School of Medical Sciences
Serving Research, Teaching and Community
The School of Medical Sciences is one of the many fruits of the recent merger between the regions's dominant universities. Located at the Westville and Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine campuses of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the School provides didactic and professional input to medical and health professional training, with programmes devised by the disciplines of Medical Biochemistry, Clinical Anatomy and Human Physiology.
In addition to the medical training offered by the School, ancillary courses are taken by undergraduate students in Physiotherapy, Optometry, Pharmacy, Speech Therapy and Audiology, Sports Science, Dentistry and Nursing Science.
Research is a dominant force, providing insights into the particular crises that affect a developing country like South Africa. Amongst other foci, the School's research output concentrates on cancer, rheumatoid arthiritis, hypertension, HIV/AIDS and the investigation of the use of medical plants in the management of diabetes. Recent papers have reported on the relationship between a common fungal toxin in maize and oesophageal cancer, while others have examined the high incidence or prostate cancer in African patients. HIV/AIDS research has been looking at alternative treatments, such as the use of electromagnetic waves.
Conscious of the deficit in science teaching in many primary and secondary schools, the School provides extension courses from time to time, designed to promote interest in science amongst learners. Vigourous partnerships exist with a variety of national and international institutions including the University of Aston in the United Kingdom, the University of Kaposvar in Hungary, the University of Johannesburg and the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute.