Olihile Sebolai

Research capacity developer, University of the Free State

Olihile Sebolai made headlines when he discovered a lubricant that could allow nano-robots to travel through the body and unblock clogged arteries. His research on the yeast in which the lubricant was found earned him an MSc in microbiology and his work was published in scientific journals and presented at conferences. But the applications of his research are futuristic and could be in development for years, says Sebolai. After completing a PhD in microbiology, he decided to pursue a path that would have more concrete results: research development. With the old guard of academia heading for retirement, Sebolai hopes to help "replenish and build a new generation of academics�. He is the manager for research capacity development at the University of the Free State, where he focuses on recruiting dedicated young academics and helping them to pursue their research. � Faranaaz Parker

Lunch spot: New York, Westdene, Johannesburg