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Heidi Abrahamse Receives 2019 Humanitarian Award at the 17th World Congress of the International Photodynamic Association

Boston, USA, July 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

At the 17th International Photodynamic Association World Congress in Boston, Massachusetts, Professor Heidi Abrahamse of the University of Johannesburg, South Africa was the 2019 recipient of the IPA Humanitarian Award.


Director of the Laser Research Centre at the University of Johannesburg, Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Heidi Abrahamse is a globally recognized researcher in the fields of Photobiology and Photodynamic therapy (PDT) with expertise in PDT oncology, wound healing and adult stem cell research.  She is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Photomedicine and Laser Surgery. She is also the Past Chair of the National Laser Applications in Health South African Research Chair Initiative (SARChi).

Professor Abrahamse has been recognized for her research and personal efforts aimed at improving quality of life in Africa and for her contributions in PDT that have led the South African Department of Science and Technology to identify and support Biophotonics in Health as a major area of focus and investment through a newly established photonics initiative of South African (PISA) to prevent and treat disease. The Board of the IPA congratulates Professor Abrahamse for this well-deserved recognition.

IPA World Congress

The Boston World Congress was the 17th conference held by the International Photodynamic Association, marking 34 years of this global meeting. The IPA World Congresses, held every two years, are the leading PDT meetings bringing together members of the global photodynamic community to advance scientific and clinical research relating to photodiagnosis and photodynamic therapies. The Boston World Congress was led by Congress Chair and IPA President Dr. Tayyaba Hasan, Professor of Dermatology at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Harvard Medical School (HMS) and a Professor of Health Sciences and Technology (Harvard-MIT) and had record attendance with representatives from 33 countries.  The 2021 IPA World Congress will be hosted in Moscow, Russia and the 2023 IPA World Congress will be held in Shanghai, China.

About Photodynamic Therapy

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is a combination therapy involving light activated photosensitizers to diagnose and treat various types and stages of cancers and pre-cancers, macular degeneration and multidrug-resistant infections involving bacteria, viruses and fungi. First developed in the 1980s, PDT has demonstrated superior patient outcomes with considerable cost savings. Over the past 30 years, millions of patients globally have been successfully treated with PDT.

About the International Photodynamic Association

The International Photodynamic Association (IPA) was founded in 1986 to support and endorse the scientific advancement and clinical development of photodynamic therapy and photodiagnosis. With members and associates from over 30 countries, the IPA represents a truly global community consisting of prominent international scientists, clinicians and translational researchers, healthcare professionals and students across academic, hospital, government and private sector organizations. The IPA promotes the study of diagnosis and treatment using light-activated photosensitizers and disseminates scientific information to its members, the research community, and to the community at large. The IPA organizes a biennial World Congress around the world, providing members and non-members a unique opportunity to share and learn more about global developments relating specifically to photodynamic therapy and photodiagnosis. 

For further information:

Angelika Vance
International Photodynamic Association