12 December 2019
Kelly Chibale (UCT)
Prof Kelly Chibale (PhD, Synthetic Organic Chemistry, University of Cambridge, UK, 1992) is a full professor of organic chemistry at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He is Neville Isdell Chair in African-centric drug discovery and development, a full member of the UCT Institute of Infectious Disease & Molecular Medicine and holds a Tier 1 SA Research Chair in Drug Discovery. Kelly is also the founding director of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) Drug Discovery and Development Research Unit at UCT and Founder / Director of UCT Drug Discovery & Development Centre (H3D). Fortune magazine listed Kelly in the 50 Greatest Leaders for 2018.
Lyn-Marie Birkholtz (UP)
Prof Lyn-Marie Birkholtz is a full professor in Biochemistry at the University of Pretoria and director of a Tier 1 DST/NRF South African Research Chair in Sustainable Malaria Control. She leads the Parasite Cluster within the UP Institute for Sustainable Malaria Control. Lyn-Marie is an elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa. She received her PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Pretoria, followed by postdoctoral fellowships in Germany and the USA. UP recognised her as Exceptional Young Researcher in 2010 and 2013, as Exceptional Academic Achiever in 2019. She received the Vice Chancellor’s Exceptional Supervisor Award in 2017 and the NSTF Science Communication Award in 2018.
Lyn-Marie’s research harnesses expertise in malaria control in South Africa to enable sustained malaria control particularly in the African context. Her research contributes to malaria control and elimination by focussing on both pathogenic and transmission forms of the parasite. To ensure sustainability in malaria control and elimination her research broadens the understanding of essential biological processes of malaria parasites as a catalyst to antimalarial drug discovery.
Brett Pletschke (RU)
Prof Brett I. Pletschke (Ph.D-1996., FAAS, MRSSAf) is currently a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology at Rhodes University. His research interest lies in the fields of enzymology and enzyme biotechnology - more specifically, in the use of enzymes and their synergistic relationships to generate bioproducts. He has published more than 85 papers/book chapters with several patents, the most recent an enzyme formulation to improve animal feed. He is a fellow of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and serves on the editorial boards of “Enzyme and Microbial Technology” and “Biotechnology Letters”. Prof Pletschke is also a past President of SASBMB.