Africans training Africans

The Division of Immunology has a long and outstanding track record of postgraduate teaching as evidenced by its research outputs, in particular publications with high impact factors, the research grants obtained, and the career trajectories of graduates of the division.

The focus is to train young South African scientists for the future - the next generation of immunologists, including clinician scientists. The aim is always to co-ordinate the teaching and research in an integrated approach which allows both classroom teaching and practical skills development with students from different disciplines spending time in the laboratories learning techniques.

The division is also committed to spearheading a move away from a traditional classroom didactic teaching ethos. Immunology lends itself to non-didactic, non-linear teaching and more online learning in a ‘flipped classroom’ style – where students do online tutorial lectures prior to a face-to-face classroom discussion.

In line with this, staff in the division have been involved in the development of Immunopaedia, which is a South African based online learning tool designed for healthcare providers requiring knowledge and understanding of immunology and more specifically people working with HIV-infected children (paediatric immunology). In 2010, Immunopaedia received the Science Prize for Online Resources in Education from the American Association of Immunologists.

Apart from a postgraduate emphasis, the division also covers a range of teaching for undergraduates, specifically in physiology and the MBChB programme.

The division aims to be at the forefront of training a cadre of skilled scientists with a sophisticated understanding of immunological principles and approaches that can be utilised for immunological research. These scientists will become the next generation of research scientists to bring South Africa to the forefront of immunological research in Africa.