Dr Siphamandla Mtambo graduated with a PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry.

Improving Public Health by Tackling Influenza

Dr Siphamandla Mtambo was awarded a PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry for his study on the impact of the H7N9 mutation on anti-influenza drug resistance.

‘Attaining a PhD brings a sense of accomplishment, satisfaction, and pride. It is a significant achievement and the culmination of hard work, dedication, and research,’ he said.

Supervised by Dr Hezekiel Khumalo, the study aimed to gain a comprehensive understanding of the intricate relationship between the H7N9 mutation and drug resistance, with the goal of contributing to the advancement of anti-influenza drug discovery and addressing the issue of drug resistance.

Mtambo believes that his findings offer valuable insight for the development of more potent drugs to combat influenza. He highlighted the need for this type of research ‘due to the potential life-threatening complications that can arise from influenza infections. The development of effective treatments would improve patient outcomes and safeguard public health.’

Mtambo hopes that his achievement will inspire upcoming scientists from disadvantaged backgrounds like himself.

‘With unwavering dedication, determination, and a resilient work ethic, no goal is unattainable,’ he said.

Words: Mandisa Shozi

Photograph: Rajesh Jantilal