Professor Johan Koeslag

Abbreviated Biography of Emeritus Professor Johan KoeslagM.B., Ch.B., Ph.D. (Cape Town) Johan Koeslag was born in Witbank, Mpumalanga (previously the Eastern Transvaal), in 1940. He spent his childhood in Indonesia, Holland, Zululand, and Kenya. He received his secondary schooling at the Prince of Wales School in Nairobi, Kenya, from where he went on to study Medicine at the University of Cape Town from 1959 to 1964. He did his internship in Medicine, and in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Groote Schuur Hospital in 1965, followed by a senior internship in Surgery at McCord’s Hospital in Durban. He then worked as a Registrar in Internal Medicine at the Erasmus University Academic Hospital in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. After a short spell in General Practice in Durban, he joined the Department of Physiology at the University of Cape Town as a lecturer in 1972. He obtained his PhD in 1980 (Thesis title: “Post-exercise ketosis in non-diabetic subjects”), and was promoted to ad hominem Associate Professor in Physiology and Human Biology in 1987. He was appointed Head of the Department of Medical Physiology at the University of Stellenbosch in 1990. He has published 82 full articles in professional journals, on a wide variety of subjects ranging from exercise physiology, post-exercise ketosis, physiological homeostats (especially the Insulin-Glucagon-hGH counter-regulatory system, and how disturbances of its mechanism might cause Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus), as well as various aspects of evolutionary biology (such as the engine of speciation, the evolution of sex, the evolutionary affordability of males, punctuated evolutionary equilibria, the evolution of cooperation and koinophilia, which he believes provides a parsimonious explanation of many of the above... read more

Proffessor Amanda Lochner

Prof. Amanda Lochner graduated at the University of Stellenbosch [B.Sc. 1957 (cum Laude); M.Sc. 1959 (cum laude); D.Sc. 1964; Ph.D. 1977]. She was a research fellow in the Department of Medicine, University of Texas, South-Western Medical School, Dallas Texas 1962-1963. On her return to South Africa, she was appointed as a research assistant in the CSIR Degenerative Diseases Group, Faculty of Medicine, University of Stellenbosch (1964-1970). From 1970-1987 she was a senior specialist scientist in the MRC Molecular and Cellular Cardiology Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Stellenbosch. Since 1988 she has been a chief specialist scientist in the MRC Programme for Experimental Biology, Dept of Medical Physiology and Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Stellenbosch. She was appointed as an Associate Professor at the University of Stellenbosch (ad hominem) in 1990, and as Extraordinary Professor in the Department of Medical Physiology and Biochemistry (University of Stellenbosch) in 1998. Prof Amanda Lochner was President of the Physiology Society of Southern Africa from 1997 till 2001. She was vice-president of the International Society of Pathophysiology 2002-2004. She regularly serves on the evaluation panels of the National Research Foundation. She is a member of the editorial boards of the Cardiovascular Journal of Africa, Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy and Acta Hungaria Physiologica.Prof Lochner retired in 2006 and has since been employed by the University of Stellenbosch on a contract basis as Extraordinary Professor in the Division of Medical Physiology, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences. Research interests Elucidation of events in myocardial ischaemia and reperfusion and cardioprotection have formed the major thrust of her research efforts. Current interests are... read more

Professor David Gray      

Prof. David Gray was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in the North-East of England and he was educated (BSc and MSc) in England prior to taking up his first job as a research scientist in the Division of Endocrine Physiology and Pharmacology at the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), Mill Hill, London. At the NIMR he was privileged to work with John Parsons, one of the pre-eminent researchers of the time in the field of parathyroid hormone physiology. In 1981 he moved to Germany to work at one of the Max-Planck Institutes at the W.G. Kerckhoff Institute for Clinical Research located in Bad Nauheim, just north of Frankfurt. At the Kerckhoff Institute he carried out research into the endocrine control of salt and fluid balance, primarily in birds and during his time there he was again privileged to work with two world renowned physiologists, Eckhart Simon and Ted Hammel. During the period 1986 and 1987 Dave was awarded an overseas scholarship by the Max-Planck Society and completed his PhD at the University of Port Elizabeth, South Africa (now known as NMMU) where he carried out studies in the field of osmoregulation in sea birds under the guidance of Theunis Erasmus.   In 1992 Dave left Germany to return to South Africa, spending two years at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, before joining the Department of General Physiology, which was one of two physiology departments at the time, at Wits. His research interests continued to be in the field of avian osmoregulation, however, following the amalgamation of the two Departments of Physiology into a single department in 1996, the focus... read more

Professor Barbara Huisamen

Prof. Huisamen is the chief specialist scientist with the Sa MRC in the Biomedical research and innovation platform and is an associate professor in the Biomedical Sciences department, division of medical physiology of the faculty of medicine and health Sciences at the Stellenbosch university. Prof. Huisamen is internationally recognised for her scientific contribution, with over 60 peer-reviewed journal publications, an array of research collaborations and many local and international conference presentations under her belt, it is no wonder that she is being honoured by the society. She has two research fields of interest whose outcomes may possibly find themselves’ crossing paths further downstream. one focuses purely on basic science research into the cardiovascular complications associated with obesity and insulin resistance, hypertension and type 2 diabetes while the other involves studying potential nutraceuticals that can be used to successfully treat these diseases. the former research project investigates a protein that forms part of the dna repair system, the ataxia telangiectasia mutated (atm) protein. it is the central role player in a genetic disease called ataxia telangiectasia, where the afflicted person expresses atm in very low levels as a truncated, malfunctional protein. these patients have a very high incidence of type 2 diabetes and ischaemic heart disease. atm is also a cytosolic signalling protein that her research group has shown is a prerequisite for glucose uptake in cardiomyocytes and are currently attempting to elucidate the importance of this protein in obesity. the nutraceutical projects are pre-clinical studies and aims to (i) characterize mitophagy in the heart With respect to ischemia- reperfusion injury and whether melatonin as antioxidant, could modulate this process, and... read more

Professor Vivienne Russell

Prof. Russell is in the department of human Biology at the university of cape town, and is also a fractional professor in the School of laboratory medicine and medical Science at the college of health Sciences, university of Kwazulu-natal. her research field is neuroscience in which she focuses on animal models of brain disorders. projects include studies of attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder (adhd), parkinson’s disease and the effect of stress and exercise on the brain. in more recent years, she focused on the problem of neuroenergetics and the consequences in terms of brain disorders when the energy supply to functioning neuronal networks is compromised. Prof Russell is internationally recognised for her research contributions; with over 140 peer- reviewed journal publications, 8 chapters in books, extensive international research collaborations and has presented at countless local and international conference proceedings. She is also the currently chair of the Scientific committee of the international Brain research organization (iBro) african center for advanced training in neuroscience at the university of cape town. when asked what her motivation for choosing neuroscience as her field of research was, she eloquently articulated: “I was motivated by a desire to understand why humans do what we do. The brain with its connections to nearly every part of the body is remarkable and presents an unequalled challenge with the promise to significantly enhance our understanding of life.” her success, she says has always been based on team effort, and even more she says that her success is foremost shared with her students and her collaborators across the globe. She believes that her achievements would not have been possible without... read more

Duncan Mitchell

Born in Germiston, Duncan Mitchell now is Emeritus Professor of Physiology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and Honorary Professorial Research Fellow in its Brain Function Research Group, from the directorship of which he retired in 2006.  Before joining the University in 1975, he was on the scientific staff of the National Institute for Medical Research, London, England, and of the Research Organization of the Chamber of Mines of South Africa.  His research started in the field of applied human physiology of deep-level mining, and he has added research in neurophysiology, fever physiology, and ecophysiology to a lifelong career in thermal physiology.  His interest in neurophysiology has led to a parallel research programme in pain pathophysiology and pharmacology.  With his colleagues and students at the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Western Australia and Lethbridge University, Canada, he currently is pursuing research in conservation physiology related to climate change, in the pathophysiology of pain resulting from HIV and its treatment, and in sickness behaviour.  He regards the award to him of the Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship for 2010 as the pinnacle of his research career.... read more