year in review 2018 Paperturn - Page 122

University of Cape Town student Lerato Hlaka is among 14 exceptional
young female African scientists to be honoured with a L’Oréal-UNESCO
For Women in Science doctoral fellowship, awarded at an event in
Nairobi, Kenya on 6 December.
Hlaka, in collaboration with scientists
from the universities of Strathclyde and
Huddersfield in the United Kingdom, is
working to develop a novel inhalable
drug formulation for the treatment
of TB.
She said the high incidence of TB in
South Africa, especially of drug-resistant
TB, drove an urgent need for the
development of new, effective drugs.
Hlaka was also named as one of
the Mail & Guardian 200 Young
South Africans in 2017, and received
second prize in the Institute of
Infectious Disease and Molecular
Medicine (IDM) postgraduate students’
publication awards for her first coauthored publication in the Journal
of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.
Hlaka’s research, conducted in the
Department of Pathology in the
Division of Immunology, is focused on
identifying potential drug targets for
pathogen and host-directed therapy
for tuberculosis (TB).
“The world needs science, and
science needs women: Nowhere
is this more clearly illustrated than
in African countries, which face
significant challenges including
climate change, access to energy
or food security,” said L’Oréal
Foundation executive vice-president
Alexandra Palt.
“Science and technology are key to
addressing these challenges, and this
will not be possible without women.
Their talents and perspectives enrich
relevant research.”


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