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Fellowship Award for Nuclear Medicine’s Clinical Unit Head

Dr Bawinile Hadebe.

Fellowship Award for Nuclear Medicine’s Clinical Unit Head

The Head of the Nuclear Medicine Department’s Clinical Unit at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital (IALCH), Dr Bawinile Hadebe was awarded the 2023 Discovery Foundation Fellowship Award for her pioneering PhD research on The Impact of Gallium-68 Pentixafor in Solid Tumours.

Hadebe’s study explores the potential of Gallium-68 Pentixafor, a novel radiotracer targeting Chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) in patients with solid tumours including head and neck cancer, breast cancer, and gynaecological malignancies. Her study aims to unravel the potential for novel therapies targeting CXCR4 for these cancers.

Expressing gratitude for the Discovery Foundation Fellowship, Hadebe highlighted the significance of the award in advancing her research. She is honoured to join the esteemed group of Discovery Foundation alumni from UKZN, including mentors like the former Dean of Clinical Medicine, Professor Ncoza Dlova and UKZN’s Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Innovation, Professor Mosa Moshabela, who have played pivotal roles in her journey.

Hadebe also thanked the patients who participated in the study, without whom it would not have been possible, her co-investigators in the Departments of Nuclear Medicine, Specialised Breast Surgery, Oncology and Anatomical Pathology, and her supervisors, Professors Mike Sathekge, Colleen Aldous, and Mariza Vorster for their commitment and unwavering support. 

Looking beyond her PhD, Hadebe is committed to contributing to the discovery of novel radiotracers and making targeted radionuclide therapies more accessible. She is enthusiastic about forming partnerships to turn this vision into reality, demonstrating her commitment to making a lasting impact on healthcare accessibility and discoveries to advance the battle against cancer.

Words and photograph: Lunga Memela