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SU microbiome researcher honoured for his contribution to the field
Author: Faculty of Science (media & communication)
Published: 28/05/2024

Prof. Thulani Makhalanyane has been awarded the prestigious Silver Medal of the South African Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (SASBMB) for his outstanding contribution to the field.

Prof. Makhalanyane is a world-renowned microbiome researcher with a joint position in the Department of Microbiology and the School for Data Science and Computational Thinking at Stellenbosch University (SU).

The SASBMB Silver Award is awarded annually to a younger member of the society who has displayed a record of national and international research excellence and is an active participant in SASBMB activities. The medal will be presented during the 28th SASBMB congress at the University of Limpopo in July this year.

Prof. Makhlanyane says he has been a member of the society since his student days: “Over the years, I have been inspired by attending the meetings and the work presented has shaped my career. It is a true honor to receive this news, and I am grateful for the acknowledgment and recognition."

Recently, he joined the ranks of a group of African researchers calling for more equitable research partnerships to explore the unique and diverse microbiomes found in African populations and environments. The statement was published in Nature Medicine.

"We previously highlighted the need for increasing studies on African microbiomes. As Africans, we must be at the forefront of these studies because they directly impact on our own communities and ecosystems. We need equitable partnerships for achieving meaningful and sustainable research outcomes," he said.

Prof. Alf Botha, head of the Department of Microbiology, said they are extremely proud of this accomplishment by one of their academics.