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Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Medical School senior lecturer Dr Savania Nagiah, was recently inaugurated as one of 10 of the country’s leading emerging scientists to become members of the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS).

SAYAS members are young scientists under the age of 40, who have PhDs and are deemed excellent in their fields of expertise.

Dr Nagiah’s research focus is the learning and teaching of molecular biology in medical education, and she lectures Medical Biochemistry and Cell Biology in first- and second year MBChB basic science modules at the University’s Medical School on Missionvale Campus.

The Academy serves as the voice of young South African scientists and aims to bridge the gap between science and society. SAYAS is linked to the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and provides a national platform where leading young scientists from all disciplines in the country can interact, and also access international networking and career development opportunities.

Dr Nagiah, 32, has a background in Medical Biochemistry, which allows for the translation of the basic sciences to medical applications. She studied the molecular mechanisms by which antiretroviral drugs may induce toxicity and induce metabolic changes that increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and lipodystrophy.

She has also supervised several masters and PhD students in the field of food-borne toxins and their biological effects, as well as collaborated across various clinical disciplines such as obstetrics and gynaecology, environmental and occupational health, and surgery, offering molecular insights into clinical problems.

This form of translational medicine offers the opportunity to develop highly targeted intervention strategies after underpinning events leading to pathologies at a molecular level.

Since joining Mandela University’s Medical School in December 2019, she says her interest in medical education has been peaked due to the unique opportunity of using digitally enhanced teaching methods in medical education.

Dr Nagiah completed her PhD and postdoctoral fellowships at the Department of Medical Biochemistry at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. She was a postdoctoral research fellow at the CAPRISA TB and HIV Treatment Research Programme in Durban before joining Mandela University.

She holds a master’s in Medical Science, and degrees in Medical Science, Medical Biochemistry and Biomedical Science. 

Contact information
Dr Savania Nagiah
Senior Lecturer: Medical Biochemistry
Tel: 0415041455