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Meet the Team

Board Members

johanburgerIndependant Non-Executive Director

After his undergraduate studies at Stellenbosch University, Johan obtained a PhD in Microbiology (Molecular Plant Virology) from the University of Cape Town in 1991. Since then, he has been managing research as principle investigator at the Agricultural Research Council, the CSIR and Stellenbosch University. His current research is focussed on various aspects of grapevine virology, with the ultimate aim of introducing virus resistance in grapevine cultivars. To this end, his team is investigating the virus complexes responsible for the numerous virus diseases in grapevine, the role of small RNAs in biotic stresses caused by different grapevine pathogens, and the development of virus-based resistance constructs for the ultimate expression in grapevine cultivars. Johan teaches Molecular Genetics at Stellenbosch University and supervises three post-doctoral fellows and about 10 post-graduate students. He receives research funding from a diverse group of donors and has several national and international collaborations. He is the current Chair of Department of Genetics at Stellenbosch University and also serves on the management committees of a number of local and international professional associations. He serves on the boards of two companies and is the commanding officer of 3 Field Engineer Regiment, a Reserve Force army regiment, based in Cape Town.

Reinhard-HillerManaging Director / PhD and MBA Graduate / Biotechnology / Genetic Medicine

Judith is currently the Managing Director at the Centre for Proteomic and Genomic Research. She is responsible for giving strategic guidance and direction to the CPGR, to ensure that the Company achieves its vision, mission and long-term goals. Her career path towards advancing biotechnology in South Africa started by being awarded a PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand (Protein Chemistry). This was followed by a highly driven and focused six-year period of postdoctoral research at renowned local and international institutions (Rhodes University Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Biotechnology; University of Arizona, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Tuscon, Arizona, USA). Judith joined the CPGR in 2007 and in her roles has been extensively involved in projects involving the study of biomarkers in the advancement of personalized medicine and individual health. The completion of an MBA degree from Stellenbosch University supported her venture into the commercialization of science and innovation within the biotechnology and healthcare sectors. She also held a 2-year position as a member of the International Biomarker Consortium Inflammation and Immunity steering Committee managed by the FNIH and has just completed a postgraduate diploma on Genomic Medicine and Healthcare (University of South Wales, UK), advancing her interest and passion for societal upliftment through the development of genomic healthcare opportunities.

ronniekingwillIndependant Financial Director

The 40 years since Mr Kingwill matriculated from Muir College in Uitenhage have been filled with enormous opportunities;its been a privilege for him to have been a South African and an Old Muirite. He attended Rhodes University to complete his B.Com and finally qualified as a CA having started his articles in Johannesburg with Coopers & Lybrand who were kind enough to sponsor a year of International training in London. After qualifying and spending some time in the profession Mr Kingwill realised that he needed less structure and so joined the Dion Group before moving on to spending 12 years in ESKOM and 8 years in Portnet. This experience helped to build up an understanding of major projects that require sound financial control, extensive communication and interface with multi disciplined organisations. This was the ideal background for him to become part of Cape Town’s 2004 Olympic Bid Initiative. During more recent experiences in the Fresh Produce Terminal environment as Managing Director, a successful business strategy was implemented, driven by strategic goals and value systems informed by the Balanced Scorecard and supported by meaningful service level agreements. Currently as an Accredited Associate of the Institute for Independent he engages in his own business advisory business registered as On Demand Investments. Recent engagements have been in several sectors where completed proposals include the following initiatives:

  • Kelvin Power Station acquisition and due diligence
  • Due diligence at Endulwini Resources
  • Feasibility Studies for coal fired Power Station in Mozambique for AMCI
  • Distributed Generation initiative presented to the Department of Mineral and Energy
  • Prepaid Metering proposal to housing developers
  • Business Plans supporting an application to the IDC for funding of Crane Hire
  • Services Service level agreements at the Cape Town Market
  • Supply Chain proposal to Umlimi Agricultural Services
  • Due diligence of South African Non Amateur Golf (SANAG)
  • Strategic planning for On The Dot a division of Media24
  • Acting Manager of Somerset West Golf Club
  • Interim CEO of Towel & Linen a linen distributor
  • Interim CEO of Svenmill a textile factory
  • Member of one of the PGWC audit committees.

After many years of keeping abreast of developments in the logistics sector with a strong financial focus, there is a passion to contribute to the growth of these future business leaders and build the SMME sector as a platform for job creation.

shamspatherChairperson

Mr Pather completed his B Bus Sci at UCT in 1973 and his MBA at UCT in 1977 and a B Com (Hons) in Business Data Processing at UCT in 1982. He has attended various portfolio/asset management courses and programs locally and in London and Geneva. Semi-retired in 2003 for health reasons, his career has included being an Investment analyst for Norwich Union Life Assurance (1973-1975) and AGM (Investments), Colonial Mutual Life (1975-1987). He was an Executive Director (Investments) of Southern Life Assoc.(1987-1996), and Executive Director of Real Africa Holdings and CEO of Real Africa Asset Management (1996-2003). Aside from his current role as the Chairperson of the CPGR’s board, Mr Pather is a non-executive director on the boards of Coronation Fund Managers Limited, Oceana Group Limited and Lungisa Holdings (Pty) Ltd. He is a Trustee for the UCT Foundation, Ukukhula Trust (UCT), Imvula Trust (Coronation) and Bonus Pool Trust (Coronation). Mr Pather is the Governor of the Imam Abdullah Haron Education Trust and a member of the Joint Investment Council – UCT.

Staff Members

 

Managing Director / PhD and MBA Graduate / Biotechnology / Genetic Medicine

Judith is currently the Managing Director at the Centre for Proteomic and Genomic Research. She is responsible for giving strategic guidance and direction to the CPGR, to ensure that the Company achieves its vision, mission and long-term goals. Her career path towards advancing biotechnology in South Africa started by being awarded a PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand (Protein Chemistry).

This was followed by a highly driven and focused six-year period of postdoctoral research at renowned local and international institutions (Rhodes University Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Biotechnology; University of Arizona, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Tuscon, Arizona, USA).

Judith joined the CPGR in 2007 and in her roles has been extensively involved in projects involving the study of biomarkers in the advancement of personalized medicine and individual health. The completion of an MBA degree from Stellenbosch University supported her venture into the commercialization of science and innovation within the biotechnology and healthcare sectors. She also held a 2-year position as a member of the International Biomarker Consortium Inflammation and Immunity steering Committee managed by the FNIH and has just completed a postgraduate diploma on Genomic Medicine and Healthcare (University of South Wales, UK), advancing her interest and passion for societal upliftment through the development of genomic healthcare opportunities.

 

Genomics Manager

Lindsay obtained her undergraduate degree undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Microbiology from the University of Cape Town in 1999. She completed her First Class Honours degree in Biochemistry in 2000 and was awarded a Masters degree in Molecular Biology, with distinction in 2002. At the beginning of her PhD studies, she spent a year of her PhD at Oxford University on a Mamphela Ramphele/Chevening Scholarship. Her research interests involved investigating signal transduction pathways activated in response to pathogen attack that leads to disease resistance in Arabidopsis. Lindsay was awarded her PhD in Molecular Biology from UCT in 2007. She continued with her post-doctoral studies further identifying and functionally characterising components involved in plant disease resistance pathways by employing a range of molecular techniques in the fields of genetics and protein chemistry. She joined the CPGR team in 2010 and has gained experience in managing cutting edge research projects in fields ranging from crop development to drug discovery. As the Genomics Manager she co-ordinates activities across the various genomics platforms including the latest edition of next generation sequencing. The dynamic environment within the CPGR affords Lindsay the opportunity to continually develop and enhance her genomic expertise and make a positive contribution to the biotechnology sector in South Africa.

Linda-de-WaalMarketing and Sales Leader

Linda graduated from University of Stellenbosch with a Masters in Molecular Biochemistry and worked for the MRC/University of Stellenbosch as a senior scientific officer before joining Laboratory Specialist Services as a product specialist. This point marks the start of her marketing & sales career, the post evolved to a Technical Director position. Specializing in Invitrogen marketing she moved to The Scientific Group as National Product (Invitrogen) Manager and regional sales Manager. Subsequently she joined Celtic Molecular Diagnostics in the capacity as Invitrogen distributer for Southern Africa.  In 2011, after the amalgamation of AB and Invitrogen, Life Technologies (as a whole) entered the African market directly – for the following 18 months Linda was involved with the successful amalgamation of the Invitrogen range into the Life Technology portfolio. Linda joined the CPGR in 2013 as the Marketing and Sales leader with the mission of converting the CPGR’s strategic development targets into actionable tasks aimed at maintaining existing and creating new customers in Africa.

liamProteomics platform Manager

Liam spent a year in industry in the UK in a biotech R&D laboratory that was part of the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in Teddingham prior to proceeding further with his post-graduate studies. He completed his PhD in medical biochemistry in Prof Jonathan Blackburn’s lab at the Institute for Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine situated on the University of Cape Town’s medical campus. He was able to attend many courses and conferences in the proteomics field whilst studying. After completing his PhD, Liam held a post-doctoral research position at the HHMI funded KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for TB and HIV (K-RITH) In Assoc. Prof. Al Leslie’s group where he used both shotgun and targeted techniques in a variety of applications as well as attending further courses in Munich and Washington DC. Liam has gained a wealth of experience at the CPGR through almost 4 years on the job durng whcih time he has been involved with a wide range of projects. This has included advising and managing different aspects of many proteomics workflows from study design to data analysis.

Proteomics Senior Technician

Michelle obtained a BSc in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at Stellenbosch University in 2012. Her postgraduate studies were undertaken at the Institute for Wine Biotechnology where she completed her MSc in 2015. She joined the CPGR in 2016 as an intern in the Proteomics unit and has since become a technician in this platform where she is mainly involved in sample preparation and workflow development as well as data analysis.

RT-PCR Platform manager

aubrey

Aubrey obtained his BSc and BSc(Hons) degrees in Biochemistry at the University of Cape Town and then stayed on at UCT to obtain his PhD degree in Molecular & Cell Biology in 2004 under Prof. Nicola Illing. Aubrey’s thesis investigated the role of fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) in inducing neuronal differentiation in a cell line which was derived from mouse olfactory neuroepithelium. Upon completion of his PhD Aubrey began a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in Prof. Jonathan Blackburn’s laboratory at UCT. Here, his focus was on using protein microarrays as a platform to study the activity of the human kineome and to study the selectivity and potency of drug molecules towards kinases. The techniques that he used include the baculovirus expression technology, cell culture and protein microarrays. Aubrey joined the CPGR in June 2008 as a Senior Project Scientist and is now responsible for managing the Real-Time PCR service platform.

SONY DSC Affymetrix Manager

Jo joined the CPGR in 2006 to establish South Africa’s premier Affymetrix service. With a strong focus on quality of data, and customer service, she has implemented a number of diverse workflows enabling the CPGR to offer many of the wide range of assays available from Affymetrix. Jo completed training on the GeneTitan (Axiom assays) and CytoScan adding these valuable research tools to the suite of services offered by the CPGR. Jo also successfully completed the DMET training at the University of North Carolina under the auspices of PGENI. Prior to joining the CPGR, Jo spent several years at the Central Science Laboratory (now FERA) in the UK as the GM technical manager and also at the MRC gene service (now incorporated into Source BioScience) where she was instrumental in setting up and subsequently managing the Affymetrix service.  Her range of experience and specialised skills add an invaluable dimension to the CPGR and she is often called on as a knowledge resource across all the platforms.

Senior Research Officer

Desiree is currently the Senior Research Officer and the iScan Platform Manager at the Centre for Genomic and Proteomic Research (CPGR). She returned to South Africa in 2017 after working abroad for more than 10 years at internationally recognised research institutes, including the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) in San Diego, California, U.S.A. and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia. Her expertise includes investigating genetic diversity amongst human populations and susceptibily to complex diseases. In addition, she has a strong interest in new genomic technologies for further development of innovative applications. Desiree is also the Genomics Coordinator for the DIPLOMICS program hosted by the CPGR.

Desiree received her PhD degree in Health Sciences (Human Genetics and Medical Virology) from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa in 2006. Furthermore, she holds a BSc degree in Natural Sciences (Genetics, Microbiology and Biochemistry) as well as a BSc (Hons) degree in Human Genetics and a MSc degree in Medical Sciences (Human Genetics and Medical Virology), all from the Univeristy of Stellenbosch. During her postgraduate studies, she was awarded several international scholarships to perform research abroad at the University of Maastricht in The Netherlands, National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Frederick, Marlyand, U.S.A. and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia.

 

leboGenomics Senior Technician

Moleboheng obtained her National Diploma in Biotechnology in 2006 at the Vaal University of Technology. Before going on to the do her B.Tech degree, she completed her In-Service training at the University of Limpopo, (Turfloop Campus), working as a Laboratory Assistant. Her responsibilities included preparing the laboratories for Microbiology and Biochemistry experiments as well as practical exams, exam invigilation, sub-culturing, media and solutions preparation, stock taking and equipment maintenance. She graduated with her B.Tech degree in 2007, after completing her thesis on Cost Effective Methods of Eliminating and/or Reducing Algae in World’ Seal Ponds. This was done in collaboration with the Marine World in Vereeniging. Moleboheng was the CPGR’s first NRF intern, joining the program in 2008. Part of her internship included familiarising herself with basic molecular biology techniques such as nucleic acids extractions, PCR optimization, taqman assay genotyping, tissue culture and gel electrophoresis. She joined the CPGR on a permanent basis after completing her internship in 2009. As a Genomics Senior Technician, Moleboheng is involved in workflow development, preparing quality SOPs, liaising and assisting CPGR’ clients with Quality Control of their nucleic acid samples and writing up analytical reports. Moleboheng is also highly involved in Affymetrix after been trained in Affymetrix Assays such as Cytogenetics, and DMET.

 

Agri-Genomics Project Manager

Shane joined the CPGR in 2007 and currently works part-time as a Senior Genomics Project Manager.  She has extensive experience in research project management and has successfully completed multi-year Agri-Genomics projects funded by TIA, THRIP, NRF and the Maize Trust.  Since 2017, Shane has been responsible for running RNA-Seq, metagenomics, amplicon sequencing and whole genome sequencing projects in the Next-Generation Sequencing unit at CPGR, and also contributes to the “Foundations in Omics” training courses.  She holds an Honorary Research Associate affiliation at the University of Cape Town where she co-supervises a number of postgrad students.  Shane has a PhD in Plant Molecular Biology from the University of Edinburgh (obtained in 2001), followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at UCT (2001-2006). She also lectured in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at UCT for a five-year period (2011-2016).  Prior to her PhD, Shane worked for the Agricultural Research Council’s Vegetable and Ornamental Plant Institute in Pretoria where she was instrumental in setting up vegetable transformation protocols.  Her initial education was from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Pietermaritzburg where she obtained her BSc Hons and MSc cum laude.

 

Bioinformatics Platform Manager

Paidamoyo holds a BSc in Computer Science and Microbiology (2013), BMedSci Honours in Bioinformatics (2014) and a MSc Med in Bioinformatics (2016) – from the University of Cape Town (UCT). After her Master’s, she joined the CPGR in 2017 as a Junior Bioinformatics Analyst and in 2018 was advanced to be a Bioinformatics Analyst. As of early 2019, she now also Leads the Bioinformatics Team. Her main role is in overseeing and coordinating the platform’s various activities and efforts to develop different methods to understanding biological data, which includes, analysing and processing data for these projects, mostly ones from the Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Diagnostic Platform. Paidamoyo is a member of The South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions and of The Golden Key International Honour Society (Academically awarded). She enjoys learning new concepts from working on these various projects and is currently pursuing a PhD in Health Science Education at UCT, the research currently looks to focus on exploring factors that contribute to developing competencies in medical sciences research, in particular at the CPGR.

awaatiefCreditors clerk

Awaatief has a National Certificate in Bookkeeping with the ICB (Institute of Certified Bookkeepers). I was previously an Administrator for Property24 and Korbitec. I have been at the CPGR since Jan 2016 as  Creditors Clerk.