The CHPC conference concluded on Thursday 6th December, which also saw the BRIDGE (Biomolecular Reaction & Interaction Dynamics Global Environment) workshop take place. This workshop outlined molecular dynamics and analysis which can be a source of confusion for newcomers and researchers from neighbouring disciplines. BRIDGE is a web application that aims to address this and enable users to simulate and analyse molecular systems using curated workflows. Professor Naidoo introduced the workshop, while the workshop itself was run by Dr Chris Barnett and PhD student Tharindu Senapathi. The workshop was well attended, playing host to 31 researchers. We were thankful to receive computing support from the CHPC, the ilifu cloud and SANBI.
Researchers from across South Africa gathered in Century City for the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) Conference. The conference was held from the 2-6 of December 2018 and attracted researchers from South Africa’s top research institutions, including Wits University, University of Kwazulu Natal and Stellenbosch University.
Professor Kevin Naidoo was an invited speaker and presented - “Advancing Computational Science in South African Academia through Social and Cyber Networks” on 4th December. Emre Kaya, Tharindu Senapathi, Tomás Bruce-Chwatt, Ananya Gangopadhyay, Matthew Coulson, Daniel Flowers, Jess Nel, Edgar Abuto and Lenard Carroll all presented posters at the conference. Lenard Carroll supervised by Dr Gerhard Venter won 2nd place for his poster entitle “A Combined Computational and Experimental Investigation of the Dissolution of Chitin in Organic Electrolyte Solutions”.
Prof Kevin Naidoo one of twenty of the country’s leading scholars and scientists was inaugurated as a Member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) at the annual Awards Ceremony on 10 October 2018. He is one of the four UCT scientists honoured by ASSAf.
The Nobel Prize in Medicine 2018 was awarded jointly to cancer researchers James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo who discovered a cancer therapy that works by inhibition of negative immune regulation. Both researchers independently discovered methods of "removing the brakes" or stimulating the immune system to fight cancer - now called immune checkpoint therapy.
One of the proteins responsible, Programmed Death-1 (PD-1) protein, binds sialic acid confirming the critical role of carbohydrates in the fight against cancer (read more about this sialic acid binding immunoglobulin (Ig)-like lectin).