Among the many the research highlights in 2008 were the publications by staff and students. Some of these were featured in the Publication of the Month in the Faculty's newsletter. This monthly feature enabled us to recognize outstanding scholarship, including books by Professor William Pick (The Slave has Overcome), Dr Nonhlanhla Khumalo (Genes for Teens) and Professor Dan Stein (Philosophy of Psychopharmacology); journal articles by master's student Ben Irving (which was awarded the prize for the most outstanding paper in Pediatric Radiology), Professor Lyn Denny (on human papillomavirus in Obstetrics and Gynecology), and PhD student Denis Chopera (on genetic mutations in the HI virus, specially highlighted by the editors of PloS Pathogens); a paper on education by Professor Vanessa Burch (on academically at-risk medical students in Advances in Health Sciences Education); and a catalogue by Fritha Langerman of the Michaelis School of Fine Art entitled The Knowledge Chambers in which she engages with the vast compendia of ideas that explain our health sciences world.
Dr Virna Leaner, whose research addresses the molecular biology underlying the development of cervical cancer, was the winner of the TW Kambule Award by the National Science and Technology Forum in the category Distinguished Young Black Researcher. President Kgalema Motlanthe bestowed the Order of Mapungubwe (Silver Category) on Professor Tim Noakes for his contributions to the field of sport and the science of physical exercise. Emeritus Professor Wieland Gevers, who was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, was similarly recognized for his contributions to higher education and medical science.
Other highlights of the year included the prestigious award of a UCT Fellowship to Professor Vivienne Russell, whose research focuses on the neuroscience of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; two UCT Fellows' Awards, which 'reward younger staff for exceptional achievement', to Associate Professor Keertan Dheda (lung infection and immunity) and Dr Anthony Figaji (intra-opertative monitoring of patients with traumatic brain injury); the launch of the Centre for Proteomic and Genomic Research (CPGR) by the Minister of Science and Technology, Mr. Mosibudi Mangena; and the initiation of clinical testing in the USA and South Africa of two candidate HIV vaccines developed by Professor Anna-Lise Williamson and her team.
The Faculty has continued its strong support of the NRF rating system, increasing the number of rated researchers to 64, the largest among the Health Science Faculties in the country. This includes 7 with an A rating, 17 with a B rating and 29 with a C rating. Particularly encouraging for the future is the number of young researchers who have secured ratings - 1 with a P rating and 10 with a Y rating. Professor Eric Bateman secured an A rating for the first time while Professors Michael Kew and Kit Vaughan successfully renewed their A ratings. Our academic staff members have been increasingly successful in securing highly competitive research grants from international agencies such as the Wellcome Trust and the National Institutes of Health. In 2008, 424 projects were funded and the income of R273 million represented more than 40% of the University's total research revenue.
Our Faculty stands ready to pursue high quality scholarship that focuses on both the national and global burden of disease and, as highlighted above, implements a strategy that embraces the full spectrum of research questions, from bench to bedside to population.