Biochemistry Students Excel at National CongressAgriculture, Engineering & Science

UKZN prize winners (from left) Ms Shandre Pillay, Mr Shaun Khumalo, and Ms Saffiya Habib.UKZN prize winners (from left) Ms Shandre Pillay, Mr Shaun Khumalo, and Ms Saffiya Habib.

Three students from the Discipline of Biochemistry on the Westville campus won top awards at the recent South African Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Congress in East London.  

At the final gala dinner, Ms Shandre Pillay, an MSc student supervised by Dr Mogie Singh, won the first prize in the Biotechnology category, with colleague, Mr Shaun Khumalo (supervised by Dr Karen Pillay and Dr Patrick Govender) placed third. 

The night was not over for the Biochemists, as Ms Saffiya Habib, a PhD student (supervised by Dr Mogie Singh and Professor Mario Ariatti) scooped third prize in the highly competitive Non-Communicable disease category. 

Pillay said the award was a pleasant surprise and thanked her supervisor for her guidance and colleagues from the Non-Viral Gene and Drug Delivery Laboratory for their support and motivation. She will complete her master’s degree this year and intends to continue this research towards a PhD study next year. 

Singh said she was extremely proud of her two students who competed against some of the best in South Africa. The audience included leading minds in the field of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from universities throughout South Africa. She added it was evident that postgraduate research at UKZN was among the best in the country.