News of the ‘New Medical Biochemistry’ at UCT

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)