Senior lecturer and Physiologist in UKZN’s School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences, Dr Andile Khathi has been appointed Secretary General and Treasurer of the Physiology Society of Southern Africa (PSSA).
The society that was founded in 1971 brings together physiologists and molecular biologists in southern Africa to discuss and shape the direction of scientific research. It has positioned itself as one of the key societies in the scientific landscape of South Africa, has established robust links with the African Association of Physiological Sciences and is also affiliated to the International Union of Physiological Sciences through the South African chapter that is supported by the National Research Foundation.
Khathi’s responsibilities as Secretary General and Treasurer entail ensuring the dissemination of society-related information to all members, managing the PSSA’s finances and working closely with host universities each year to ensure the smooth running of conferences.
‘I’m excited to be part of the leadership of this committee. I joined the Society as an honours student and it feels good to be a part of a society with some of the world’s best physiologists. I intend using this opportunity to learn further and to raise awareness of the study of physiology as a science,’ he said.
During his term of office, he plans to maximise participation among members.
‘I believe that we can definitely improve our use of technology and social media to raise awareness not only about our society but also to share our findings with all stakeholders.’
Born in Ntuzuma, in Durban, Khathi has always been fascinated by the workings of the human body. He is pleased that UKZN will be hosting the PSSA conference in 2021 and he hopes that this will increase awareness of this field within the University.
‘Physiology allows me to study the many tiny processes that occur in the body and thus to better understand the effects of disease and to design improved treatment strategies. I am particularly interested in endocrine disorders and this is the basis of the majority of my research,’ he said
Khathi was honoured in 2018 by the College of Health Sciences as the Best Emerging Teacher, an award that recognises newly-appointed academic staff who have demonstrated excellence in classroom or clinical teaching.
Words and photograph: Lihle Sosibo