UCT researchers honoured at ‘Oscars of science’
Top row (R-L): Professor George Ekama, Professor John Ele-Ogo Ataguba. Bottom row (R-L): Professor Martin Wittenberg, Dr Robyn Pickering
Four UCT researchers were honoured in the annual NSTF-South32 Awards which took place in Johannesburg in June. Among them the Fauclty of Health Sciences’ Professor John Ele-Oo Ataguba from the Health Economics Unit of the School of Public Health and Family Medicine. The awards, known in the South African research community as the ‘Oscars of science’, recognise and reward excellence in science, engineering and technology, and innovation in South Africa. If the calibre of finalists recognised at the awards is anything to go by, South Africa has a great deal to celebrate.
Professor John Ele-Ogo Ataguba won the NTSF-TW Kambule Award for an emerging researcher. Through his work he has made a great contribution to our understanding of health inequalities, social determinants of health and health system equity in Africa. When accepting his award Ataguba said: “I come from very humble beginnings and know what it is like to live in real poverty. In accepting this award I would like to recognise all those who, despite their hard work, are unable to break the bonds of poverty.”
“The NSTF-South32 Awards offer us an annual opportunity to really celebrate the world-changing work South African researchers achieve,” says UCT Vice-Chancellor Max Price. “Every day, without much fuss and fanfare, these researchers conduct work that changes people’s lives for the better.”
“We are particularly proud of all our six finalists and four award winners,” says Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, deputy vice-chancellor of research and internationalisation at UCT.
“These winners and finalists do not operate in a vacuum. That our researchers performed so well in these awards reflects positively on the entire research endeavour at UCT, especially the great work done by our postgraduate researchers and the research support staff.”