National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)

Professor Resia Pretorius

 It’s in the blood


TW Kambule-NSTF Award: Researcher through research and its outputs (by an individual up to 15 years as a researcher predominantly in South Africa) Prof Etheresia Pretorius, Head Dept of Physiological Sciences; Director: Applied Morphology Research Centre, Dept of Physiology, Stellenbosch University. Her overarching contribution is to add novel knowledge regarding the origin and pathophysiology of inflammation and abnormal clotting. This includes the conclusion that all non-communicable diseases have a possible bacterial origin.

There is a term that best defines the work done by someone who changes the way in which human beings interact with the world around them, or fundamentally shifts the way in which they approach diseases. That term is ‘groundbreaking’, and it can very easily be applied to the discoveries made by Professor Resia Pretorius.

A professor of physiology at Stellenbosch University, her work has not only garnered her international recognition and scientific fame, but it also has the potential to change lives and outcomes for patients vulnerable to type 2 diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease.

“I have been focused on the haematological system – including red blood cells, plasma proteins and platelets – for about 10 years now,” says Pretorius. “Our dormant bacterial/inflammation/blood link was made a few years ago, when two postgraduate students, Natasha Vermeulen and Janette Bester, worked on blood clotting and haematology of Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease.

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