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Drs Patience Mthunzi-Kufa and Angela Dudley fly CSIR flag high

Publication Date: 
Friday, September 15, 2017

CSIR Biophotonics research group leader, Dr Patience Mthunzi-Kufa was one of 20 young scientists selected and invited by the Department of Science and Technology to represent South Africa at the 2nd Annual BRICS Young Scientist Forum in China, Zhejiang University.

Contact Person

Dr Patience Mthunzi-Kufa

pmthunzikufa@csir.co.za

CSIR Biophotonics research group leader, Dr Patience Mthunzi-Kufa was one of 20 young scientists selected and invited by the Department of Science and Technology to represent South Africa at the 2nd Annual BRICS Young Scientist Forum in China, Zhejiang University.

BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Patience gave a talk on using lasers to administer antiretroviral drugs for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). “I found the opportunity of show-casing the novel and unique research performed by CSIR’s biophotonics team as refreshing and vital. I was also impressed with the quality of the talks and the work being done by researchers from all five BRICS countries,” she says.

The BRICS Young Scientist Forum aims to strengthen relationships among the five partner countries in science, technology, and innovation through relationships between young scientists sharing their innovative ideas and policy solutions. Patience adds, “Further prospects to mobilise resources for infrastructure to create sustainable development for BRICS countries will be achieved with the recently-launched New Development Bank.”

Adding to this team’s milestones is a cover publication feature on Journal Biophotonics. Taking centre stage in the October issue will be an article on the effects of low level laser therapy on both HIV-1 infected and uninfected TZM-bl cells.

Journal Biophotonics is an international journal dedicated to publishing reviews and original articles. The journal is highly interdisciplinary and publishes cutting edge research in the fields of life sciences, medicine, physics, chemistry, and engineering. The coverage extends from fundamental research to specific developments, while also including the latest applications.

Also making strides in the field of science is Dr Angela Dudley who has been identified by Incites Essential Science Indicators as one of the female authors with Highly Cited Papers between 2007 and 2016 in her field.

“I rarely monitor my citations, so I was pleasantly surprised to hear of this news. As scientists, we do our research because we enjoy it and it fascinates us and we want to push the boundries to see where it can solve everyday problems – and not for the citations. To me, this means that my peers value my scientific contributions which encourage me to keep pursuing these avenues of my research,” she says.

Angela works in the field of optics and photonics which is the science of light; creating, detecting and manipulating laser light. She is particularly interested in ‘shaping’ laser beams into various profiles (or ‘patterns’) for applications in increasing the bandwidth of optical communication systems and enhancing additive manufacturing processes. Angela attributes this achievement to her dynamic team members and skilled mentors who have guided and challenged her.

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