North-West University: A decade of excellence – NWU’s HART Research and Training Clinic reaches milestone

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The Hypertension Research and Training Clinic of the Hypertension in Africa Research Team (HART) at the North-West University (NWU) is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a symposium that will see esteemed international and local experts in high blood pressure research converge on the Potchefstroom Campus.

The symposium, A decade of hypertension research: reflecting on the past to strengthen the future, will take place on 19 and 20 September.

Speakers include the respected and awarded researchers Prof Alta Schutte, principal theme leader of cardiac, vascular and metabolic medicine at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Prof Martin Magnusson, adjunct professor, physician and cardiovascular researcher at the Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine (WCMM), and Prof Neil Poulter, professor in Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine and chief investigator of the global initiative May Measurement Month.

The aim of the symposium is to reflect on what has been learnt over the past ten years regarding contributing factors in the early development of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. The focus will then shift to what can be implemented in future to help strengthen and improve the current South African healthcare system policies, particularly in North West, in terms of blood pressure treatment, management and control.

Dr Lisa Uys, who is part of the team involved in various projects in the Hypertension Research and Training Clinic, says their aim is to move from “bench to bedside” when it comes to hypertension research.

“We would like to take our expertise to our communities and share our knowledge to achieve effective hypertension management, treatment and support.”

More about the NWU’s Hypertension Research and Training Clinic

The Hypertension Research and Training Clinic of the NWU is a centre of excellence in cardiovascular disease research.

The Medical Research Council awarded the clinic the honour of becoming a Medical Research Council (MRC) Extramural Research Unit for hypertension and cardiovascular disease in 2015.

“Through cutting-edge research, various projects of the Hypertension in Africa Research Team (HART) have contributed significantly by adding to the existing body of knowledge regarding cardiovascular disease development in South Africa,” says Prof Ruan Kruger, current interim research leader of the NRF SARChI Research Chair in the early detection and prevention of cardiovascular disease in Africa.

He says HART has published more than 300 research articles since the inauguration of the clinic in 2012 and initiated multiple large-scale studies unique to the African setting.

The unit also boasts strong long-standing and meaningful collaborative networks across the globe. It is the proud host of many academic staff members who have received prestigious awards nationally and internationally.

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