Mandela University doctoral student takes first prize with cancer research 

BY Nkosazana Ngwadla

PhD student in Physiology Itumeleng Zosela won first place in the in the Audio Category of the Young Science Communicator’s Competition 2022 edition, with her study focusing on using plant materials for colon cancer treatment.

The Young Science Communicator’s Competition challenges young scientists to tell their science story in a captivating, informative and interesting way.

The competition focused on natural sciences, under the theme of the “International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development,” and is an initiative of the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP).

Itumeleng’s research entails a possible treatment for colon cancer using gold nanoparticles synthesised from plant material.

Treatments currently available have severe side effects and do not only target the colon cancer cells but they also damage normal cells, she says.

These plant-synthesised gold nanoparticles have shown to only target and kill colon cancer cells and not normal cells which makes them a possible treatment with less side effects and cost-effective.

The award ceremony was held at the recent SACNASP Gala Banquet event in Pretoria and highlighted the profound impact of SACNASP’s 20 years dedicated to advancing professionalisation, scientific integrity, and inclusivity.

Image: LinkedIn

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