Change the world


Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Mandela University postdoctoral fellow, Dr Nehemiah Latolla, has been selected as a finalist in the South African leg of the international science competition, FameLab. 
FameLab is designed to engage and entertain by challenging young scientists (aged 21 to 35 currently registered, studying or working in science, technology, engineering or mathematics in South Africa) to communicate their science to a public audience in under three minutes. Talks are fun and engaging, making science relevant to everyone, without using jargon or formal presentations. Talks are judged on content, clarity and charisma.
As an advocate of science, Nehemiah seeks to discover novel chemical compounds from plants to use as medicine. He believes that listening to indigenous stories about plant use could hold the key to resolving our fight against illness and disease. He aims to share some of the science behind medicinal plants through social media. 
Apart from being a phytochemist, Nehemiah is also a poet and fashion designer, where he uses these multidisciplinary mediums to make meaning through art and science.
Nehemiah was awarded his PhD in Chemistry in April this year. His thesis - Phytochemical Investigation and Antidiabetic Activity of Cissampelos Capensis and Strychnos Henningsii the Eastern Cape Medicinal Plants - investigated the phytochemistry of two Eastern Cape Medicinal plants used to treat diabetes by locals. His study contributed new knowledge in drug discovery. 
The FameLab final will be broadcasted on 17 October at 18:00 on the NRF SAASTA YouTube channel.