UCT STUDENT HONOURED
UCT PhD candidate Lerato Hlaka received a postgraduate doctoral degree fellowship at L’Oreal-Unesco For Women in Science programme
ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya, on Thursday. Only 12 PhD fellowships were given to young female scientists from across Africa this year.
Hlaka’s research, in the department of pathology, division of immunology, involves identifying potential drug-targets for pathogen and host-directed therapy for
The work that was honoured last night is in collaboration with Professor Colin Suckling and Dr Katherine Carter from the University
of Strathclyde, Glasgow, and Dr Fraser Scott from the University of Huddersfield, both in the UK. It involves identifying the antimycobacterial activity of minor groove binder compounds as a foundation for the development of a novel inhalable drug formulation for
the treatment of TB.
This could potentially lead to the development of an effective anti-TB formulation, a much-needed intervention in a country with one of the highest burdens
of TB globally.
“The high incidences of drugresistant tuberculosis propel an urgent need for the development of
new effective drugs.
“I am grateful to my supervisors, associate Professor Reto Guler, Professor Frank Brombacher and Dr Mumin Ozturk, and our collaborator Dr Fraser Scott for providing me the opportunity to be part of this work,”
said Hlaka. |