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Researcher Profile

The Health Sciences Research Office presents this month feature researcher:  Dr Deirdre Kruger

Dr Deirdré Kruger is a Vascular Research Scientist and Research Coordinator in the Department of Surgery, School of Clinical Medicine. She holds a BSc Biochemistry degree from the University of Pretoria, a Postgraduate Certificate in Healthcare Education from St. George’s, University of London (UK), and a PhD in Molecular Medicine also from St. George’s. In 2016 she was the recipient of the Bert Myburgh Research Presentation Prize at the national Surgical Research Society of Southern Africa meeting and was also awarded the poster prize for Clinical Sciences and Therapeutic Health at our Faculty of Health Sciences Research Day (2016). She recently spoke at the meeting of the European Society for Surgical Research in Amsterdam in June 2017.

Dr Kruger’s main research interest is investigating angiogenic and inflammatory cytokine profiles and differentiated vascular progenitor cell profiles as potential biomarkers of non-communicable diseases in South Africa, specifically in cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Her most recent findings, currently in press in Pancreatology, suggest a potential combined diagnostic biomarker in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) with high sensitivity and specificity in a South African population. In addition, she has identified cytokines with prognostic biomarker potential for tumour resectability in PDAC.

She has been inspired in research by her PhD supervisor, Professor Guiseppe Sagnella (St. George’s, University of London), and her mentors, Professor Michelle Miller (University of Warwick, UK) and Professor Elena Libhaber (Wits Faculty of Health Sciences Research Office).

Dr Kruger loves travelling, music, art and, above all, spending time with her family and friends.

Read one of Deirdre’s articles here: Yako YY, Brand M, Smith M, Kruger D. Inflammatory cytokines and angiogenic factors as potential biomarkers in South African pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma: A preliminary report. Pancreatology (2017).