Gavin Norton Obituary, Death – Gavin Norton began his career as a junior lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1989. In 1993, he founded and became the Director of the Cardiovascular Pathophysiology Research Programme, which later grew into the Cardiovascular Pathophysiology and Genomics Research Unit (CPGRU) in 2001, with the addition of an off-site satellite research group, namely the Cardiovascular Pathophysiology Research Unit (Mayo Clinic, Roodepoort, Johannesburg) in 2018. Prof Norton, as a true clinician scientist, thought that excellent clinical treatment must be founded on sound scientific data. As a result, he has made a significant contribution to the body of work on cardiovascular pathophysiology, hypertension, and heart failure.
He has written or co-written over 220 scientific publications, including research articles, review papers, a book, book chapters, and letters to editors. He had an H-index of 35 (Scopus) with more than 4345 citations, a B2 NRF rating, an MRC Gold Medal for excellence in research, and an honorary fellowship from the International Union of Physiological Sciences, demonstrating his status as a researcher and the esteem that he had worldwide (IUPS). Prof Norton was not only a competent scholar, but he also had a strong interest in teaching and training pupils. In the School of Physiology, he was influential in curriculum development, implementation, and monitoring.
His teaching excellence was recognized by him receiving, among other things, the PV Tobias award as an outstanding instructor in the Faculty of Health Sciences. He had a gift for expressing complicated physiological concepts in simple but precise words, and his emphasis on empowering his students to problem-solve was one of the characteristics of his teaching philosophy. His fatherly approach to postgraduate training earned him the respect of all of his more than 50 research Masters and PhD postgraduate students. The fact that so many of his graduates are now in significant academic and industrial positions attests to the high level of education he provided.
Gavin loved the beach and enjoyed swimming and surfing. He also enjoyed movies and had a sizable collection of DVDs featuring his favorite actors. Few people realized he was a passionate painter/artist and frequent museum visitor. His many travels across the world turned him into a wealth of world knowledge and a very intriguing person to listen to. Despite the recognition that Prof Norton is due, he has remained a humble individual, willing to engage with anybody, always helpful, and eager to offer his knowledge and expertise.