UKZN hosted the 25th Neuroscience School in Africa on the Westville campus from October 24-28.
Every year, global neuroscience bodies such as the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) and the International Society for Neuroscience (ISN) fund neuroscience schools in Africa. This year the programme was organised by the South African Neuroscience Society (SANS).
UKZN’s Professor Willie Daniels, the outgoing South African Neurosciences Society (SANS) Chair, together with his local SANS organising committee from the University’s Human Physiology (Dr Musa Mabandla); Therapeutics and Medicines Management (Dr Strini Naidoo); SUME, the Curriculum co-ordinating Facility for Undergraduate Medical Education at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, (Dr Kogie Moodley); and Anatomy (Mr Salem Kharwa) departments, brought together local and international scientists to provide a four-day programme of intense neuro-biology, neuro-physiology, and neuro-anatomy practical workshops and neuroscience research.
Students from around the continent submitted abstracts of their research projects and 25 out of approximately 80 submissions were chosen to be presented at the Neuroscience School.
The students said they were inspired by the opportunity to network with and get mentored by experts and academics of international ranking. “It was fantastic meeting the international neuroscience faculty members,” said Ms Jennifer Hsieh, an MSc student at the University of Cape Town.
Mr Pamphyle Abedi, a student from the Democratic Republic of Congo who is studying at Université Mohammed V in Morocco said he was particularly humbled by the warmth and work ethic displayed by the SANS organisers. Fascinated by the human central nervous system, his research focuses on Parkinson’s disease, and he said attending the School was exactly what he needed.
Honours student at UKZN Ms Sizakele Hlengwa said it was a great experience hosting so many students from around the continent. The School reaffirmed her passion for research on the neuro-physiology of addiction.