A Wits alumnus and a professor are honoured at the NRF Awards for their research contributions.
A WITS University professor and an alumnus each won an award at the National Research Foundation (NRF) Awards held at the Lord Charles Hotel in Western Cape.
Head of pharmaceutics, Professor Viness Pillay, and professor of higher education at New York University, Teboho Moja, won special recognition awards at the annual event, which was hosted by Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Dr Blade Nzimande.
“The special recognition awards provide a platform to honour researchers for career achievements and contributions to knowledge creation and dissemination, as well as capacity development and transformation,” according to the NRF.
Professor Pillay won the Champion of Research Capacity and Transformation at South African Higher Institutions Award as acknowledgment for his “contributions to the transformation of South Africa’s science community and landscape”.
“His pioneering approach to molecular modelling as a paradigm is a first in the field of pharmaceutics that allows him to produce cross-cutting innovation in biomaterials, tissue engineering, nano-medicines and molecular modelling that can be applied to drug delivery systems and 3D-bioprinted matrices,” stated NRF.
Moja received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
This award is given for extraordinary contributions of international standard that are considered to impact and develop the science in and for South Africa over an extended period.
Moja told Wits Vuvuzela that “[This award] recognises the lifetime contribution I have made in the country that I did not realise is having an impact on our society.
“It comes close to the end of my active career life and it is recognition of the contributions [I have] made,” said the higher education professor.
Professor Moja hopes to continue her work to make a difference in people’s lives and wishes for more funding and more women to participate in science.
She is a three-times book co-author and has served as adviser for many more through her work with the Centre for Higher Education Transformation (CHET), a South African NGO that organises multidiscipline skills in different research and capacity development projects in the higher education sector, nationally and internationally.
“The special recognition awards provide a platform to honour researchers for career achievements and contributions to knowledge creation and dissemination, as well as capacity development and transformation,” according to the NRF website.
FEATURED IMAGE: Poster of the National Research Foundation Awards held on September 12. Photo:Provided
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