A Leader’s Sanctuary: Lab Coats and Samples

By: Precious Lesupi

Master of Science student with a speciality in molecular virology, Tshegofatso Thobane has always had a fascination with developing vaccines from a young age that eventually had him drawn towards the biochemistry career field. “It’s the common diseases that torment our rural African societies daily, such as Ebola, HIV/AIDs or Cancer, that had me thinking of how we could reduce the infection rates using science; that’s what intrigued me about drug discovery and development,” he explains.

“The current pandemic has shown a great need for scientists from our country, it is not wise to constantly look to other nations for solutions to such problems”

Although much of his work still in its incubation stages, Thobane does plan on advancing it beyond academia, such as his honours research on the effects of cyclooxygenase inhibition.

Outside of science, Thobane also doubles as a founder and national chairperson for Together As One RSA, which works a lot with youth development nationwide, Director of a graphics design company and vice-president of the Golden Key UFS Chapter. His organisation has been working tirelessly to provide high school learners with the academic support they need and higher education students with access to mental health care resources during the corona virus global pandemic.

Currently, the student leader and entrepreneur works with different strains and types of viruses within his studies, although still aiming to research and deal with the common diseases he always had his eye on developing drugs for. “I believe, gaining more knowledge and skills in the field has been my biggest achievement as well because it is what allowed me to fall in love with my specialty,” he further mentions.

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