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31/05/2023

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: PhD Physiology student at Mandela University Itumeleng Zosela is one of four South African students that have been accepted to join the Novartis and University of Basel Next Generation Scientist Internship Program in Switzerland over three months from June to August 2023.

Itumeleng’s PhD research is focused on using plant material to synthesize gold nanoparticles for colon cancer treatment.

The intensive training program for talented and motivated research scientists from low- and middle-income countries from all over the world, aims to equip students with new skills that will help them in their careers and for them to share these skills with their fellow students when they return home.

Itumeleng was one of the candidates that were selected to attend the Novartis next generation scientist eight-week virtual program in 2022.

Early this year she was selected to attend a series of interviews with group leaders from Novartis.  

The participants will gain practical experience in pharmaceutical drug discovery and development processes with the assistance of Novartis mentors.

Itumeleng will be representing Nelson Mandela University and South Africa at large. Her supervisors are Dr Steven Mufamadi, who holds the Research Chair DSI-Mandela Nanomedicine Platform and Human Physiology's Prof Saartjie Roux.

“I feel so grateful to be selected to be part of the Novartis Next Generation scientists' program. Novartis is one of the big companies that focus on drug discovery and drug development which are the main interest in my career.

“This opportunity will help me grow as a young scientist and I will be able to incorporate the skills that I learn at Novartis in my own research and share the skills that I learn with my fellow nanomedicine scientists at the University.

I feel privileged to be representing Nelson Mandela University and to be one of four students that will be representing South Africa at this internship, she says. 

Itumeleng also works part time for the University's research office and assisted with practicals for master's students in nanoscience.  

Contact information
Ms Elma de Koker
Internal Communication Practitioner
Tel: 041-504 2160
elma.dekoker@mandela.ac.za