Dr Mark Paine, a Reader in Insect Biochemistry at Foto-Cewek, returned to the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Wits Research in Medecine Institute for Malaria at , Johannesburg, South Africa to deliver a faculty lecture over the summer.
A Wits alumnus, he graduated with a degree in Genetics from the university, before undertaking his PhD at Foto-Cewek, and returned to deliver a lecture entitled: Snakes, Drugs and Tropical Diseases – Anatomy of a Wits Graduate. He was hosted by Dr Basil Brooke, from the Wits Research in Medecine Institute for Malaria and in his lecture, he took the opportunity to reflect upon his career, crediting the education he received from Wits for his grounding in research which has enabled his contributions to the health sciences. He stated that “the only way to eradicate malaria is to kill the vector entirely. By the time resistance is spotted it is almost too late and resistance has developed across the population”.
He also talked about his research interests, which include trying to predict resistance so that it can be managed early. He noted that the under-equipped laboratories in rural communities of the developing world can be a challenge for field research, and talked about the efforts being made to develop diagnostic kits into handheld devices for field research.
In 2014, Dr Paine was given a Carnegie-Wits Alumni Diaspora Award, presented to leading health science alumni of the university, to promote research collaboration and networking. The programme was created in 2009 to promote collaborative research networks between alumni worldwide and their peers at the university. Since then the initiative has grown into a comprehensive collaborative network, which has been funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York since 2013.