Soweto-born Katlego Lancelot Mailula dreamed of becoming a medical doctor. Although fascinated with the science of medicine and a keen interest in helping people, Mailula could not see himself office bound. After carefully assessing his options, taking into account his passion for science and his eagerness to assist society, he opted to pursue a career in environmental health.
Now 23 years old, Mailula is in his third year studying towards a National Diploma: Environmental Health at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). He is part of a select group of bright young students who will be sharing their ideas, knowledge and perspectives on the wide range of challenging issues around food contaminants at the 2014 Universitas21 Undergraduate Research Conference hosted by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, from 7-11 July 2014.
Katlego Mailula is set to present at Universitas21 Undergraduate Research Conference Mailula conducted research on the safety of milk and will present his research findings at the Universitas21 conference. The theme for the conference is Food Safety: From Farm to Table.
Says Mailula: “The majority of people drink milk but are not familiar with the process of milk production – from the farmers to the end product used by consumers. Access to nutritionally adequate and safe food is the right of every individual. His research seeks to offer an overall view of the process, the model of risk assessment in the food system, and the efficient process control of food contamination. It should be emphasised that food safety, from farm to table, is the responsibility of all: not only food growers, packers and handlers, but even consumers at their homes.”
Mailula expressed his gratitude towards UJ for the opportunity to present his research on an international platform. “I’m grateful to be able to be part of the Universitas21 Undergraduate Research Conference. It would not have been possible without the exceptional lecturing staff at UJ and all the support I received from the University throughout my studies. I am proud to be associated with an institution that continues to give students opportunities to gain experience in the field. This will be my first time overseas let alone in an airplane,” says Mailula.
In 2013, UJ became the first and only member from Africa to join Universitas21, one of the most prestigious and innovative research-led university consortia in the world, where member institutions collaborate on undergraduate and postgraduate levels while sharing best practice.