Prof. Yahya Choonara
Professor, University of Witwatersrand
Prof. Yahya E. Choonara completed his Doctorate in Pharmaceutics at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, South Africa in 2009 after graduating cum laude with a Masters of Pharmacy degree in 2004. He is currently an Associate Professor of Pharmaceutics in the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology at Wits University. He is also the Research Manager of the Wits Advanced Drug Delivery Platform (WADDP) Research Unit. In 2015 he was awarded the prestigious AU-TWAS Young Scientist National Award in the category of Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation. He also served as the Vice-President of the Biomaterials Association of South Africa (BioMatASA) and an Executive Board Member of the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences of South Africa (APPSA) and is currently a member of several prestigious academic and scientific organizations such as the Controlled Release Society (CRS) (UK), the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) (USA), a Founding Board Member of the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS), an elected affiliate to The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society and the Biomaterials Network (Portugal). In 2015, he was awarded a Fellowship by Higher Education South Africa (HESA) to complete training in Higher Education Leadership and Management (HELM). His cutting-edge research program focuses on the field of Computational Pharmaceutics applied to drug delivery technology. Prof. Choonara uses computational pharmaceutical algorithms to prototype optimized drug delivery technologies for treating various diseases/disorders. He is an expert in PharMATHaceutics, a novel concept which he has coined, for implementing unique computational algorithms that assist in the optimization of drug delivery systems. He has made several independent contributions to this area of Pharmaceutics by developing in silico pharmaceutical models using computer-aided Experimental Design tools such as Factorial and Response Surface Designs, Molecular Mechanics Simulations and Artificial Neural Networks. He has also presented over 251 papers at peer-reviewed local and international conferences. Prof. Choonara is currently a NRF-rated scientist in the Y1 category.