Kingswood Celebrates Women Alet van der Westhuysen

 “…In life, during difficult circumstances, is when character is built…” – Dr Alet van der Westhuysen (OK 2008)

August is Women’s Month and what better way to truly celebrate it than by touching base with a few notable women in our very own Kingswood family.

Today we have the privilege of profiling for our KC Women’s Month  Series, Dr Alet van der Westhuysen who matriculated at Kingswood College in 2008. Her brother was also at Kingswood.

She was born and bred in the Adelaide district in the Eastern Cape. She first attended Adelaide Gymnasium until Grade 9 when she moved to boarding school at Kingswood College. Alet is of the view that her years at Kingswood College played a large role in moulding and shaping her into the person that she is today.

She went on to study at the University of Stellenbosch and completed her BSc in Chemistry and Polymer Sciences. She had not originally planned to do postgraduate studies, but her passion for chemistry was ignited in the final year of her undergraduate degree. She undertook her BSc. Honours (2012), followed by her MSc degree in Organic Chemistry. Alet was then offered the opportunity to do a PhD in organic and medicinal chemistry.

She relished the challenge and her doctoral research comprised a multi-disciplinary project ranging from the synthesis of anticancer drug molecules to their delivery in the human body.

During the course of her PhD, Alet had the opportunity to do research in Italy and also to participate in an internship programme at the world-renowned pharmaceutical company, Novartis in Basel, Switzerland.

Recently, Alet has started her postdoctoral research fellowship in the United States at Emory University, Atlanta.

Her main research focus is on the development of novel nucleoside-based therapeutics for COVID-19. Considering the tremendous impact that this pandemic is having on a global scale, she is hopeful that she will be able to contribute to meaningful and potentially ground-breaking science.

Here Dr. van der Westhuysen shares a message with our Kingswood community for Women’s Month…

Read her Q&A to find out more about this amazing woman…