Survivors of breast cancer, HIV or Covid-19 may have Advaita Singh to thank in the future. As an expert in biopharmaceuticals, Singh seeks natural cures for human ailments and figures out how to perfect them for commercial use. His team at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research is producing low-cost, life-saving therapies and vaccines from plant proteins.
Singh is driven to excel by the knowledge that their work is improving the lives of ordinary South Africans. So far, one of his proudest moments was producing potent plant-based antibodies that could change the lives of HIV patients. He is often “humbled by science”, he says.
He wants to cooperate with local universities and biotechnology companies to drive South African innovation in this specialist field. This will create new openings for young scientists and biotechnologists, and make protein-based life-saving treatments more accessible to all.
“It is the small steps that add up to giant leaps.”