Invited Speakers

Cell and gene therapy: New medicines on the horizon
Prof Michael Pepper
Department of Immunology and Instititute for Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Pretoria

MBChB (Cape Town), PhD (Geneva), MD (Geneva), Privat Docent (Geneva)


Michael Pepper is Director of the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Director of the SAMRC Extramural Unit for Stem Cell Research and Therapy and a research professor in the Department of Immunology in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Pretoria. He is also professeur associé in the Department of Genetic Medicine and Development in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. He obtained his MBChB in 1982 from the University of Cape Town, and moved to Geneva in 1986, where he obtained his PhD in 1990, MD in 1992 and Privat Docent in 1997. He returned to South Africa in July 2004.

Michael has worked extensively in the field of clinically-oriented (translational) molecular cell biology, and his interests include stem cells and the human genome as well as their ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI). He assists the National Department of Health with legislation concerning human tissues and in particular cell-based therapies, and is President and Chairman of the Board of the South African Tissue Bank Association. Michael is chairperson of a consensus study on the ELSI of human genome editing which is being conducted for the Academy of Science of South Africa.

Michael has > 280 medical and scientific publications with an H-index of 71/80 (Scopus/Google Scholar), and has received a number of awards for his research. He has been extensively involved in teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and is frequently solicited as a speaker at local and international meetings. Michael interacts regularly with the media and writes for the lay press on medical and scientific matters.

Ethical and societal implications of neuroimaging in dementia
Prof Mike Sathekge
Department of Nuclear Medicine, University of Pretoria and Steve Biko Academic Hospital

MBChB, MMed (Nucl Med), PhD, MASSAf


Mike Sathekge is a Professor and Head of the Nuclear Medicine Department at the University of Pretoria and Steve Biko Academic Hospital. He is President of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (National Specialist Examining body for all disciplines). Mike is the Chairman of the Medical Research Council of South Africa. Internationally he is the in-coming Editor-in-Chief of the Seminars of Nuclear Medicine Journal, the immediate-past President of the International Society of Radiolabeled Blood Elements (ISORBE) and past Secretary-general of the World Federation of Nuclear Medicine and Biology (WFNMB). Prof Sathekge also serves in the Governing Body of World Association of Radiopharmaceuticals and Molecular Therapy (WARMTH).

Prof Sathekge has performed several of the first-in-human studies and introduced peptide receptor radionuclide therapy and peptide radioligand therapy in Africa, as well as 225Ac-PSMA for prostate cancer. He is a recipient of several key awards for research and service, including being rated as an Internationally Acclaimed researcher by the National research Foundation, winning the bid to host the Main Nuclear Medicine Research Infrastructure (NuMeRI) Facility in South Africa. He also recently won the South African Clinician Society Research Excellence Award. His publication and presentation record internationally & national has earned him editorial roles on peer reviewed journals, and being elected as the member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). Mike was also honoured by being admitted as a Fellow of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore.

Non-clinical drug safety testing in the development cycle of medicines
Prof Vinny Naidoo
Dean: Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, University of Pretoria

BVMCh, MVet, PhD


Vinny is a veterinarian and a specialist in veterinary pharmacology, and is Dean of the Veterinary Faculty of the University of Pretoria. His research expertise focuses on translational animal research of pharmaceutical products for their pharmacokinetics and nonclinical toxicological characteristics. As part of his responsibilities at the University of Pretoria, he is involved in contract pharmaceutical product development, the supervision of Masters/Doctoral Students, and has published numerous research publications. He has served as a technical expert for food safety evaluations and bioequivalence for the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority; and is involved with vulture conservation and the devastating effects of environmental toxins on the species.

Personalised medicine
Dr Danny Meyersfeld
BSc.Hons Genetics (Wits), PhD Molecular Biology (Wits)

Dr Danny Meyersfeld completed his PhD in molecular biology at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa.  In 2008, following two years of post-doctoral research, he established DNAlysis Biotechnology, a company dedicated to the advancement of personalized medicine. In the past ten years, DNAlysis has become one of the leading global providers of nutrigenomics tests and practitioner education, with reports available in ten languages and being utilized by doctors in more than thirty countries around the world.

High-throughput targeted gene technology for SNV genotyping and clinical application
Ms Bianca Sansom
BSc.Hons Genetics (Pretoria), MSc Pharmacology (Pretoria), LLB (Pretoria)

Bianca Sansom, an HPCSA registered Medical Scientist, is currently the Laboratory Manager at GeneWay™, where they focus on DNA testing in terms of precision medicine. Bianca holds a Bachelor’s of Law, Bachelor’s of Honours in Genetics and a Master’s degree in Pharmacology. Bianca’s PhD research is currently underway at the University of Pretoria and is centering around the Pharmacogenetics of anticancer drugs. The study investigates various single nucleotide variations in drug metabolism and transportation genes, that affect drug toxicity and efficacy. Bianca has more than 10 years’ experience in both the public and private sectors, with a broad knowledge of molecular techniques used for routine diagnostics and research purposes.

Why prescription drugs can hurt? Using pharmacogenomics to reduce risk
Ms Debra Langley
Independent pharmacogenomic consultant

BPharm (Pretoria), NHN NHC


Debra Langley is a professional pharmacist, wholefood plant based nutritionist, author and keynote speaker with more than 25 years’ experience in the field of health and wellness. Debra has hosted talks for the PSSA (Pharmaceutical Society of South Africa), the Gauteng General Practitioners Association, Equilibria School of Life, Geneway, The Pharmacy Show, Tsogo Sun and many others and has been a contributor to the Natural Medicine Magazine and Oxygen. She is the face behind the popular Instagram feed @plantbased2go. When she is not writing, speaking, consulting, or creating courses to improve the health and wellness of both body and mind, you can find her whipping up a delicious wholefood plant based treat, with her nose in a book, sweating it out in the cardio kickboxing gym, or sharing a scrumptious spread with friends and family. Her first book, Ideas Like Shoes, was released in 2015 and her next slated for release this Spring. Get (free) practical, doable tips at

Tricks patients use to get their fix
Dr Kim Outhoff
Department of Pharmacology

MBChB (Cape Town), PhD (Pretoria), DipPharmMed (Cardiff), ACCP (SA), FFPM (UK)


Kim is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Pharmacology, University of Pretoria. She studied Medicine at the University of Cape Town and practised in Namibia, Canada and England before joining Guy’s Drug Research Unit, London, as a phase I and II Pharmaceutical Physician, and then Organon Laboratories, Cambridge, as a Senior Medical Adviser. She attained her Dip.Pharm.Med from Cardiff University and specialised in Pharmaceutical Medicine, becoming a Member and subsequently a Fellow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine of the Royal College of Medicine (UK). She is a CMSA-registered Clinical Pharmacologist and has a PhD in Pharmacology. Her talk on “Tricks patients use to get their fix” describes the landscape and potential consequences of prescription drug abuse, diversion and prevention.

Section 21 drugs
Ms Machel Leuschner
Department of Pharmacology

BPharm (North-West), MSc (North-West)


Machel graduated her B.Pharm in 1998 and went on to do a Master's degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmaceutics which she graduated cum laude in 2000. During her earlier career she gained experience in hospital, retail and courier pharmacy. Between 2009 and 2013 she was part of the leadership team at Medipost Pharmacy overseeing specialized medicine and managed a team of 20 employees. She is currently enrolled for a PhD in Pharmacology to further her career as a researcher, since May 2015. During this time she lectured Pharmacology and Healthcare Economics to undergraduate students at Pearson's Institute of Higher Education, as well as Pharmacogenomics, Adverse Drug Reactions and Drug-drug Interactions and Practical Analytical Techniques to BSc.Hons Pharmacology students at the University of Pretoria as guest lecturer. She has also been involved in clinical trial research at the Clinical Research Unit during this time. Machel is a lifelong learner with a passion for research and teaching. Her goal is to maintain high standards of healthcare through quality education, research and community service. Her talk on "Section 21 drugs" will delve into the regulatory and administrative process thereof. Section 21 of the Medicines and Related Substances Act (Act 101 of 1965), provides patients and their doctors access to individualised life-saving medication not yet registered in South Africa. A recent article published in the Therapeutic Innovation and Regulatory science journal reported median times for the approval of a New Active Substance in South Africa to be between 1,100 – 1,800 days, and for fast track applications the median approval time in 2017 was 609 days. In accordance to the act, SAHPRA may therefor authorise the sale of "a specified quantity of the unregistered medication to a specified person for a specified period". SAHPRA issued an update on the submission procedures for all section 21 authorisations in October 2018. These are interim arrangements put in place to improve on the service delivery of section 21 authorisations, by an automated online application process.

Publishing your research
Anne Marie Pordon


Anne Marie Pordon has been overseeing publishing of fourteen pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences journals in Elsevier’s portfolio since 2013.

Important Dates
Conference Duration
5 October 2019 08:00 - 7 October 2019 16:00
1 April 2019 - 28 September 2019 [CLOSED]
Call For Abstracts
9 April 2019 - 30 July 2019
53rd Annual Conference of the South African Society for Basic and Clinical Pharmacology
Werner Cordier
Contact Email
[email protected]
Contact Number
  • Clinical pharmacology
  • Communicable disease pharmacology
  • Drug discovery and development
  • Method development
  • Neuropharmacology
  • Non-communicable disease pharmacology
  • Pharmacology education
  • Regulatory pharmacology
  • Traditional medicines
  • Other
  • Late-breaking poster abstracts