On photo : Professor Pascal Bessong (standing in the middle)

The Research Professor in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Agriculture, Professor Pascal Bessong, has been honoured for his outstanding contribution in lifting health research in South Africa. Prof Bessong received the Gold Merit award at the 10th South African Medical Research Council Merit Awards in Cape Town on 07 March 2024. Gold medals are awarded annually to established senior scientists who have made seminal scientific contributions that have impacted on the health of people, especially those living in developing countries.
Since joining the University of Venda, Professor Bessong has initiated and built enduring facilities for excellence in research, community engagement, and human capital development, thus advancing the research culture at the University. For example, he established the AIDS Virus Research Laboratory, the HIV/AIDS & Global Health Research Programme, and in 2022 he founded the SAMRC-UNIVEN Antimicrobial Resistance and Global Health Research Unit. Professor Bessong has competitively attracted over R80 million through these research activities for research projects, laboratory equipment infrastructure, and student training. Over the years, his endeavours have provided contract jobs to over thirty individuals recruited from the communities engaged in the co-production of knowledge, thus making a direct impact on the livelihoods of these individuals. He currently leads a team of national and international investigators in seeking solutions to the challenges posed by antimicrobial resistance at the community level.
Professor Bessong trained as a Virologist in South Africa, France, and the United States of America. He is an elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa, and a member of the Limpopo Department of Health Infection Prevention and Control Committee.
Issued by:
Department of Marketing, Branding and Communication
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525 /8710
Date: 15 March 2024

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