08 October 2020 Photo Supplied
Matefo Litabe
Matefo Litabe is graduating on Friday (9 October) with a MMedSc in Medical Virology on In vitro immune responses to Sindbis virus.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only changed the world as we know it, it has also brought new opportunities for some, with one graduate from the University of the Free State (UFS) Division of Virology seeking to further her studies on this virus.

Matefo Litabe, who graduated on Friday (9 October 2020) with an MMedSc in Medical Virology on 'In vitro immune responses to Sindbis virus', has registered for a PhD and will be studying host immune responses in patients with COVID-19.

Prof Felicity Burt, who holds an NRF-DST South African Research Chair in Vector-borne and Zoonotic Pathogens Research, is her supervisor.

“In light of the current pandemic, my PhD study will focus on studying changes in humoral and T-cell responses in COVID-19 recovered patients. The study will help in understanding the correlations of protection against SARS-CoV-2, which may have implications on the development of effective treatment and vaccines for SARS-CoV-2,” says Litabe of her choice for a PhD.

According to her, one way to do well in your studies or work is to do what you love. She has found a love for virology and research. Says Litabe: “An MSc is demanding and challenging, with so much to learn in a short period. During my MSc studies, I had the great opportunity to attend international and local conferences to share the work we do at the Division of Virology, allowing me a great opportunity to network with other scientists."

“I am incredibly grateful for my achievement and making it this far. I am grateful for all the support I got from my colleagues, supervisor, and parents. Thank you to my parents. Without their unending love, support and encouragement, I wouldn’t have made it this far. I want to give a great thank you to my supervisor, Prof Felicity Burt, for her invaluable guidance and support,” says a proud Litabe.

Litabe also congratulated her fellow graduates, saying they should be proud of their hard work and achievements.

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.