The Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology, established as a merged department in 2018, was originally separate departments stemming from the Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology and Plant Pathology.
The Department of Biochemistry, the first department of its kind in South Africa, was established in 1940. The heads of department during the review period were Prof. Jan Verschoor (2003‐2012), Prof. Debra Meyer (2013‐2014) and Prof. Wolf‐Dieter Schubert in an acting capacity in 2015 until the merger in 2018.
The Department of Genetics, established in 1952 in the former Faculty of Agriculture, later merged with the former department of human genetics in 2002. Prof. Paulette Bloomer served as the head of department since 2010, following Prof. Henk Huismans.
The Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, established in 1917, underwent changes in 2015 when four academic staff members of the department joined the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. In 2009, Prof. Henk Huismans, was the acting head of the department. Prof Fanus Venter was head of the department in June 2010 until May 2016. At this time, Prof. Lucy Moleleki was the acting head of the department until the merger.
The merged Department Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology (BGM) is structured in four divisions, three which are the custodians of the three base disciplines i.e. Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology, and one for Research and Postgraduate Education. The department head during the review period was Prof. Paulette Bloomer while Prof. Anabella Gaspar, Dr Vida van Staden and Prof. Lucy Moleleki served as Chairs of the Division of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology respectively. Prof. Wolf-Dieter Schubert served as the chair of Research and Postgraduate Education. The current head of department is Prof Sanushka Naidoo (since 2020). Dr Ntombi Gama, Dr Pam de Waal and Prof Mapitsi Thantsha are the current chairs of the Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology respectivley. Prof Schubert remained the chair of Research and Post Graduate Education.
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