Institute leads cutting-edge biomedical research in Africa, for Africa

An investigator tracking the path of COVID-19, a scientist deciphering the body’s own armour against antimicrobial resistance, and an immunologist studying the placentas of pregnant women for clues that can explain preterm births. These are but three of the scientists at Stellenbosch University who are contributing to research for impact in Africa, and the world at large.

A spice as medicine: The possible role of turmeric in treating Parkinson’s disease

Scientists are investigating curcumin’s possible role in guarding against Parkinson’s disease (PD), a degenerative neurological condition that develops when brain cells stop producing enough dopamine. Recently, Stellenbosch University’s researchers have also started studying curcumin’s use in PD treatment, and its role in gut-brain interaction.

The future of microbiome-based therapeutics

A new study on the relationship between our gut microbiome and the brain provides a stepping-stone for future research into microbiome-related therapeutics to prevent or treat mental health disorders. For the past 35 years, Prof Leon Dicks has dedicated his research in the Department of Microbiology to the study of lactic acid bacteria, a group of bacteria that are beneficial to humans.

Breakthrough work on microclots may explain long COVID

Proteomics. Genomics. Systems biology. Machine learning. Researchers at Stellenbosch University (SU) are using all possible tools to figure out how exactly the coronavirus disease (COVID), caused by the SARS-CoV2 virus, develops into long COVID, which affects an estimated 1,2 million South Africans.

Crossing boundaries to build bridges – CERI leads the fight against epidemics

At the Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation (CERI), a team of scientists is crossing transdisciplinary boundaries in its search for information regarding health threats, and in its interpretation of this data. Leading this team is Prof Tulio de Oliveira, director of CERI and the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRiSP).

Tygerberg at forefront of surgical training with Da Vinci robot

The future of advanced surgery undoubtedly lies in technology and, increasingly, in using robotics for complicated surgical procedures. As such, it was a big moment for Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences (FMHS) when, in February 2022, the first operation using the newly acquired Da Vinci Xi robot was performed at Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town.

The long road to curing TB, together

A centuries-old disease still stalks humankind today. What is becoming increasingly clear, though, is that the answer may lie in researchers, scientists and patients first finding their common humanity.

Blood as a life-saving source of data

The academic gown that Dr Marion Vermeulen will don when she receives her PhD degree in virology in December 2022 will be as red as the topic of her thesis: blood. Vermeulen, transfusion medicine and technical services executive at the South African National Blood Service, has been doing work on this topic for close to 35 years.