SA has shown itself to be a major global player in nuclear physics

SA has shown itself to be a major global player in nuclear physics

The physicists highlighted in particular the work carried out by the scientific research center IThemba LABS with the aim of improving cancer therapies.

CAPE TOWN – The National Research Foundation says South Africa has demonstrated that it is one of the world’s leading players in nuclear physics.

Following the 2022 International Conference on Nuclear Physics, which recently concluded at the International Convention Center in Cape Town, physicists highlighted in particular the work carried out by the scientific research centre, IThemba LABS, with the aim of improving cancer therapies.

The National Research Foundation emphasized the importance of this research, especially in light of a World Health Organization prediction that at least one million people in Africa will die from cancer annually by 2030.

NRF’s Deputy Executive Director for Research Infrastructure Platforms, Dr Clifford Nxomani, says experts at iThemba LABS are also building research capacity.

“…what we hope in the future will result in what we call theranostics, which is a combination of not only locating and imaging cancer cells, but also the ability to deliver treatment to specific cells…”

Dr. Kgashane Malatji, iThemba LABS postdoctoral researcher, emphasizes the importance of having international physicists together in one place.

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

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

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