The interconnected, growing threat of TB in animals and humans

Tuberculosis (TB) is often thought of as a disease that affects only humans when, in fact, it is a multi-host disease [that affects many species]. A team of researchers, based in Stellenbosch University's ​Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, are determined to understand exactly how the transmission of TB occurs between wildlife, livestock, and people.

SU fire engineers explore risks for humans and dwellings

“As a society, we need to understand how fires spread if we are to prevent them from becoming total disasters,” says Prof Richard Walls, who heads up the fire engineering team at Stellenbosch University (SU). “Urban fires can be incredibly dangerous, particularly in informal settlements.” Established in SU’s Department of Civil Engineering, this group of researchers is helping train the next generation of fire safety experts.

It’s not just about the guns

The question as to why certain disarmament programmes work while others don’t is the focus of DISARM, a project on the effect of disarmament on conflict recurrence. The project is a pivotal collaboration between Stellenbosch University and the Peace Research Institute Oslo. The project is the first systematic global study to look at what causes conflict recurrence after disarmament has taken place.

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.