Ever since she was a child, Dr Bernice Monchusi (28) has been passionate about helping others. In high school, she dreamt of one day finding a cure for HIV/Aids.
In 2013, she was studying an honours degree in biochemistry when a close family friend was diagnosed with HIV and died two years later from a related illness. That was when she took her dream seriously and committed herself to researching drug discovery.
“My passion has always been drug discovery, for as long as I remember,” she tells Drum. “When I applied for my undergraduate at Rhodes University, I had to write an essay about my first choice. My exact words were, ‘I want to become a drug discoverer for HIV/Aids’.”