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18 April 2019 | Story Rulanzen Martin

The Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice IRSJ) has initiated a Social Justice Week at the University of the Free State (UFS), which started on Friday 12 April  until Wednesday 17 April 2019. 

Ten key events took place during the week. It ranged from dialogues, workshops, talk shows, debates, and interactive displays and events on issues of multilingualism and diversity, social innovation, engaged scholarship, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, gender sensitisation, sexual consent, sexual preparedness, universal access, disability, anti-discrimination, and security.

There was also a round-table discussion on 17 April 2019 with various UFS stakeholders on off-campus student security as well as an inter-institutional discussion on the same topic. The UFS Debating Society will take on the topic of the UFS Language Policy, while Olga Barends from the Free State Centre for Human Rights will host a dialogue on sexual consent.

The IRSJ has also designed and implemented SOJO-VATION: Social Innovation/ Social Change, which strives to create a foundational platform where ideas of social justice, innovation, and engaged scholarship at the UFS and in society can be hosted. SOJO-VATION partners with the Office for Student Leadership, Development, and Community Engagement.

The collaborating partners for the Social Justice Week includes various UFS stakeholders such as the Sasol library, the Gender and Sexual Equity Office, UFS Protection Services, the Free State Centre for Human Rights, the Student Representative Council (SRC), the Office for Student Leadership Development, Kovsie Innovation, GALA, the FFree State Centre for Human Rights, SRC Associations, the Office for Student Governance, Kovsie Innovate, Start-Up-Grind, EVC, EBL, Community Engagement, the Institutional Transformation Plan (ITP) Dialogues Office, Residence Dialogues, UFS Debating Society, Debate Afrika!, the Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS), and the Gateway Office. 

News Archive

Chemistry postgraduates tackle crystallography with eminent international researcher
2017-04-04

Description: Dr Alice Brink  Tags: Dr Alice Brink

Department of Chemistry senior lecturer, Dr Alice Brink(left),
hosted outstanding researcher, Prof Elspeth Garman (right)
from the University of Oxford in England to present a
crystallography lecture.
Photo: Rulanzen Martin



“Crystallography forms part of everyday life.” This is according to Prof Elspeth Garman, eminent researcher from the Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford in England, who was hosted by Dr Alice Brink, Department of Chemistry at the University of the Free State (UFS) Bloemfontein Campus. Prof Garman presented a lecture in the Department of Chemistry, titled ‘104 years of crystallography: What has it taught us and where will it lead’. She also taught the postgraduate students how to refine and mount protein structures in cold cryo conditions at about -173°C.

What is Crystallography?
Crystallography is the scientific technique which allows for the position of atoms to be determined in any matter which is crystalline.
 
“You cannot complete Protein Crystallography without the five key steps, namely obtaining a pure protein, growing the crystal, collecting the data, and finally determining the structure and atomic coordinates,” said Prof Garman. Apart from teaching, she was also here to mentor and have discussions with UFS Prestige Scholars on how to face academic challenges in the professional environment.

Discovery of the first crystal structure of a TB protein

Prof Garman successfully determined the first crystal structure of a Tuberculosis protein (TBNAT), a project that took about 15 years of research. In partnership with the Department of Pharmacology at Oxford University and an outstanding PhD student, Areej Abuhammad, they managed to grow only one TBNAT crystal, one-fiftieth of a millimetre. They also managed to solve the structure and publish it.

Dr Alice Brink, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry, says, “It’s an incredible privilege to have Prof Garman here and to have her share her wisdom and knowledge so freely with the young academics.”

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