Toxicology alumnus Andrew has his eyes set on a Nobel Prize

Name: Andrew Munkuli Bambala
Degree: Master’s Programme in Toxicology (2020)
Current role: Pharmacist, University Teaching Hospital
Based: Lusaka, Zambia

KI-alumn profilbild
KI Alumnus Andrew Munkuli Bambala

What is your background?

Prior to my education at KI, I had a Bachelor of Pharmacy Degree which I obtained from the University of Zambia.

Why did you choose KI?

I choose KI because of its impact and position in the medical field. KI is one of the best medical universities on the globe and its influence and impact in the health care industry cannot be over emphasised. I always wanted to be in such an environment that would inspire and propel me to contribute to the improvement of health at a global level.

I also chose KI because of the Noble Prizes. I have always been inspired by the winners of the Noble Prizes in science since childhood, my dream was to experience a place were these Noble Prize winners were “manufactured”.

[At KI] I got to rub shoulders with the 2018 Nobel Prize winners in Physiology or Medicine James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo during their Noble lecture... This was my childhood dream come true! 

Andrew Munkuli Bambala

What was your experience like at KI?

I had a great experience at KI both in and outside class. I really appreciated the classroom interactions with my classmates using Problem Based Learning (PBLs). I enjoyed learning, knowing and interacting with people from different continents, different cultures and education backgrounds.

I also got the chance to rub shoulders with the 2018 Nobel Prize winners in Physiology or Medicine James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo during their Noble lecture in the Aula Medica. This was my childhood dream come true! 

This experience further inspired me to strive to be a future Noble Prize winner. During my studies, I was awarded the “2019 års stipendium” by the Farmaceuter utan Gränser -FuG Sweden for presentation at the Swedish Human Rights day.  I felt this was a step in the right direction!

I even had the opportunity to work as an intern at the Research Institute of Sweden (RISE), situated right in the heart of AstraZeneca in Sodertalje. I got to work with highly experienced and qualified scientists with several years of work experience. This was a dream beyond my comprehension and I will forever cherish this experience.

Finally, because my studies at KI were made possible by the Swedish Institute, I also had the chance to experience the Swedish Parliament, and I even had a visit to the United Nation Development Programme at the UN City in Copenhagen, Denmark. Under the same umbrella of Swedish Institute, I had an opportunity to serve as the 2018-19 Chairperson of the board for the Network for Future Global Leaders - Karolinska Institute and I had a privilege as a speaker to welcome over 400 scholars to Sweden. 

What was your next step after graduation?

After my graduation, I moved back to my country with the hope to contribute towards medication safety, poison management and environment protection.  

In this role, I was able to work with poison management, risk assessments, managing occupation hazards and managing and reporting adverse reactions of medicines.

Today, I am currently working as a Pharmacist, in the Emergency Department at the University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia, where I worked before I came to KI. In addition to my role as a hospital pharmacist, I also take part in lecturing Pharmacy and Nutrition Science Students in Toxicology at the University of Zambia. 

What are your future aspirations? 

I wish to contribute to the establishment of Poison Center for the management of poisons at the hospital, which hopefully can become the center of excellence for the country. I also wish to pursue a PhD in the same field of Toxicology 

How did your studies at KI help your future career?  

My studies at KI have really prepared me for the next phase of my career. I am more “hungry”! I am more than ready to begin my PhD once an opportunity is presented to me and more than ready to contribute to society at both local and global level.

What is your advice to current students? 

Get the best out of KI from both the class and outside class learning, do not limit yourself. All the best with your experience and studies.