School of Life Sciences

Award-Winning Student Graduates Summa Cum Laude

Ms Bronwyn Ramsamy, who graduated with a summa cum laude Bachelor of Science degree, was a prize winner at the recent College Awards Ceremony for being the top student in 2023 in both of her majors – Biochemistry and Microbiology.

‘I have always been very passionate about science and especially biology,’ said Ramsamy. ‘I obtained my best mark in high school in life sciences and so I was set on going into some sort of medical science field. When I started the Biochemistry modules at university I fell in love with the subject, especially the module on metabolic systems, which is still my favourite module.

‘I love understanding how cells break down different molecules and the energy changes that occur as well as how some pathways can be manipulated to give a particular outcome.  This is the basis of drug targeting, which represents a huge interest of mine.’

Ramsamy is currently registered for a BSc Honours degree in Biochemistry under the supervision of Professor Shahidul Islam in the School of Life Sciences on the Westville Campus.  ‘My honours research project looks at decreasing triglycerides in the body by using a certain compound that will assist obese people in losing bodyweight,’ she explained.

‘My interest in Biochemistry comes from my interest in drugs and how they work to target particular enzymes and mechanisms, which can change the characteristics in the cell and can have a major impact in the treatment of genetic diseases or infections. The basis of biology and medicine is biochemistry,’ she said.

Ramsamy has her sights set on master’s and PhD research in the future.

She paid tribute to Jesus Christ, her late father and to her mother and brother.

In her spare time, Ramsamy loves to read, especially philosophical literature, and CS Lewis in particular.  She also loves to sing and is a worship leader at her local church, singing in front of thousands of people on a weekly basis.  ‘This explains my lack of fear of public speaking!’ she joked.

‘In my last 16 years at UKZN, I have never seen a student achieve so much academically in such a short period of time,’ said Islam.  ‘ Ms Ramsamy is exceptionally talented. I strongly believe that she will continue to do well in her postgraduate studies.’