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Prof Heidi Abrahamse appointed to National Health Research Committee

​Professor Heidi Abrahamse, Director of the Laser Research Centre at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has been appointed to the National Health Research Committee, effective from 2020 until 2023.

As a SARChI Chair (South African Research Chairs Initiative) for Laser Applications in Health at UJ, Prof Abrahamse has been recognised for her research and efforts aimed at improving the quality of life in Africa. She has also been lauded for her contributions in Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) that have led the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to identify and support Biophotonics in Health as a major area of focus and investment through a newly established photonics initiative of South African (PISA) to prevent and treat disease.

As a member of the National Health Research Committee, Prof Abrahamse will provide expertise in identifying research priorities and advising the Minister of Health on these, as well as to develop and advise on the application and implementation of an integrated national strategy for health research, among many other roles. Prof

In recent years, Prof Abrahamse and other UJ academics were nominated in the 2017/2018 National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF-South32) Awards in the TW Kambule Research category. This category acknowledges individuals’ contribution to research and its outputs over a period of 15 years as a researcher, predominantly in South Africa.

In 2019, Professor Heidi Abrahamse was named the 2019 recipient of the IPA Humanitarian Award at the 17th International Photodynamic Association (IPA) World Congress in Boston, Massachusetts, which was held from June 28-July 4.

About the UJ Laser Research Centre

The Health Sciences based Laser Research Centre, is leading efforts to investigate the field of phototherapy with specific emphasis on Low Intensity Laser Irradiation (LILI) or photobiomodulation (PBM), Photodynamic Therapy (PDT), Phyto-Photodynamic Therapy (P-PDT) and Stem Cell Therapy. While this treatment modality is very well established in many countries, laser therapy is utilised by very few disciplines and the full spectrum of uses is yet to be realised in South Africa. The therapeutic value of PBM for application in wound healing and stem cell therapy (regenerative medicine) is investigated by establishing biochemical responses and its effects on the metabolic events in cell culture and artificial skin con

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