Biomedical Sciences Exchange PhD studentships

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Medical Sciences Division

Abstract

South Africa is at the sharp end of a complex health dynamic - the collision of communicable disease with an ever-growing burden of non-communicable disease. The country has one of the world's largest human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemics and highest incidence rates of tuberculosis. South Africa also mirrors much of the developing world in facing a rapid growth in chronic, non-communicable diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease and neuropsychiatric disorders. The capacity to conduct relevant health research in Africa must be increased if these problems are to be addressed, and development and expansion of international collaborative networks are vital to achieving this.
This programme will strengthen and extend ongoing collaborations between the University of Oxford (UOXF) and the University of Cape Town (UCT) within the area of biomedical science. Thirteen research partnerships in health-related fields will be strategically united. The fields will include infectious diseases, vaccine development, primary care, child and adolescent health, mental health, neurosciences, musculoskeletal disorders, diabetes and cancer. These focus areas include leading causes of global disease burden and disability. These partnership groups will exchange 10 PhD students from each of UOXF and UCT to the other institution for 3-6 months to learn new research techniques and strengthen the collaborative links between the research groups.
The programme will also bring all collaborating students and their supervisors together for a networking meeting to transfer knowledge and plan future collaborative activity to sustainably research critical aspects of the health of South African and global populations. It will also specifically engage with Historically Disadvantaged Institutions in South Africa with a view to developing capacity more widely within the country.
We anticipate that this programme will strengthen links between the UK and South Africa, foster a cadre of networked early-career scientists who embrace diversity and the challenge to improve the status quo, contribute to the imperative to transform South Africa's higher education sector, and deliver exceptional quality biomedical science outputs that will ultimately advance medical knowledge and improve the health and development capability of South Africa and the UK.

Planned Impact

For each of the fields of biomedical research covered in this application, the exchanges will facilitate the transfer and expansion of knowledge in that field. This will be of benefit to all academic and industrial researchers within the relevant fields and may ultimately contribute to the development of new interventions, therapies, vaccines, and treatments for many important causes of the combined global burden of disease. The advancement of medical therapies will improve health for everyone, particularly, given many of the conditions being studied by the co-applicant groups, those living in poverty. This collaboration is in a field of particular political, socioeconomic and ethical significance for South Africa - health. The disease burden in South Africa is massive, as highlighted by Mayosi & Benatar (NEJM 2014): "the health and well-being of most South Africans remain plagued by a relentless burden of infectious and noncommunicable diseases, persisting social disparities, and inadequate human resources to provide care for a growing population".

Publications

10 25 50

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Esterhuizen AI (2018) Clinical Application of Epilepsy Genetics in Africa: Is Now the Time? in Frontiers in neurology

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Jacobs AJ (2016) Antibodies and tuberculosis. in Tuberculosis (Edinburgh, Scotland)

 
Description Student Exchanges
The primary focus of the programme is to broaden and deepen the research experience of PhD students from the University of Oxford (OXF) and the University of Cape Town (UCT) by allowing a funded exchange whereby they can experience research in a collaborating group in a very different research setting.
In the five rounds of project applications, fourteen students from the University of Cape Town have gone to the University of Oxford, working in the fields of Experimental Psychology, Cancer Research, Genetics and Genomics, Population Health, Neuroscience, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Vaccinology.
In those same rounds, eight students have gone from the University of Oxford to the University of Cape Town, working in the fields of Primary Care Health Sciences, Neuro-Genomics, Data Analytics, and Psychiatry. The data obtained from these exchange studentships will be included in their PhD theses, for future publications and for subsequent funding applications. This will facilitate sustainable collaborations between the student and host group; and strengthen the existing collaborations between the home and host groups.

Partnering Activities
The scheme also offered three partnering activity opportunities, namely, (1) 2-day networking meeting in Cape Town, (2) a grant holder visit to a historically disadvantaged institution and (3) an opportunity for UCT PIs to travel to Oxford University to visit their partner PI.

(1) The Cape Town networking meeting took place on the 25-26th September 2018. UCT and OXF PI's and students came together to share their experiences, project outcomes and future relationships, which developed because of their exchange opportunity. We also invited researchers from historically disadvantaged institutions (HDI's) in SA to attend this meeting in order to potentially initiate collaboration. Dr Maphoshane Nchabeleng and Prof Mathildah Mokgatle from Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) in Pretoria presented Doctoral Programme activities in their respective departments. A funder representative from the National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF-SA) joined the meeting and discussed the aims and objectives of future funding mechanisms within the NRF that the audience found very useful. This meeting event was very successful, and students presented high quality projects.

(2) The grant holders visited SMU on 27 September 2018 in an effort to foster future collaborations and interaction with an HDI institution through the Newton scheme with UCT and Oxford Universities. It is clear that SMU academics and postgraduate students are eager to expand their research network by linking with UCT and Oxford. Support for co-supervision and mentoring of SMU PhD students was identified as a key need that could be met by external collaborators.

(3) The UCT PI visits to Oxford have encouraged continued building of UCT-OXF PI links for sustaining existing collaborations. They also sought to strengthen the existing relationships and further enhance the research related links through development of a concept proposal for a 2nd cycle of the PhD exchange programme, expanded to include SMU in North-South and South-South components.
Exploitation Route The data arising from the exchange studentships has already been included in PhD theses, publications and conference presentations and there will be further outputs arising in due course. Findings will be published in open access, peer reviewed journals in a timely fashion.
Sectors Healthcare,Other

 
Description The main aims of this 3-year partnership scheme are a) to facilitate the building of sustainable, long-lasting links between SA and the UK to support training of PhD students and b) to contribute to the development of an international cohort of early career researchers with skills, links & contacts to operate in the global research environment. The students that have taken part in this exchange programme thus far have spent time in the host laboratories and accessed new research facilities to further their PhD projects and to establish research related links in the host department. Consequently students had the opportunity to receive expert training and in some cases able to attended seminar, workshops and conferences to support their current research projects and personal development. A successful exchange has also resulted in planned manuscripts for submission to peer reviewed journals. The students have maintained good relationships with their host research group and have fostered relationships that will potentially lead to future long term collaborations. Equal and meaningful opportunities were put in place from the start of this grant, without discrimination, especially on the grounds of one's sex, race, or age. Selection criteria for student applications included: quality of application, impact of project and future pathway for both student and partnership. Preference was given to students with excellent projects and those who do not have current funding for such an exchange. Out of the 22 student exchanges that took place 11 were male and 11 were female. Our team supported the students at all times and there were no reported incidences of discrimination.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Healthcare
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Ashley Jacobs, Harry Crossley Fellowship
Amount R 138,274 (ZAR)
Organisation Harry Crossley Foundation 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country South Africa
Start 05/2019 
End 05/2020
 
Description Impact of RTS,S/AS01 vaccine and insecticide- treated bed nets on neurobehavioural impairment and school participation in children from rural Kenya
Amount € 149,623 (EUR)
Funding ID TMA2017CDF-1903 
Organisation Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) 
Department European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership
Sector Public
Country Netherlands
Start 03/2019 
End 03/2022
 
Description Symon Kariuki (UCT student) Early career MQ Fellowship
Amount £225,000 (GBP)
Organisation MQ Transforming Mental Health 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2017 
End 11/2020
 
Description Student exchange, Ashley Jacobs (Helen McShane/Rob Wilkinson) 
Organisation University of Cape Town
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Ashley spent time in my lab in Oxford (multiple trips since 2016) he is due to submit his thesis this year, and has a clinical post due to start in February 2020. The award has helped him secure additional funding for his PhD (see additional funding section). He is contributing a figure to a manuscript with collaborators from the University of Stellenbosch, and has also begun a new collaboration with researchers at Rutgers University. During his research trips to Oxford, Ashley worked with post-docs in my lab to develop novel assays for measuring functionality of antibodies. He obtained data that will be included in his thesis and future publications. He attended research meetings and seminars to acquire knowledge in clinical vaccinology. He attended the UK Acid Fast Club meetings in London as well as Leicester. Ashley also undertook career development courses at the Jenner Institute.
Collaborator Contribution See above
Impact 1. Secured additional funding (see funding section). 2. Contributing a figure to a manuscript 3. Career development (see next destination). He is due to submit his thesis next year
Start Year 2016
 
Description Student exchange, Caitlin Taylor (Professor Digby Warner/Professor Siamon Gordon) 
Organisation University of Cape Town
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution My research team and I helped to organise/facilitate this partnership by organising the management committee (who scored and awarded the student exchange applications), managing the grant, expenses and helping with the logistics of the exchange (including travel, stipends, bench fees, support). The management committee awarded a travel grant to this student based on; quality of application, impact of project and future pathway for both student and partnership. Preference was given to students with excellent projects and those who do not have current funding for such an exchange
Collaborator Contribution 1. Acquired new skills and access to techniques and equipment. During her exchange she was afforded the opportunity to learn immunological cell culture techniques for various cell lines (THP-1 cell line, human whole blood, mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages and Max Planck Institute (MPI) cells). Learnt the technique of flow cytometry and the skills necessary for analysis of flow cytometric data. She was able to observe the cell surface structure of cell wall deficient Msm by utilizing Cryo-Electron Microscopy at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, Oxford. 2. Extended collaborations: She worked with PhD students in Prof Gordon's team and the wider research community, this was all vital for her research and PhD work. Prof. Siamon Gordon has an extensive network of academic connections and she was introduced to several people at Oxford, including Antony Galione (Pharmacology) to discuss calcium signalling of host immune cells in response to mycobacterial spheroplasts, Claire Hill (Sir William Dunn School of Pathology) and David Vaux (Sir William Dunn School of Pathology) to discuss accurate quantification of small vesicles (similar in size to spheroplasts). She met with Professor Jeffery Errington (Director of the Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology, University of Newcastle), a pioneer in the field of bacterial spheroplasts. Prof. Gordon also arranged for her to spend a week at the lab of Dr Gyorgy Fejer at the University of Plymouth. Whilst in Plymouth, she learnt the techniques necessary to culture and infect MPI cells with Msm. Dr Fejer was very helpful and has offered to share his MPI cell line with her research group at the University of Cape Town (UCT).
Impact Extended collaborations (discussed above) Career progression
Start Year 2019
 
Description Student exchange, Delesa Damena (Dr. Chimusa Rugamika/Prof. Dominic Kwiatkowski) 
Organisation University of Cape Town
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution My research team and I helped to organise/facilitate this partnership by organising the management committee (who scored and awarded the student exchange applications), managing the grant, expenses and helping with the logistics of the exchange (including travel, stipends, bench fees, support). The management committee awarded a travel grant to this student based on; quality of application, impact of project and future pathway for both student and partnership. Preference was given to students with excellent projects and those who do not have current funding for such an exchange.
Collaborator Contribution During her exchange Delesa developed workable knowledge and skills on big human GWAS and post-GWAS data analysis. She prioritized tools to be applied in PhD work. She was given relevant training.
Impact Accepted publication (see publication section)
Start Year 2016
 
Description Student exchange, Dylan Barth (Professor Mark Engel/Dr Kremlin Wickramasinghe & Prof Nick Townsend) 
Organisation University of Cape Town
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution My research team and I helped to organise/facilitate this partnership by organising the management committee (who scored and awarded the student exchange applications), managing the grant, expenses and helping with the logistics of the exchange (including travel, stipends, bench fees, support). The management committee awarded a travel grant to this student based on; quality of application, impact of project and future pathway for both student and partnership. Preference was given to students with excellent projects and those who do not have current funding for such an exchange
Collaborator Contribution This project formed part of the mandate by the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Coordination Mechanism (GCM) on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases to disseminate knowledge and share information based on scientific evidence with regard to the implementation of the global action plan for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, 2013 - 2020. At the time, Dylan's department at UCT were hosting research for the Pan African Societies of Cardiology, assisting WHO-Afro in Rheumatic Heart Disease research, and it was envisaged that he would take responsibility for the extension of the programme in Southern Africa, under the leadership and guidance of colleagues at Oxford. As part of the exchange Dylan attended a WHO Oxford workshop on Strengthening National NCD Implementation Research Capacity. 12-13 July 2017, Oxford, UK.
Impact 1. WHO Report: Dylan wrote a report for the WHO on the Oxford workshop (mentioned above) and documented the achievements and outputs of the meeting 2. Career progression (see next destination section). In the final month of his exchange in Oxford, he saw a postdoc position being advertised in Western Australia with world leading researchers in Rheumatic Heart Disease and Strep A infections. He applied for the position and with the help of this supervisors in Oxford and Cape Town, he was offered the position. He submitted his thesis for examination in February 2018. Since then he moved to Perth and is currently undertaking a postdoc at the Telethon Kids Institute, based at the Perth Children's Hospital. He attributes much of his career progression to his Oxford Exchange.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Student exchange, Emily Tangie (Helen McShane/Muazzam Jacobs & Roanne Keeton) 
Organisation University of Cape Town
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Emily visited my lab in 2018. My research team and I helped to organise/facilitate this partnership by organising the management committee (who scored and awarded the student exchange applications), managing the grant, expenses and helping with the logistics of the exchange (including travel, stipends, bench fees, support). The management committee awarded a travel grant to this student based on; quality of application, impact of project and future pathway for both student and partnership. Preference was given to students with excellent projects and those who do not have current funding for such an exchange. During her time in my lab Emily completed a section of her PhD thesis, participated in the medical sciences divisional talks targeted to biomedical researchers and Oxford open doors program. She worked with post docs in my lab to develop skills and obtain data that will be included in his thesis and future publications.
Collaborator Contribution see above
Impact 1. Based on the findings generated during the trip, there was a need to confirm the exvivo assay with an invivo infection model upon return to the home institute. Successfully obtained a new ethical approval for the work and completed the invivo part of the work with a repeat experiment in mouse model. We currently have enough evidence required for a joint publication. Plans to submit April 2020 2. Career progression. Plans to submit her thesis in Feb 2020
Start Year 2018
 
Description Student exchange, Ezekiel Musa (Prof Mushi Matjila and Prof Levitt/Prof Manu Vatish) 
Organisation University of Cape Town
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution My research team and I helped to organise/facilitate this partnership by organising the management committee (who scored and awarded the student exchange applications), managing the grant, expenses and helping with the logistics of the exchange (including travel, stipends, bench fees, support). The management committee awarded a travel grant to this student based on; quality of application, impact of project and future pathway for both student and partnership. Preference was given to students with excellent projects and those who do not have current funding for such an exchange
Collaborator Contribution Ezekiel was given the opportunity to attend weekly laboratory meetings. He learnt and performed new techniques (Western blot, Immunoprecipitation, Immunohistochemistry, Protein concentration quantification using Qubit and BCA protein assay methods). He learnt and performed quantitative real-time PCR which is relevant to his PhD and future research. He observed the technique of placental perfusion, a cutting-edge technique used in extracting syncytiotrophoblast extracellular vesicles.
Impact 1. The research data he gathered while learning laboratory techniques at University of Oxford was presented at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Cape Town, Research Day, 05 December 2019. 2. He was awarded additional funding by the Centre for Trophoblast Research (CTR) University of Cambridge to attend a Placenta Biology Course which held at the CTR, University of Cambridge, UK from 30 June 2019 to 05 July 2019. Achievement gained at the course: Prof Graham Burton (Director of the Centre for Trophoblast Research University of Cambridge) offered to bring the Placenta Biology Course to Africa for the first time in order to build capacity in placenta research where Ezekiel's PhD research is embedded. Ezekiel linked Prof Burton with his co-supervisor Prof Mushi Matjila to finalise the process and hopefully the first version of the Placenta Biology Course will be held next year at the University of Cape Town between March and April 2020.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Student exchange, Jacquiline Mugo (Prof Nicola Mulder/Prof Mark McCarthy) 
Organisation University of Cape Town
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution My research team and I helped to organise/facilitate this partnership by organising the management committee (who scored and awarded the student exchange applications), managing the grant, expenses and helping with the logistics of the exchange (including travel, stipends, bench fees, support). The management committee awarded a travel grant to this student based on; quality of application, impact of project and future pathway for both student and partnership. Preference was given to students with excellent projects and those who do not have current funding for such an exchange
Collaborator Contribution see above
Impact 1. A publication on the work that she started while at Oxford is being prepared. The title is "JasMAP: A Joint Ancestry and SNP Association tool for Multi-way Admixed Populations. 2. Final year of PhD, aiming to submit her thesis early 2020
Start Year 2016
 
Description Student exchange, Jenna Bleloch (Professor Sharon Prince/Professor Colin Goding) 
Organisation University of Cape Town
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution My research team and I helped to organise/facilitate this partnership by organising the management committee (who scored and awarded the student exchange applications), managing the grant, expenses and helping with the logistics of the exchange (including travel, stipends, bench fees, support). The management committee awarded a travel grant to this student based on; quality of application, impact of project and future pathway for both student and partnership. Preference was given to students with excellent projects and those who do not have current funding for such an exchange
Collaborator Contribution Training opportunities, access to facilities, learnt new techniques. She spent 4 months in the Goding Laboratory, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, and collaborated with the High Throughput Screening group at the Target Discovery Institute to design, optimise, automate and run a high throughput drug repurposing screen with 1600 already FDA-approved drugs. They successfully automated and ran the intended drug screen. After data analyses, several promising 'hit' compounds were identified which are currently being validated at both UCT and Oxford laboratories.
Impact 1. The results obtained during her exchange have generated new projects and two MSc students have been recruited to work on these projects in 2018 in the Prince laboratory. These results will also lead to publications. 2. She presented this work at the following conferences: • "Repurposing FDA-approved drugs that target transcription factors for their use in cancer therapy". Oral presentation at the international ICGEB Workshop "Transcription factors in cancer therapy," October 2018, Cape Town • "A high throughput screen to identify FDA-approved drugs that target the oncogenic TBX2 and TBX3 for anti-cancer activity". Oral presentation at the University of Cape Town Health Sciences Faculty Postgraduate Research Day, September 2017. Award for best oral presentation. 3. A Masters project emanated from this work and has subsequently been upgraded to a PhD. The title of the PhD project is "Repurposing drugs that target the oncogenic TBX3 to treat cervical cancer." Saif Khan who is undertaking this project was awarded a competitive National Research Foundation Innovation Scholarship and the University of Cape Town Incoming International Student Bursary. Saif has presented talks and posters at several local meetings: • "Repurposing of commercial drugs that target the oncogenic TBX3 for anti-cancer activity in breast and cervical cancer". Oral presentation at the SASBMB-FASBMB 26th annual conference, 2018. • "Repurposing of commercial drugs that target the oncogenic TBX3 for anti-cancer activity in cervical cancer". Poster presentation at the ICGEB workshop - "Transcription factors in cancer therapy," 2018. • "Repurposing of commercial drugs that target the oncogenic TBX3 for anti-cancer activity in cervical cancer". Oral presentation at the UCT Human Biology Research Day, 2018. • "Repurposing of commercial drugs that target the transcription factor TBX3 for anti-cancer activity in cervical cancer". Poster presentation at the SAMRC Biomedical Research & Innovation Platform Symposium, 2019. • "Repurposing of commercial drugs that target the transcription factor TBX3 for anti-cancer activity in cervical cancer". Poster presentation at the HUB/IBMS/Pathology Postgraduate Research Day, 2019. 4. Her supervisor, Professor Sharon Prince, presented talks on the work at multiple meetings this year while on her sabbatical: • "Approaches to treating TBX2 and TBX3 oncogene addicted malignant melanoma". Instituto do Câncer do Estado de São Paulo (ICESP), Brazil, 7th November 2019. • "Targeting the oncogenic TBX3 to treat sarcoma". Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de la República (UDELAR), Montevideo, Uruguay, 23rd October 2019. • "Identifying novel drugs for the treatment of rhabdomyosarcoma". Plenary speaker Division of Medicinal Chemistry of the Brazilian Chemical Society 9th BRAZMEDCHEM Brazilian Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry Pirenópolis, Goiás - Brazil, 1-4 September 2019 • "Targeting the oncogenic TBX3 to treat sarcoma". Tópicos Avançados em Farmacologia e Ensino de Farmacologia, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, 28th August 2019 5. Identified several re purposed novel anti-cancer drugs that with further validation and characterisation have the potential to treat aggressive and resistant cancers in a possible turn-around (repurposed to commercial use) time of 3 to 5 years. 6. Fostered a new collaboration between Professor Goding and Prince with Daniel Ebner who leads the High Throughput Screening group at the Target Discovery Institute. They anticipate that the success of this joint project will seed future joint grant applications as well as student and post-doc exchanges that will enhance research capacity at UCT. 7. Career progression. Graduated with her PhD in July 2019. Offered a cellular screening research position in Daniel Ebner's lab in August 2018 to begin in early 2019. She decided to take some time off and do something completely different (see next destination section). Her plan is to begin a post-doc overseas mid-2020.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Student exchange, Jennifer Hirst (Prof Andrew Farmer/Professor Naomi Levitt and Dr Kirsten Bobrow) 
Organisation University of Cape Town
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution My research team and I helped to organise/facilitate this partnership by organising the management committee (who scored and awarded the student exchange applications), managing the grant, expenses and helping with the logistics of the exchange (including travel, stipends, bench fees, support). The management committee awarded a travel grant to this student based on; quality of application, impact of project and future pathway for both student and partnership. Preference was given to students with excellent projects and those who do not have current funding for such an exchange
Collaborator Contribution Training, data, lab work, support, meetings
Impact 1. The project she did while she was in Cape Town included a point-of-care HbA1c testing intervention in a diabetes clinic in Gugulethu Community Health Centre and qualitative element which involved focus groups with nurses who delivered the testing and doctors who acted on the result. The qualitative findings are being written up for a manuscript 2. Presented her study results at a seminar on Global Primary Care in Oxford 3. As a result of her exchange she was co-supervising Tawanda Chivese, a PhD student in Naomi Levitt's group, who was awarded the Newton partnership funding in 2017. 4. Career progression. Now completed her PhD and working full time in the Department of Primary Care Health Sciences as the Senior Researcher on a chronic kidney disease trial in primary care. She has applied for an NIHR fellowship to continue her work on point-of-care testing in primary care settings
Start Year 2016
 
Description Student exchange, Laura Heathfield (Professor Raj Ramesar and Professor Lorna Martin/Professor Hugh Watkins) 
Organisation University of Cape Town
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution My research team and I helped to organise/facilitate this partnership by organising the management committee (who scored and awarded the student exchange applications), managing the grant, expenses and helping with the logistics of the exchange (including travel, stipends, bench fees, support). The management committee awarded a travel grant to this student based on; quality of application, impact of project and future pathway for both student and partnership. Preference was given to students with excellent projects and those who do not have current funding for such an exchange
Collaborator Contribution Analyzed DNA samples at the High-Throughput Genomics unit then analysed vast amounts of data at the Bioinformatics and Statistical Genetics Unit. Attended research seminars/activities hosted by the Centre to network with researchers in Oxford. Visited Manlove Forensics Ltd in Oxfordshire.
Impact 1. Poster presentation at an international conference: Heathfield, L.J., Martin, L.J., and Ramesar, R.S. Sudden unexpected death in infancy: next generation sequencing adds value to cases from Cape Town, South Africa. The 28th congress of the International Society of Forensic Genetics, Prague, 9-13 September 2019. 2. Published conference proceeding: Heathfield, L.J., Martin, L.J., and Ramesar, R.S. (2019). Massively parallel sequencing in sudden unexpected death in infants: a case report in South Africa. Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplementary Series. Accepted. 3. A new internal collaboration with the Division of Medical Microbiology 4. She has applied for the MRC Self initiated Research grant for 2020 - 2022 5. Career progression. Completed her PhD and is a Lecturer in the Division of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (see next destination section).
Start Year 2017
 
Description Student exchange, Oliver Van Hecke (Chris Butler/Marc Mendelson) 
Organisation University of Cape Town
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution My research team and I helped to organise/facilitate this partnership by organising the management committee (who scored and awarded the student exchange applications), managing the grant, expenses and helping with the logistics of the exchange (including travel, stipends, bench fees, support). The management committee awarded a travel grant to this student based on; quality of application, impact of project and future pathway for both student and partnership. Preference was given to students with excellent projects and those who do not have current funding for such an exchange
Collaborator Contribution Enhanced collaborative links with University of Cape Town. Refined design for a future Oxford/UCT research program in South Africa. Conference presentation(s). Feedback to local clinics, research team and Health Department.
Impact 1. Accepted publication (see publication section).
Start Year 2016
 
Description Student exchange, Symon Kariuki (Prof Charles Newton/Professor Dan Stein) 
Organisation University of Cape Town
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution My research team and I helped to organise/facilitate this partnership by organising the management committee (who scored and awarded the student exchange applications), managing the grant, expenses and helping with the logistics of the exchange (including travel, stipends, bench fees, support). The management committee awarded a travel grant to this student based on; quality of application, impact of project and future pathway for both student and partnership. Preference was given to students with excellent projects and those who do not have current funding for such an exchange
Collaborator Contribution Given the opportunity to attend a short course on genetic epidemiology and participated in an international workshop. Formed collaborations with UCT towards genetics studies of psychotic disorders in African populations. Was made aware of other academic resources in UCT resulting in him joining an online EEG course at UCT which he has been undertaking for the last 7 months. Established scientific contacts and collaborations that would later define his postdoc career.
Impact 1. Publication accepted (see publications section). 2. His supervisor and host supervisor are collaborating on a project and the protocol has now been published https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/9/2/e025469. 3. Since completing the exchange he has obtained two early career fellowships (see additional funding section). 4. Career progression (see next destination section). After his PhD he was retained as a postdoc fellow at KEMRI-Wellcome programme, he was appointed honorary research fellow at University of Oxford, Affiliates fellow of African Academy of Sciences and training fellow at Broad institute of Harvard University and MIT. 5. Developed a clear interest in neurogenomics and since the exchange, he has started postdoctoral training in neurogenomics with Harvard University. He was taught data analysis skills during the exchange programme that he is utilising in his current work.
Start Year 2016
 
Description multiple new collaborations formed and existing collaborations strengthened 
Organisation University of Cape Town
Department Faculty of Health Sciences
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Five rounds of project applications, fourteen students from the University of Cape Town have gone to the University of Oxford, working in the fields of Experimental Psychology, Cancer Research, Genetics and Genomics, Population Health, Neuroscience, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Vaccinology. In those same rounds, eight students have gone from the University of Oxford to the University of Cape Town, working in the fields of Primary Care Health Sciences, Neuro-Genomics, Data Analytics, and Psychiatry. The data obtained from these exchange studentships will be included in their PhD theses, for future publications and for subsequent funding applications. This will facilitate sustainable collaborations between the student and host group; and strengthen the existing collaborations between the home and host groups. The partnerships/collaborations listed to date on this award are the partnerships where tangible outputs have been reached. There will be other potential collaborations for the future.
Collaborator Contribution as above
Impact as above
Start Year 2016
 
Description 2 day networking meeting in Cape Town, September 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Networking meeting with students, PIs, funders.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description SMU visit September 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact MH and I visited SMU, Pretoria, a historically disadvantaged site. we both spoke about our work and the Newton exchange programme. there was a lot of interest in being involved in exchanges with both UCT and UOXF
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018