Walter Sisulu University Student’s Research Looks At Affordable Cancer Treatment

NOVEMBER 6, 2014

A Walter Sisulu University (WSU) student’s on-going research endeavour into developing cost effective and environmentally benign medication for the mainstream market has earned the student top spot at the annual Postgraduate Symposium held at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) recently.

This is the first time in over a decade and since the merger in 2005 that a WSU student has achieved this feat.

Second-year Masters Chemistry student Olamedi Daramola defied expectations by pipping his competition to the post in the senior category – open only for second-year Masters and PhD chemistry students.

“This was such a welcome surprise because sometimes you’re so consumed by your work you yourself fail to recognise your own achievements. This award is significant in that it signals the gains the University is making in research that could and should change ordinary people’s lives,” said Daramola.

Top chemistry students from NMMU, Fort Hare, Rhodes, WSU, and for the first time this year, Innoventon (a research unit based at NMMU) jostle for top spot at the symposium – organised by the Eastern Cape branch of the South African Chemistry Institute.

Daramola’s work is entitled “The synthesis of Type II CdTe core shell nanoparticles for bio-labelling application focusing on cancer cell”. It looks at targeting the synthesis of Core shell nanoparticles with good stability and emitting properties.

“At the end of the day we want our research as a department and University to have a great impact in drug discoveries and other necessary application processes,” he says.

Head of the chemistry department Dr Potlaki Tseki was ecstatic at the achievement of his student and the department.

“We are constantly amazed by the potential to create such knowledge from our very humble chemistry laboratories compared to the citadel chemistry laboratories of our sister institutions.”

“The University’s staff can no longer be ignored for their potential to effectively contribute to frontier knowledge in chemistry research,” states Tseki proudly.

Daramola’s research further seeks to find answers on how to cure and locate a cancerous cell in the human body without operating the patient; how to produce a drug for cancer imaging in the body; and how to produce less toxic materials which can be used directly in the human body. 

Photo caption: Olamide Daramola holds up a test sample.