By: Tshegofatso Teseletso
Botswana International University of Science and Technology scholar, Dr Goabaone Gabotse has become amongst a growing number of the institution’s academics to scoop a research scholarship grant. He was recently awarded the 2021/2022 Fulbright Visiting Research Scholarship Grant, a Certificate qualification in Stem Cell Culture by the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, USA.
The scholarship bequeaths him admission into the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) training program which recognises and develops the skills of young African leaders to bring change in their communities. The current one being residency at the Ivy League Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, USA. Dr. Gaobotse is a Senior Lecturer, Researcher and Research Supervisor in BIUST.Dr. Goabaone Gaobotse, is a fervent and industrious Stem Cell Biologist, who holds a PhD (Stem Cell Research) received at the age of 29 from The University of Manchester, England and an MBSc (Molecular Biotechnology) from Curtin University, Australia.
A fascinating and inspirational expert who is the first and only Stem Cell Biologist in Botswana. In a bid to impart knowledge, in 2016 he developed two Stem Cell Biology modules at both undergraduate and postgraduate level in the Department of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, BIUST.The zealous Stem Cell Biologist has served the BIUST community as a lecturer sinceSeptember 2015. His adeptness has landed him a promotion as a senior lecturer. Dr. Gaobotse explains that his roles include teaching, doing research and supervising research students.
Over the years Dr. Gaobotse has enhanced and shared his skills through mentorship and supervision. He is currently supervising and/or co-supervising five (5) MSc students and has previously supervised six (6) under graduate students. “I am involved in a lot of community education engagements,” said the ebullient Dr. He doesn’t stop there, he is also engaged in collaborative social
engagement among them rewarding best standard seven (7) students who attained grade A in their final examination with P500.00. Dr Gaobotse also gives motivational talks across Palapye primary schools”I also do guest lectures and seminars around Botswana to sensitize communities about Stem Cell Biology, Research and Therapy,” he said.
Dr. Gaobotse elucidated that his primary career goal is to see the conceptualisation of requisite law that regulates research on human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESCs). He further highlights that Stem cells are special cells in that they can form any of the over 200 different cell types in the adult body. In that way they hold a very special place in medicine. He further stated that his secondary career goal is to develop a BSc Honours degree programme in Stem Cell Biology here at BIUST. “Our children should not be left behind in this evolving space in medicine,” said Dr. Gaobotse.
Furthermore the passionate Dr. delineated that there is need for more Batswana to be educated in this area because many breakthroughs have been made through Stem Cell Therapy such as the remission of HIV in a patient after hematopoietic stem cell transplant. “We, as Batswana, need to be a part of this global medical phenomenon and we should not wait for the west to make such breakthroughs and then join in later,” emphasised Dr. Gaobotse.On a light note the good Dr. painted his day away from office in this order; spending time with family, watching football matches
precisely his favourite team (Manchester City), listening to or watching poetry (among them Akala his favouriye poet) and reminiscing on his old time favourite movie Dead Poets Society.Dr.
Gaobotse explained that Stem Cell Biology, Research and Therapy is a very promising field of medicine. “It remains our only hope to solving some of the most debilitating diseases of our times.
I appeal to BIUST and the government to invest in this area,” he said.Lastly the passionate Dr. delineated that there is a need for more Batswana to be educated and specialising in this areabecause many breakthroughs have been made through Stem Cell Therapy such as the remission of HIV in a patient after hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
“We, as Batswana, need to be a part of this global medical phenomenon and we should not wait for the west to make such break throughs and then join in later,” Dr Gaobotse emphasised.