Mdu Mntambo

Senior project coordinator, Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Research Unit, Chris Hani Baragwanath

Mdu Mntambo knew that his future lay in biology and medicine. But after completing his BSc, he started working as a medical microbiologist in a commercial laboratory. Mntambo soon realised that he wanted to be involved in the prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), especially HIV. As a senior project coordinator at Wits' Reproductive Health and HIV Research Unit at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, he now spends his days studying STI prevention methods. It's an intellectually stimulating job, but he admits that it is difficult to see healthy people participating in his trials who, all too often, become infected with HIV. Disheartening as that is, it hasn't slowed him down. Mntambo recently applied for aresearch grant towards a PhD within a fortnight of completing his master's dissertation. � Hendri Pelser

Lunch spot: Capellos, Newtown, Johannesburg