1. News of the ‘New Medical Biochemistry’ at UCT

    October 14, 2015 by Adrienne_test Edkins_test

    Many SASBMB members will know of the Department/Division of Medical Biochemistry at UCT Medical School. Originally the department was headed by SASBMB founding member Wieland Gevers, then for a period by Mario Ehlers, followed by SASBMB (and IUBMB) stalwart Iqbal Parker and since 2008 by SASBMB Vice-president Pete Meissner. Members will be interested to know that we have recently ‘morphed’ and restructured Medical Biochemistry at UCT into a new department, called the Dept. of Integrated Biomedical Sciences (DIBMS).

    The new grouping of disciplines to form the new Department of Integrative Biomedical Sciences was selected according to commonality in teaching, training and research in our historic pre-clinical divisions of Medical Biochemistry and Computational Biology. Broadly the new department is now able to provide a new, focused departmental home for teaching, training and research in classical Biochemistry and Structural Biology, together with advanced, integrated computational and molecular sciences, including the related emergent molecular disciplines of Computational Biology, Systems and Chemical Biology.

    With this evolution comes the appointment of SASBMB member Ed Sturrock as the new Head of Department – who is to be congratulated. This accompanies the appointment of Pete Meissner to become the new Director of Postgraduate Studies at UCT. He retains his professorship in the new department and continues his research and work in the Porphyria & Liver Laboratories.

    The new DIBMS will be officially inaugurated on 20th October in the Faculty of Health Sciences (link of news report and new departmental website will be posted once available).

    Contributed by Peter Meissner (October 2015)

  2. Congress 2018

    October 7, 2015 by Adrienne_test Edkins_test



    It is with great excitement that we announce the next SASBMB conference, held in conjunction with the Federation of African Societies of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (FASBMB), at the North-West University (NWU) in Potchefstroom between 8 and 11 July, 2018.

    This will be the 26th conference of the SASBMB, which has a proud history of presenting this conference over more than four decades on a rotational basis. As is done more or less every third rotation, this conference is held in conjunction with the FASBMB, which brings a broader – African – context to this meeting. Thus, appropriately, the theme for this conference is “Life begins here”, from which we can address a number of topics relevant to health, disease and technology in Africa. During the conference, the following twelve topics will be covered over the three days:

    Structural Biology
    Inflammation and Immunity
    Cell Biology
    Non-communicable Diseases
    Gene Regulation and Genomic Dynamics
    Inherited Metabolic and Neurodegenerative Diseases
    Plant Biology
    Drug Discovery & Medicinal Plants
    Systems Biology, “Omics” and Bioinformatics
    Infectious Diseases
    Bioenergetics and Biotransformation

    We will provide an intimate environment for this conference, which will be held on the scenic and friendly Potchefstroom campus of the NWU (for more about the NWU, see www.youvisit.com/tour/nwu). Potchefstroom is situated on the banks of the Mooi River in the North-Western Province, ±120 km southwest of Johannesburg. It borders the oldest and largest meteorite impact site in the world, called the Vredefort Dome – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Potchefstroom is among the oldest and most historic cities in this part of the country and, with the NWU at its core, has developed into the educational hub of the North-West Province.

    One of the aims of the SASBMB and FASBMB is to promote scientific exchange between academics and students of biochemistry and molecular biology. It is, thus, an objective of this conference to provide the opportunity for as many students as possible to attend this meeting. To do this, we will reduce the cost for student registration as much as possible. We also have arranged a range of accommodation and transport options at different cost structures, including a lower cost accommodation option mainly for students.

    The events management company, Londocor, organisers for the 2012 SASBMB-FASBMB conference, will again organise this conference. The conference website www.sasbmb-fasbmb2018.com will be active during August 2017 and will indicate the key dates. Registration and abstract submission will start on October 1, 2017.

    I warmly invite you to attend this conference and we look forward to welcoming you in Potchefstroom!

    Yours sincerely,

    Francois van der Westhuizen