Elizabeth Wasserman Delivers Inaugural Professorial Lecture

Picture from left: Proff M de Villiers, W van der Merwe, E Wasserman, J Smith, B Mash, Dr T Fish and Prof J Volmink.

Elizabeth Wasserman, a 2002 FAIMER fellow, and SAFRI faculty member recently delivered her Professorial Inaugural address. Elizabeth has been promoted to Professor in Medical Microbiology at the Faculty of Health Sciences of Stellenbosch University. The title of her address was: “Battles with bacteria: The History and Future of Staphylococcus Aureus infection.

Elizabeth Wasserman qualified as a medical doctor from the University of the Free State in 1988. Although her initial interests were rural medicine and surgery, she decided on a career path in infectious diseases after some years in clinical practice. She obtained her MMed (Microbiol. Path) in 1996 (cum laude). Her early years as a consultant coincided with major national and international curriculum changes and she consequently developed an interest in medical education. In 2001 Elizabeth received the Rector’s Award for Excellence in Education, and was one of the first South Africans to be selected as a fellow of the Federation for the Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER), which is a subsidiary of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) in Philadelphia, USA. Through this organisation she started research and further study in the field of Health Sciences Education, and also obtained a DPhil (Social Sciences Methods) from Stellenbosch University in 2004. Early in 2005, she became an associate professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology. She was appointed as professor and head of the Division of Medical Microbiology in November 2008. Elizabeth is a founding member of the interdisciplinary Centre for Infectious Diseases in the Faculty of Health Sciences, as well as SAFRI, the African Regional Institute of the FAIMER organisation. She is actively involved in the management of both of these organisations. She is a fellow of the College of Pathologists by peer review, and a member of several national and international research groups. Her interests include the quality assurance of higher education, the laboratory diagnosis of tuberculosis, and the study of the epidemiology and risk factors of complicated staphylococcal infection.

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