Dr Cosnet Lerato Rametse is a clinician scientist and PhD candidate at the University of Cape Town. During her studies, she had found that content was mostly founded on data derived from first-world populations, and that there was a lack of room to explore the content more deeply.
Then fate struck, and she became one of the first students to participate in UCT’s highly successful clinician-scientists training programme, pioneered by the late Professor Bongani Mayosi and Professor Arieh Katz.
As she describes it: “I was so excited that they just introduced a programme that would allow me to both study medicine and engage in basic science and research. This was one of the biggest surprises of my career — just how the opportunities unfolded and lead to where I am, and [am] headed now in terms of my career.”
This set the stage for Rametse, who has since published articles in peer-reviewed international journals, become the first graduate of the programme to enrol for a PhD (on HIV acquisition in men through penile exposure), presented her work at international conferences, and been awarded the 2020 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (Croi) New Investigator Scholarship.
In describing what motivates her, Rametse says, “I would love to see the gap bridged between clinicians and scientists and scientific research work. I hope to generate and contribute to the ever-growing body of knowledge in medicine; to shape our health care and understanding of diseases as directed by our own populations, by both translating research results into the clinical setting and developing research questions based on clinical issues encountered in practice”
“The fact that a curious young mind as mine was given the chance to grow and acquire the necessary skills to further contribute to my own community is something I will eternally appreciate,” she adds.