Professor Vicki Lambert receives SAMRC Platinum Merit Award

08 Mar 2024
Vicki Lambert
08 Mar 2024

UCT Research Centre for Health through Physical Activity, Lifestyle and Sport (HPALS) is proud to announce that Emeritus Professor Estelle (Vicki) Lambert has been awarded the South African Medical Research Council Platinum Medal.  This prestigious medal recognises Lifetime Achievement for an outstanding scientist, who, through their work has raised the profile of South African Science and helped to build the foundations of health research in the country for future generations. Professor Lambert is internationally recognised for her work in promoting population-based strategies to increase safe and equitable opportunities to participate in physical activity, access to healthy affordable food, and engaged scholarship through citizen science.  


She has consulted to the World Health Organisation since 1998, helping to guide global policy and recommendations on physical activity and obesity. She is a South African NRF B1-rated scientist, with an H-index of 89 (Google Scholar) and her work has been cited more than 40,000 times.  From 2020-2023 Lambert has made the Clarivate Highly Cited list, being in the top 1% of her field.  To date, she has supervised or co-supervised 20 PhDs and 11 Masters students.   Lambert remains at UCT as a Senior Research Scholar, still actively involved in research and post-graduate supervision


When asked about this award, Lambert said, “This award is not just about my role as a researcher, but recognises the work of a large community of Global South researchers, focused on physical activity, food security and health equity. We do not lack research capacity in this area in our region, but we do lack prioritisation and adequate funding by government and other agencies.  The benefits of promoting physical activity reach well beyond the health sector, and speak directly to at least 13 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and planetary health.    


I want to recognise my colleagues within the UCT Research Centre for Health through Physical Activity, Lifestyle and Sport (HPALS), throughout South Africa, Africa and beyond.  This network of researchers remain champions for physical activity for health and development. I would also like to thank and recognise the University of Cape Town for providing me with an academic and research home.”

SAMRC Platinum Merit Award

10th SAMRC Scientific Merit Awards - Platinum Award - Prof Estelle Victoria Lambert
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Professor Vicki Lambert Acceptance Speach

Vicki Lambert Acceptance Speech
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Leading UCT researchers honoured with SAMRC scientific awards