SA has shown it’s a major global player in nuclear physics


Physicists particularly highlighted work being done by scientific research center IThemba LABS with the aim of enhancing cancer therapies.

CAPE TOWN – The National Research Foundation says South Africa has showcased that it’s one of the major global players in nuclear physics.

On the back of the 2022 International Nuclear Physics Conference that wrapped up at the Cape Town International Convention Center recently, physicists particularly highlighted work being done by scientific research centre, IThemba LABS, with the aim of enhancing cancer therapies.

The National Research Foundation has stressed the importance of this research, especially considering a World Health Organization prediction that at least one million people in Africa will succumb to cancer annually by 2030.

NRF deputy chief executive officer for research infrastructure platforms, Doctor Clifford Nxomani, says experts at iThemba LABS are also developing research capacity.

“…which hopefully in the future will result in what we call theranostics which is a combination of not just location and imaging of cancer cells, but being able to deliver treatment to the specific cells…”

iThemba LABS postdoctoral research fellow, Doctor Kgashane Malatji, stresses the significance of having international physicists together in one place.

“…to discuss latest measurements and to discuss as well cutting edge research and not only that, but having international collaborators in South Africa, then we are able as South Africans and also Africans to show the world what type of physics we do…”

Malatji urges young people to take up the challenge and pursue careers within the sciences.

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