Faith Nanyonga, MSc Medical Microbiology
Faith’s dream is to become a world-class research scientist and develop a vaccine against the HIV virus that has ravaged her native Uganda. In Manchester she has made academic connections that have already set her on that path. It has, she says, been “life-changing”.
“I got interested in HIV studying bio-medical laboratory technology at Makerere University in Uganda. Then I worked for three years at the Uganda Virus Research Institute.
“My country is struggling with infectious diseases like HIV/Aids, malaria and tuberculosis, and vaccine development is considered the most feasible solution – yet only tuberculosis has one at present. I decided I wanted to continue my research into vaccines against tropical diseases, and HIV in particular.
“The master’s course I wanted to do simply wasn’t available anywhere at home and I was thrilled to be offered an Equity and Merit Scholarship to come to Manchester. I’d never been to Manchester, or the UK, before and I like a lot about its diverse culture. It’s a cosmopolitan city, and socially too I’ve been enlightened.
“The course content was very relevant to my future ambitions and fitted very well. I’ve been able to make good networks and connections in terms of the work I’m doing and my future career. I’ve been able to talk to some outstanding professors and read some world-class journals. It’s opened my eyes and made me more optimistic about what lies ahead.
"The facilities are state-of-the-art. You walk into the laboratories and you're wowed! The rich research atmosphere and the supportive environment have boosted my self-confidence, my independence of thought and my creativity."
“After my master’s I would like to do a PhD in vaccine research specifically for HIV. What is happening in the scientific world shows me it is achievable. I need to return to Uganda first, but I would love to come back and do my PhD here. It’s at the cutting edge of research.
“I’m a scholarship ambassador for the Alan Gilbert Scholarship and for the University at large, and that’s enabled me to give something back. I tell anyone looking for a university: Manchester is THE place to be.”