Dr Gugu Kubheka selected to attend Nobel Laureate Meeting
Dr Gugu Kubheka, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemistry, was one of only 11 top young scientists from South Africa to attend the 71st Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting dedicated to chemistry earlier this year in Lindau, Germany. The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) has successfully nominated these top young scientists from South Africa.
“Being selected to participate in the Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting meant an opportunity to learn and share knowledge with some brilliant young scientists and academics from different disciplines of science. On a professional level, attending this prestigious event will help expand my research network with renowned scientists, including the establishment of collaborations with both local and international scientists,” Dr Kubheka said when asked what this opportunity meant to her.
“The main goal of the Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting is to educate, inspire and connect. Personally, this meant an opportunity to expand my academic knowledge and be up-to-date with recent research developments in chemistry. The different talks given by the Nobel laureates, such as lecturers, Agora talks, open exchange and panel discussions, were part of the education programmes. Overall, the whole event was overwhelmed by educational programs on various chemistry and biochemistry topics. I was inspired, and I, in turn, wish to inspire other upcoming scientists through my work.”
“As a researcher, I also got exposure through different interviews. I did interviews with the African Diaspora Magazine (LoNam), which is based in Berlin. The young scientist who also writes for this magazine was interested in interviewing me after she saw on UP’s Twitter page that I was also attending the meeting. She was interested in chatting with young scientists about research in Africa. This interview which was written in German, allowed me to speak about my research, universities, infrastructure, and some of the best scientists we have in South Africa. I also had an opportunity to speak virtually with Koester Vera, who writes for ChemistryViews, about the Lindau meetings, research, and South Africa. This opportunity did not only shine a spotlight on my research but also on South Africa. With all the negative media surrounding the country, getting an opportunity to speak about all the brilliant research and other great things happening in South Africa presented an opportunity to express gratitude for the support the country has offered through sponsorship,” Dr Kubheka concluded.
Dr Kubheka is a Rhodes University graduate with a PhD in nanotechnology. She has more than seven years of conducting research in a nanotechnology laboratory. Her research focused on synthesising organic molecules and nanomaterials for application in optical limiting, photodynamic therapy, and fluorescence sensing. She has also conducted research in the environmental monitoring and sensing group at the University of Pretoria. Her research was based on the design and development of novel carbon materials for the adsorption of environmental pollutants in water.
Dr Gugu Kubheka