When renowned geneticist Professor Michèle Ramsay is not building knowledge of African genomic diversity and working on decoding clues for genetic susceptibility to disease, she is knitting a “COVID blanket”. Tiyese Jeranji spoke to her about her passion for genetics, the complexities of genome editing, and how she copes with COVID-19.
For Dr Caroline Pule, a biomedical scientist working in tuberculosis (TB) research, her passion for finding answers that can help ease the suffering caused by diseases such as TB started with a promise she wrote in her diary when she was 13 years old. Tiyese Jeranji spoke to Pule about following her dream of saving lives and teaching young girls to believe in possibilities.
The first time Dr Rehana Malgas-Enus (38) stepped into a chemistry lab at university, she fell in love. This love has fuelled many of her career achievements but now also drives her to share her love of science with learners from disadvantaged communities. Elri Voigt spoke to Malgas-Enus as part of Spotlight’s Women in Health series.
Dr Ncumisa Jilata’s journey from a childhood classroom in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape to becoming the youngest neurosurgeon in Africa may have begun with a glass of water. Laura Owings spoke to her about her journey, what drives her and succeeding in the male-dominated field of neurosurgery.
Professor Koleka Mlisana is co-chair of South Africa’s COVID-19 Ministerial Advisory Committee. Ufrieda Ho interviewed her about her love of science, her career, and her role in the fight against COVID-19.
In 1947 the first black woman qualified as a doctor in South Africa. Her name was Mary Malahlela-Xakana. It took the country about 60 years after its first black male doctor started practicing for Malahlela-Xakana to don her stethoscope and practice medicine. Much, but not enough has changed since then, writes Alicestine October.