Professor Nelita du Plessis awarded distinguished Bronze Medal at SAMRC 10th Annual Scientific Merit Awards

Written by Welile Dube

The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) awarded Associate Professor Nelita du Plessis, Head of the Innate Immunity Lab and Senior Researcher of the SU Immunology Research Group (IRG) within the Division of  Immunology, a Bronze Medal at the SAMRC 10th Annual Scientific Merit Awards.

The SAMRC strongly supports excellence in health research and has established a set of medal awards to recognise world-class science. Through these prestigious awards, the SAMRC aims to acknowledge outstanding contributions to health research, recognise individuals who have demonstrated exceptional scientific acumen or made innovative strides in addressing public health challenges, potentially influencing policy and thereby enhancing the well-being of the South African population.

Bronze medals are awarded annually to scientists who have recently entered into research, with not less than 5 years post PhD experience. The criteria for awarding bronze medals are as follows:

  1. Leadership: the researcher must show demonstrable potential to become an established researcher, with distinct and evident scientific and leadership potential.
  2. Capacity Development: The researcher must have graduated Masters students and must be supervising (or have already graduated) PhD students.
  3. Grant writing: The researcher must have independently sourced grant funding for their research work in the past 5 years.
  4. Transformation: The researcher must add to the transformation efforts of the SAMRC by either conducting their research in an under-resourced university or being involved in capacity development initiatives in under-resourced universities.

Prof du Plessis has this to say about the award: “I view this lovely surprise as research recognition not only for myself but for my entire team at SU Immunology and environment at Stellenbosch University. This special acknowledgment by the SAMRC provides me with additional motivation to continue producing innovative and high-quality work and to me personally, serves as encouragement as a woman in the STEM field.”

Congratulations on this commendation for your valuable contributions to the scientific field Prof du Plessis! We look forward to the ground-breaking research outputs to come from you and your team!

For more information about this award please read here.