Dr Amy Slogrove, a senior lecturer in Paediatrics and Child Health in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, was recently selected as a member of the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS).
The academy – established in 2011 – is an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology aimed at bringing together young scientists across a range of scientific disciplines to jointly think about solutions to societal problems in South Africa. It also aims to give young scientists a voice in influencing national policy.
Ten new members are appointed to the academy every year for a two-year term.
Slogrove's research looks at the effects of early-life exposures during pregnancy and infancy and their long-term impact on the health trajectory of children. Her specific focus is on evaluating in utero HIV and antiretroviral drug exposure on HIV-uninfected children born to women living with HIV. She is based at Stellenbosch University's Worcester campus.
“It was unexpected, but such a tremendous honour to be considered one of the ten leading young scientists and to be part of such a broad group is a huge opportunity. I am excited to work with people from different scientific disciplines and to hear other perspectives on how to deal with the challenges we face in our country," said Slogrove.
She said being based in Worcester means she can bring the rural perspective on health and development. “We see such inequalities in services and outcomes for people. As well as advocating for children, I will always advocate for rural and remote populations.
“We are realising more and more that what you experience early on in your life has a major impact on where you end up as an adult. This is often forgotten when tackling major societal problems. I will be advocating for investment in children early in life so they can reach their potential.
“As a very advantaged young South African woman I hope to contribute … through membership of SAYAS to reducing inequality in South Africa, either through collaborating with other young scientists to find solutions to pressing societal challenges or through mentorship of the next generation of young scientists," Slogrove concluded.