“I am grateful to be reaping the benefits of stepping out of my comfort zone. By facing the unfamiliar, that challenge will allow me to see what great things I am capable of,” said Emmie Chiyindiko, winner of Famelab 2018.

With FameLab, the world’s leading science communication competition, participants have just three minutes to win over the judges and crowd with a scientific talk that excels in content, clarity and charisma. Contestants from around the world participate, armed only with their wits and a few props.

Emmie won the Postgraduate School’s Three-Minute-Thesis competition for master’s level in 2018.

Choose Faith over Fear from University of the Free State on Vimeo.

She said: “My research is based on the synthesis and characterisation of a series of unique metal complexes.” These complexes are used both as active pharmaceutical ingredients and cosmetic additives to reduce the detrimental effects of UV radiation on the skin. They are incorporated into anti-ulcer, gastro protective drugs, anti-asthmatic, lung disease drugs, with anti-cancer and anti-diabetic agents,” she said.

With her research she can also monitor air pollution. Formaldehyde is a known toxin to human health. “Using metal complexes, I am able to monitor the production of formaldehyde and consequently come up with exposure prevention methods,” said Emmie.

She believes that it is okay to not “fit in”. “Mannerisms such as your quirks make you different and distinctive. Live your life intentionally, imprint your personal mark on this universe and always choose faith over fear.”

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