Research visit at RAL

28 June – 30 July 2019

Dr André du Toit and Jurgen Kriel (PhD student) had the great opportunity of traveling to the Rutherford-Appleton Laboratories in Oxford (UK) for a research visit, allowing them to build a custom light-sheet microscope. There they were able to gain some hands on experience with 3D dual single molecule localisation microscopy (SMLM)!

Fame Lab 2019 

Jurgen Kriel, a PhD student in our group, was brave enough to enter this year's FameLab 2019 science communication competition. Having only 3 minutes to communicate his research to a public audience, Jurgen managed to win the prize for audience favourite. Well done Jurgen for teaching the public the importance of autophagy! Read more here. 

Going the extra mile 

“You can't get extraordinary results through ordinary effort. You need to go the extra mile. Be resilient and find that one motivation that keeps you going." This is the advice Claudia Ntsapi gave after obtaining her PhD. As a former SciMathUS student, she has shown the importance of hard work and dedication. Congratulations Dr. Ntsapi! Read more here

Community outreach

The NRG team attended HackFest 2018, an initiative by WeCode24, with the aim to display the fun aspects of science and technology to high school learners. Our VR-system was a big hit, and allowed us to present biology in a creative and interactive way. Watch the video here.

From the lab to the runway 

One of our Masters students, Akile Khoza, competed in the annual Miss South Africa beauty pageant this year. We are extremely proud of her for making it through to the top 12.  On the official Miss SA website, Akile was quoted as saying: “I want to be a vessel of hope and a symbol of beauty that transcends deeper than physical beauty." Read more here.

Anything can be micropatterned 

André du Toit, our resident micropatterning guru, has been at it again. This time patterning cells in the shape of our group logo! Growing cells on micropatterned grids has proven to be highly effective for high throughput image analysis, as it decreases statistical variance in organellar structures by keeping the cellular morphology constant. We have recently found that it seems to have an effect on intracellular cargo trafficking (watch this space for the publication). It is also an extremely fun technique once you manage to get it right.    

Entering the world of VR

Thanks to a unique collaboration with Prof Niesler, Electrical & Electronic Engineering, we have recently  acquired a virtual reality (VR) ready analysis station to get as close as possible to our samples. Although the lines between work and play are getting blurred, we are now able to extract unique and custom-designed data, in a highly controlled 3-dimensional data space. A wind of change in sample interrogation is about to come.