ONE of South Africa’s brightest minds in medicine has taken over the reins at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s George campus.
Dr Quinton Johnson, the chairman of various national and international medical centres, has been appointed the new principal of the campus.
He takes over from Professor Christo Fabricius, who now heads the university’s sustainability research unit.
During his 23-year career Johnson has made massive strides in medicine, especially in the field of natural medicine.
He was the founding chairman of the medical biosciences department at the University of the Western Cape, which served two faculties, five departments and three schools.
He was also the founding director of the South African Herbal Science and Medicine Institute, which is the only one of its kind in the country.
It focuses on unlocking the value of phytotherapies (the use of plant extracts for medical purposes) for HIV/Aids, tuberculosis, cancer and diabetes, and phytopharmaceuticals.
He was founding South African director for the United States National Institutes of Health International Centre for Indigenous Phytotherapy Studies, and the European Union Traditional Health Research Consortium.
NMMU deputy vice-chancellor Professor Piet Naude said he was thrilled with Johnson’s appointment.
“The university is very serious about the success of the NMMU in George, and Johnson has the academic and leadership credentials to lead it as campus principal,” he said.
Johnson’s top priority as head of the campus is to strengthen transformation and to work towards a sustainable future. “We will accomplish this by enhancing excellence through diversity. Moreover, we will work towards becoming a world-class knowledge catalyst for the green economy and a more sustainable future.”