public Health and Family Medicine), Mashiko Setshedi (Department of Medicine), Arjun Amar (Department of Biological Sciences, PFIA Ornithology), Kirsten Corin (Centre for Minerals Research), Steeve Chung Kim Yuen (Blast Impact and Survivability Research Unit). Dr Nelleke Langerak (Division of Neurosurgery), the eighth 2015 award winner, is currently on maternity leave.