Trailblazing Student Spotlight: Physiology Student’s Remarkable Academic Journey

Posted on October 17, 2023

We are thrilled to highlight the remarkable achievements of Charlise Basson, a dedicated student from the Department of Physiology. Charlise's journey at the University of Pretoria has recently taken an exciting turn, as she has upgraded from an MSc student to a PhD candidate. This upgrade is a testament to her outstanding contributions and the expansive scope of her research project.

Since her upgrade, Charlise has been on a prolific trajectory. She delivered both an oral presentation and a poster at the International Conference on Mathematical Methods and Models in Biosciences (BIOMATH) in Pomorie, Bulgaria, which focused on the mathematical modelling for CTCE-9908, a CXCR4 inhibitor, and its impact on B16 F10 melanoma cell proliferation. In addition, she received an SMB grant from the BIOMATH committee to attend the conference and participate in the School for Young Scientists in Bulgaria. Along with her supervisors Dr. Yvette Hlophe, Dr June Serem and Dr Priyesh Bipath, Charlise has recently published two scholarly articles showcasing her commitment to advancing knowledge in the field of cancer research. Furthermore, her dedication to academic excellence was prominently displayed as she presented her research at esteemed platforms such as the XXVIII International Symposium on Morphological Sciences, Faculty Day, and the Tshwane District Health Services Research Conference. Her participation in these events not only underscores her expertise, but also reflects her commitment to scholarly dissemination and collaboration.

Charlise Basson presented her research at the SANORD conference in Norway

In an exciting international endeavour, Charlise was invited to participate in the Science Leadership Programme for Doctoral Students (SLP-Doc) in Mauritius in 2023. This experience provided her with a unique opportunity to engage with peers and experts from diverse backgrounds, broadening her perspectives and fostering connections that will undoubtedly shape her future in academia.

With yet another feather in her cap, Charlise distinguished herself by participating in the Three Minute Thesis competition and emerged as the triumphant victor in the PhD category. Her eloquent and concise presentation skills set her apart, earning her not only recognition, but also a monetary prize. Additionally, her outstanding performance in this competition opened doors to a prestigious opportunity- a full scholarship to present her research at the

SANORD conference in Norway. This international stage offered her a chance to represent the University of Pretoria on a global platform and engage with scholars from around the world. She will represent the University of Pretoria at a national level in October.

Dr. Hlophe, Charlise's supervisor, commends her as an exceptionally diligent student who wholeheartedly dedicates herself to her academic pursuits, seizing every available opportunity. Charlise's insatiable curiosity has led her to engage in various experimental assays, even those that may not have directly related to her primary study goals. Moreover, she exhibits remarkable adaptability and a collaborative spirit, making her a valuable asset in any team or environment. Charlise's exceptional communication skills enable her to effectively convey and distill complex information. With her boundless ambition, there are no
limits to what this promising student can achieve.

As Charlise continues to make strides in her academic and research pursuits, we look forward to witnessing the promising contributions she will make to the field of physiology and the broader scientific community.

- Author Dr. Yvette Hlophe

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