Celebration of knowledge creation, sharing

Photo (middle): Prof Wim de Villiers

Photo (middle): Prof Wim de Villiers

The sharing of knowledge is one of the key features of a university and according to Stellenbosch University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Wim de Villiers, this role was eloquently fulfilled at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences’ (FMHS) 59th Annual Academic Day recently held at the Tygerberg Campus.

“A day like this is all about impact,” De Villiers said of the 80 oral presentations, 120 poster presentations and seven state-of-the-art presentations delivered by researchers at the FMHS.

“We need to make a tangible difference in people’s lives – universities are not ivory towers, we are situated in communities facing challenges where we can have an impact,” said De Villiers.

“This day provides us with an opportunity to present our work and to celebrate the way we do research to the benefit of our nation and the rest of the world,” said the FMHS’s Deputy Dean: Research, Prof Nico Gey van Pittius. The research presented were categorised in seven health care themes aligned with the priorities of the National Development Plan which are based on the needs of the country. These include non-communicable diseases, infectious diseases, maternal and child health, perioperative sciences, mental health and neuroscience, violence and injury, and trauma and rehabilitation.

According to FMHS Dean, Prof Jimmy Volmink, research in the faculty has increased considerably, with both the number of PhD graduates and research outputs doubling in the past decade, resulting in a “measurable impact on both science and society”.

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