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Research News

Highlights - 2014




  • December 2014 Graduations: Angus R. Hibbins (Ph. D), Felix Mashingaidze (M. Pharm. cum laude), Mpho P. Ngoepe (M. Med. cum laude), Martina Manyikana (M. Pharm.),
  • Top 10 Most Downloaded Articles in Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences for Jul-Sep 2014 (421 times): A Comprehensive Review of Advanced Biopolymeric Wound Healing Systems, Naeema Mayet, Yahya E. Choonara, Pradeep Kumar, Lomas K. Tomar, Charu Tyagi, Lisa C. du Toit and Viness Pillay, Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 103(8), 2211–2230, 2014.
  • 35th Annual Conference of the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences of South Africa 2014 Award for Best Research Publication in Pharmaceutics – “A Novel Stimuli-Synchronized Alloy-Treated Matrix for Space-Defined Gastrointestinal Delivery of Mesalamine in the Large White Pig Model”, Priya Bawa, Yahya E. Choonara, Lisa C. du Toit, Pradeep Kumar, Valence M.K. Ndesendo, Leith C.R. Meyer and Viness Pillay, Journal of Controlled Release, 166(3):234-245, 2013.
  • Prof. Viness Pillay, Prof. Yahya Choonara and Dr. Lisa du Toit: University of the Witwatersrand, Faculty of Health Sciences Research Awards Dinner 2014, Recognition of outstanding research achievement and contribution, August 2014.
    • Prof. Viness Pillay: Invited Speaker at the launch of the DST-NRF Research Career Advancement Fellowship, “Research Funding: A Speculative Investment”, Nelson Hotel, Cape Town, 25th July 2014.
    • Prof. Viness Pillay: Invited Plenary at the 9th Triennial Congress of the African Academy of Sciences, “African-Led Game-Changing Drug Delivery Technologies at the WADDP”, Brazzaville, Congo, 16 April 2014.
    • Prof. Viness Pillay: Invited Speaker at the Department of Human Genetics Seminar 2014, University of the Witwatersrand: “Strategic Innovation for Disease Management By Regulated Biomolecule Delivery, National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS), Braamfontein, Gauteng, South Africa, 20 February 2014
    • Prof. Viness Pillay: Olesugun Obasanjo Prize 2014 for Scientific Breakthrough and Innovation in Advanced Drug Delivery Technologies.
    • Prof. Yahya Choonara: Nominated by The World Academy of Science (TWAS) to attend the 2014 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Physiology and Medicine, 29 June – 4 July 2014, Lindau, Germany
    • Dr. Lisa du Toit: Claude Leon Foundation Merit Award – Awarded to emerging researchers, 2014.
    • Dr. Lisa du Toit: Friedel Sellschop Award to Dr. Lisa C. du Toit – Awarded to exceptional young researchers, 2014.
    • Dr. Lisa du Toit: Inaugurated into South African Young Academy of Science.
      • Prof. Viness Pillay: Invited Speaker at the Novartis 2014 Conference on Drug Regulatory Affairs: “The Science Behind the Design of Novel Drug Delivery Systems at the WADDP”, Birchwood Conference Center, Boksburg, Gauteng, South Africa, 28 January 2014


NRF Ratings


  • Prof. Yahya Choonara: Awarded a National Research Foundation (NRF) rating in the Y1 category 2013-2017.
  • Prof. Viness Pillay: Awarded a National Research Foundation (NRF) B2 rating for 2012-2016.


Research Unit


  • Wits Advanced Drug Delivery Platform received Research Unit status in 2014. Director: Prof. Viness Pillay.


Community outreach


WADDP connects with high school learners to promote cutting edge science 


Selected News Articles

International Association for Dental Research Conference 2012
30 August - 1 September 2012

Professor Viness Pillay from Wits Advanced Drug Delivery Platform gives Opening Plenary Address at the IADR. IADR Final Program for participants August 2012.pdf

Two Wits Scientists Claim the Country’s Top Science Awards
22 June 2012

Wits scientists scooped two prestigious prizes at the NSTF-BHP Billiton 2011/12 Awards hosted by the Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor.

The winners of the awards, recognising excellence in Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation (SETI), were revealed on Thursday 21st at a gala dinner in Johannesburg.

Professor Yahya Choonara walked away with the TW Kambule Award, awarded “to an emerging researcher for an outstanding contribution to SETI through research and its outputs – over a period of up to six years after the award of a PhD or equivalent in research”.

Choonara is a Professor of Pharmaceutics and Research Manager at the Wits Advanced Drug Delivery Platform. He is known for his contribution to the development of new commercialisable pharmaceutical products that focus on prototyping novel and advanced drug delivery systems to provide superior treatment of infectious, hereditary or lifestyle diseases.

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Wits Advanced Drug Delivery Platform and the MRC’s Strategic Collaboration with Netherlands-Based Spin-Off Mylife Technologies B.V.
in Health Sciences Review, April 2012

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Novaritis Next Generation Scientist Programme 2012
in Health Sciences Research News, March 2012, p.5

Wits Health Sciences Research News_March 2012.pdf

Drug delivery gets sophisticated
Wits University researchers are developing advanced drug delivery technologies that will change the way people take medication, improve the efficacy of drugs and reduce the cost of medicine. For many years pharmaceuticals have consisted of simple ...

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Keynote Speakers - SACI 2011

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Nanotech blazes biomedical trail
via iTWeb, 7 June 2010
Local researchers are using nanotechnology to pioneer breakthroughs in medical science that could radically change the way diseases such as tuberculosis and type two diabetes are treated, or prevent them from occurring all together. 

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Regional innovation centre invests in drug delivery platform
via Engineering News, 22 May 2009
Biotechnology Regional Innovation Centre, BioPAD, a Department of Science and Technology initiative, is investing R11,6-million over a period of three years in the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) department of pharmacy and pharmacology’s...

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DST, Wits launch drug-delivery research initiative
via Engineering News, 30 March 2007
The BioPAD Biotechnology Regional Innovation Centre, an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology, is spending R11,6-million over the next three years to develop the drug-delivery platform at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits).

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Newsclips hosted on YouTube

Professor Viness Pillay Innovates For Children

Breaking Down Barriers: Drug Delivery Technology Solutions that will Revolutionize the Way We Take Medicines. Interview of the WADDP Director Prof. Viness Pillay televised on SABC News Morning Live

Setting the Scene: The Need for Delivering Drugs More Effectively into the Body. Interview of the WADDP Director, Prof. Viness Pillay televised on Eureka.

Blockbuster Technologies: WADDP Scientists at the Cutting-Edge of Medicines. Interview of the WADDP Director, Prof. Viness Pillay televised on Carte Blanche Medical.

Bench-Top to Market: The WADDP Advances the Frontline in the Battle Against Cancer Ocular Diseases. Interview of the WADDP Director, Prof. Viness Pillay televised on Carte Blanche Medical.