UP biochemistry graduate earns Fulbright Scholarship

Posted on June 27, 2017


Lungelo Mandyoli has had a stutter since childhood. Despite this, he has managed to keep his academic career on a smooth trajectory‚ which has earned him a prestigious international scholarship.

Mandyoli, who completed his MSc degree in Biochemistry at the University of Pretoria's Department of Biochemistry in 2016, has been selected as a fellow of the Fulbright Scholarship – the flagship foreign exchange programme for the US – to complete his PhD in biochemistry at Texas A&M University.

The 25-year-old works as a research assistant at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). He was raised in Khayelitsha‚ Cape Town‚ by his father‚ who was the sole caregiver and breadwinner of the family after Mandloyi's mother died when he was just three years old.

Witnessing his father's discipline and dedication led Mandyoli to believe he could achieve whatever he wanted to.

'I wouldn't say I was an overachiever‚' Mandyoli said. 'Maybe I was above average but I always worked hard.'

Mandyoli graduated from UWC with a BSc in biotechnology in 2013. Three years later he earned an MSc in biochemistry from the University of Pretoria‚ and won the Metrohm Prize as the University's top master's student.

Before choosing biochemistry‚ Mandloyi wanted to become a doctor.

'My love for medicine changed when I came to understand that its impact can be more effective in applications that benefit many people‚ such as drug discovery.'

During his scholarship, Mandloyi hopes to pursue doctoral studies in biochemistry and biophysics‚ with a specialty in structural biology‚ focusing his research on targeting protein pathogens in TB and HIV.

'We track proteins in TB that allow the disease to affect us easily. We try to study it structurally and functionally and then we try to target its host.'

When he is not in the lab‚ Mandyoli enjoys reading African novels, and listening to news and football games with his father on their radio at home.

'It's like any father and son relationship. It has its ups and downs but he's always been there for me when I need him.'


This article was adapted from an article that was first featured on TimesLIVE. Read the original article.


- Author TimesLIVE

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