Alta (Aletta E) Schutte is Professor of Physiology and funded by the Department of Science and Technology as the South African Research Chair (SARChI) in the Early Detection and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in South Africa - hosted by the Hypertension in Africa Research Team (HART) at the North-West University (NWU). She is also the Unit Director of Medical Research Council Extramural Unit for Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease.
She obtained her PhD in Cardiovascular Physiology in 2002 at the Potchefstroom University for CHE, and performed postdoctoral work in Australia in 2004. In 2008 she was the Founding Director of the Hypertension in Africa Research Team (HART). She is/was the Principle Investigator of several large multi- and interdisciplinary research projects, such as the POWIRS, SAfrEIC, PURE and African-PREDICT studies.
South African Research Chair (SARChI) in the Early Detection and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in South Africa / Medical Research Council (MRC) Unit Director: Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease
Her research focus is the identification of early markers for the development of hypertension, and ultimately the prevention of cardiovascular disease in the black African population. She regularly receives invitations as speaker at international meetings (such as Australia, USA, Denmark, Germany, Italy and Korea). She has published over 150 papers in international journals on the topic of hypertension, and supervised more than 60 honours, masters, doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows. She received several local and international research awards, including the Distinguished Young Women Scientist in the Life Sciences award, presented by the SA Department of Science and Technology; the British Association Medal from the Southern Africa Association for the Advancement of Science (S2A3); the Meiring Naude Medal from the Royal Society of South Africa; the AU-TWAS Award (African Union & The World Academy of Sciences); the NWU Institutional Award for International Leadership in Research; the Excellence in Physiology Research Award from the Physiological Society of Southern Africa, and the Next Einstein Forum Fellowship Award from AIMS (African Institute for Mathematical Sciences) and the Robert Bosch Stiftung.
She serves on the Editorial Board of established cardiovascular journals, such as Journal of Human Hypertension, Current Hypertension Reports, Current Obesity Reports, Global Health Epidemiology and Genomics, serves on the Editorial Advisory Panel of Clinical Science, and was an Associate Editor of BMC Cardiovascular Disorders. She is one of 20 founding members of the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS). She serves also on the Executive of the Council of the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) and is the President of the Southern African Hypertension Society (SAHS).
She regularly acts as reviewer for funding bodies and international journals in her field, such as the American Journal of Cardiology, Heart, Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, and the Lancet. She further engages with the public, NGOs, the National and Provincial Departments of Health, healthcare practitioners and industry in giving presentations, policy advice, and raising awareness of hypertension and its consequences (in the media through television and radio appearances as well as newspaper articles).
Date: 27 October 2015