Jenique Bailly is a consultant Haematopathologist based at Groote Schuur Hospital and Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town. She completed her postgraduate training in the Department of Molecular Medicine and Haematology at the University of the Witwatersrand and National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS). She started as a consultant in the Department of Pathology, Division of Haematology at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and NHLS in July 2019. Jenique oversees registrar training at UCT and serves on the NHLS ECHO Haematology training committee since 2020. She recently joined to NHLS Proficiency Testing Scheme Advisory Panel for Haematology as well as the UCT Specialist Training Committee. Her MMed dissertation, publications and current research are in the field of Coagulation, a part of Haematology that greatly interests her. Her further interests include Molecular Medicine and the role of artificial intelligence in Haematology.
Jacqueline Weyer is the Head of the Centre for Emerging Zoonotic and Parasitic Diseases of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases. For 16 years, she has been leading the team responsible for laboratory investigation of human rabies, viral heamorrhagic fevers, arboviruses and other emerging zoonotic disease (such as mpox) of concern to the health of the South African public. In the past 10 years, Jacqueline has authored and co-authored more than 60 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals, and seven chapters in books, and achieved a National Research Foundation C2 rating in 2017. She serves on several national and regional committees and working groups pertaining to laboratory biosafety and biosecurity, rabies and other zoonoses and One Health. She been co-chairing the National One Health Forum in South Africa since its inception and a member of the National Rabies Advisory Group since 2008. She serves as the Deputy Chair of the ASSAf Standing Committee on Biosafety and Biosecurity and the Lead for the Implementation of the International Health Regulations in South Africa, Biosafety and Biosecurity work package.
Prof. Koleka Mlisana is the Executive Manager: Academic Affairs, Research & Quality Assurance at the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS), since July 2018. Prior to this she was the HOD: Medical Microbiology at UKZN/IALCH; also served a term as a member of the NHLS Board; and used to be a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance. Her work includes previously being an active HIV/AIDS researcher, for over a decade focussing on HIV prevention and pathogenesis, working at the Centre for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), Durban. She has undertaken seminal research which has revealed how the body responds during acute HIV infection. Her current research interests include TB diagnostics, antimicrobial resistance as well as sexually transmitted infections. Prof Mlisana has co-authored more than 190 peer reviewed journal articles. Amongst other national commitments, Prof Mlisana is the Co-chair of the Covid-19 Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC), she previously chaired the Pathology/Laboratory subcommittee of the first established MAC for Covid-19; up until recently she was a member of the Board of Trustees for the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) as well as the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAF), and she is a member of the Medical and Dental Board of the HPCSA/Medical Scientist Committee. She has nurtured and mentored many young scientists and is passionate about equipping the next generation of leaders and scientists.
Prof. Grobler is well experienced in both the fields of Higher Education of South Africa and Biomedical Technology (Medical Laboratory Sciences), she is a senior lecturer at Vaal University of Technology (VUT) and currently the acting Executive Dean of the Faculty of Applied and Computer Sciences at Vaal University of Technology. She has been involved in Medical Technology since 1989 and occupied positions on all levels (both in the laboratory and at the university) which contributed to a vast variety of experiences. She is a passionate educator in the field of Biomedical Technology and consider inter- trans- and multidisciplinary research collaboration as a high priority.
She obtained her D Tech in Biomedical Technology at Durban University of Technology (DUT) in 2015. Appointed as an Associate Professor from 1st December 2021. Her research focus is to evaluate the cardiovascular risk in black South Africans. She has been involved in several multidisciplinary research projects with the objective to identify nutritional and health risk factors in various vulnerable communities in the Vaal region, QwaQwa, Orange Farms, Alexandra and Cofimvaba since 1999. Her research and development studies at present are mainly focusing on the prevalence of genetic polymorphisms linked with cardiovascular disease and possible influencing factors for interventional studies.
She received the Faculty of Applied and Computer Sciences Research Achievement Award (2010). She received a sabbatical grand from NRF in 2011 as part of the IMPROVEMENT OF ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS (IAQ) programme. Apart from supervised eight master students successfully and numerous B Tech research projects (±140). She is author/co-author of ten (10) full-length peer reviewed papers and co-authored two book chapter. She has presented at various national (4) and international conferences (10) and co-authored abstracts as part of conference proceedings.
Prof Grobler is Nationally recognized as a leader in Health Science. She has been appointed in 2020 to serve on the Medical Technology Board (Vice chair) of the Health Professions Council of South Africa till 2025 by the Minister of Health. Additionally, appointed by Member of Executive Council (MEC): Health to serve as a member of the Provincial Health Research Committee of Health in Gauteng. The Society of Medical technology of South Africa (SMLTSA) appointed Prof Grobler to serve on the Immunology Scientific Advisory Committee. Council of Higher Education (CHE) appointed Prof Grobler to serve as a member of an Institutional Audit Panel.
Dr. Msomi is a clinical virologist and head of the virology department at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS). She is a founding member of the Network for Genomic Surveillance (NGS-SA), a network that was set up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and has led the genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV2 in Southern Africa. She serves in various national committees including the Polio National Certification Committee (NCC), which oversees the country’s Polio eradication activities and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA). Dr Msomi is also a board member of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) and the Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation (CERI).
Prof. Johan Potgieter Potgieter is currently the Head of the Department of Haematology of the National Health Laboratory Service – Tshwane Academic Division and University of Pretoria. After obtaining a bachelor of Medicine (MBChB) degree at the University of Pretoria in 1996, he specialised in Family Medicine. On completing his Master of Medicine degree in haematology in 2008, he joined the Department of Haematology as a pathologist. Prof Potgieter is affiliated to several organisations and serves on a number of committees including being the past Chairman of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council of the South African Haemophilia Foundation. He has a special interest in laboratory haematology and bleeding disorders.
Prof. Raj Ramesar is the Head of the Division of Human Genetics at the University of Cape Town and the director of the MRC Genomic and Precision Medicine Research Unit. His research focuses on using genomic sciences to understand and address complex diseases that are common and impactful in South Africa, such as cancer, inherited retinal diseases, and neuropsychiatric conditions such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and suicidal behaviour. Raj has received numerous awards for his work, including the Vice Chancellor's Alan Pifer Award and the International Human Genome Organisation's Africa Award. He serves on various international advisory panels, editorial boards, and professional societies, and he is recently led the bid to host the International Congress of Human Genetics in Cape Town in 2023. He has published more thank 260 articles in international peer-reviewed journals, In addition to his scientific pursuits, Raj’s hobbies include painting and growing bonsai.
Dr. Ravnit Grewal is a Principal Haematology Pathologist at the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS), Haematology Department, Nelson Mandela Bay and Sara Baartman Business Unit, Eastern Cape Region, South Africa (SA). She qualified in 2010 from Stellenbosch University (SU) after acquiring the FC Path (Haem), (CMSA) as well as an M Med. Thereafter she worked for the (NHLS)/SU at Tygerberg Hospital for most of her career although she has experienced being part of other institutions as well.
There are several research interests in her portfolio where she either participated as a member or chaired over the years, thus building many collaborations both nationally and internationally. She is also a reviewer and editor of international medical journals. Additionally, she has served as an expert reviewer as a member for the Essential Diagnostic List (EDL), Strategic Advisory Group of Experts in Vitro Diagnostics (SAGE IVD), World Health Organization, from 2019-2022.
Prof. Komala Pillay is the Wernher and Beit Chair and Head of the Division of Anatomical Pathology at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS), Groote Schuur Hospital (GSH) and Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital (RCWMCH) since January 2020. In July 2022 she was appointed as the Head of Department of Pathology at UCT/NHLS comprising eight divisions.
Prof Pillay qualified as a pathologist in 2004 and has specialist qualifications in South Africa (CMSA) and the United Kingdom (RCPath). She was a consultant pathologist at UCT/NHLS since 2005 and practised as the only anatomical pathologist at RCWMCH from 2007-2019 also contributing significantly to research (more than 100 publications) and teaching.
Dr. Babatyi Innocentia Malope-Kgokong is currently a National Manager for Academic Affairs and Research for the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS), South Africa and a member of the Executive Committee of the National Science and Technology Forum. She holds a PhD in Community Health from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. Part of the doctoral thesis was done in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, Fredericks, Maryland, United States of America; and the National Cancer Registry, New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
She held academic positions at the following institutions - University of Limpopo (UL), University of Johannesburg (UJ) and worked as Epidemiologist and Data Manager at the Clinical HIV Research Unit and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).
Her doctoral thesis added more knowledge in the understanding of transmission patterns of Kaposi’s Sarcoma Herpes Virus of which the work was cited as part IARC monographs IARC, 110B, a publication of the World Health Organisation (https://monographs.iarc.who.int/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/mono100B-9.pdf ). She has also obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Economic Policies from the University of London (CeFIMS) and an MSc (Cum Laude) and BSc in Medical Laboratory Sciences majoring in Haematology from the University of Limpopo (UL). She has published more than 25 peer reviewed journal articles as first author and co-author and with about 1290 citations with an h-index of 15 and an i10 index of 17.
She served as a member of the National Health Research Committee (NHRC) appointed by the Minister of Health (2017 – 2020), the Health Professional Council of South Africa - Committee for Medical Scientists, member of the Clinical Trials Group
Prof. Adrian Brink is Head of the Division: Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town and the National Health Laboratory Services, Cape Town, South Africa. Prof Brink was founding President of the Federation of Infectious Diseases Societies of Southern Africa. He is the founder and currently co-chair of the South African Antibiotic Stewardship Program (SAASP). Prof Brink currently serves on the South African Minister of Health’s Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) on Antimicrobial Resistance and is member of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases International Affairs Subcommittee, representing Africa.
His is main research interests are the clinical and molecular epidemiology of antibiotic-resistant infections, the mechanisms of resistance as a confounder in antibiotic stewardship, the design and implementation of large-scale antibiotic stewardship and infection prevention and control interventions in low and middle-income countries. The current focus also includes the protective, metabolic and immune functions of the human biome.
Prof./Dr. Olga Perovic is a Principal Pathologist at the Centre for Healthcare-Associated Infections, Antimicrobial Resistance and Mycoses at National Institute for Communicable Diseases, a division of the NHLS. She is medical doctor with clinical microbiology speciality and is affiliated with Department of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at WITS. Her responsibilities include Antimicrobial Resistance Reference Laboratory, AMR surveillance, outbreak investigation, teaching and training. Professor Perovic leads Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) programs in South Africa. Prof Perovic is a principal investigator of numerous projects and she is involved in teaching and training of undergraduate, postgraduate and other related learners. She experiences a vast ranges of involvements in AMR field, from the basic antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) to the whole genome sequencing; from the bed site microbiology to the hospital antimicrobial stewardship programs; from infection control programs at hospitals to the national policy development; from the routine real time to the national AMR surveillance programs. Perovic is a chair of National Advisory Committee (NAC) for Antimicrobial Susceptibility at South African Society of Clinical Microbiology (SASCM).
She is an expert in laboratory quality system and responsible for External Quality Assessment programs in bacteriology and antimicrobial susceptibility testing.
Prof. Perovic involvement in One Health AMR programs at the national and the global levels resonances in over eighty publications, supervision of masters, and PhD students; and expert membership of professional working groups. These are Global Antibiotic Resistance Partnership (GARP), South Africa, Strategic and Technical Advisory Group (STAG) on AMR at WHO, Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (GLASS), WHO and Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on in vitro Diagnostics (SAGE IVD) WHO; Critically Important Antimicrobials for Human Medicine at WHO and others.
Prof. Muzimkhulu Zungu is a Public Health Medicine Specialist with further training and practice in occupational health. He is a joint appointment at the National Institute for Occupational Health (NIOH), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) and the School of Health Systems and Public Health (SHSPH), Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria (UP). He has a strong interest in occupational health having previously been the Acting Executive Director of NIOH, Director in the Medial Bureau of Occupational Diseases (MBOD) and Assistant- Compensation Commissioner in the office of the Compensation Commissioner for Occupational diseases (CCOD) and adjunct Professor and senior lecturer at University of Pretoria, South Africa. He has been awarded grants by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Mine Health and Safety Council (MHSC). He has published on tuberculosis (mine and health workers), occupational health systems and services, provided input into technical reports for the World Health Organization (WHO), International Labour Organization (ILO), International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH), World Bank, African Union Development Agency of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD), and the South African Development Community (SADC). His current research focus is occupational health systems including information systems, Tuberculosis, HIV and COVID-19 including in vulnerable workers.
Prof. Johann Schneider is Professor and Head of the Division of Anatomical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and National Health Laboratory Service, Tygerberg Academic Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa. He is interested in dermatopathology, HIV/AIDS-related malignancies, and biobanking. Since 2013, Johann has been the director of the NCI-supported Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Biospecimen Repository for the AIDS and Cancer Specimen Resource (ACSR) and the AIDS Malignancy Consortium (AMC). He is a member of the ACSR Executive Committee and biobank-related working groups. His research interests include HIV-related neoplasia, such as Kaposi’s sarcoma, as well as cutaneous tuberculosis, melanoma, and selected inflammatory dermatoses. He is the author or co-author of more than 80 publications. Current interests also include the ethical-regulatory challenges of biobanking and training and assessment of registrars in anatomical pathology.
Prof. Pieter Meyer Pieter Meyer is a C-rated NRF Medical Scientist researcher with a PhD in Medical Immunology (University of Pretoria, 2011). His present research interest centres on both novel proteomic biomarkers and associated molecular indices in Rheumatoid Arthritis to identify disease severity, progression, treatment efficacy and comorbidities.
He has over 30 years extensive expertise in Allergology, Autoimmunity, Transplantation, Immunophenotyping and diagnosis of infectious diseases and manages the Department of Immunology’s under and postgraduate academic teaching and researcher programs in the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria.
Prof Meyer have authored over 30 publications in peer-reviewed journals with an average 30 citations per year in the last 5 years (h-index=10).
Prof Nigel Crowther obtained a BSc honours degree in biochemistry in 1985 and a PhD in 1990 both at the University of Sussex, England. In 1995, after 5-years as a postdoctoral scientist in the Department of Clinical Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, he took up a joint Wits-NHLS post in the Department of Chemical Pathology. He is now a principal medical scientist and was promoted to research professor in February 2016. He has published 179 research articles and has acted as a supervisor or co-supervisor of 26 PhD and 16 masters students.
His research interests include the early life origins of type 2 diabetes, the aetiology and epidemiology of obesity-associated diseases, the cardiometabolic effects of body fat distribution, the molecular control of intra-cellular lipid accumulation, the aetiology of type 1 diabetes, the cardiometabolic effects of HIV infection and therapy and the contribution of the menopausal transition to cardiometabolic disease risk.
Dr. Ruth Rankapole is currently working as a Haemato-pathologist and Lecturer at NHLS Polokwane Hospital & University of Limpopo Academic Complex.
She is a qualified Medical Technologist (Haem) from TUT; obtained MBCHB (Medunsa); MMed (Haemato-pathology) from University of Limpopo; has postgraduate diploma in Health Economics (UCT).
She worked as a lecturer and pathologist at Dr George Mukhari Hospital-Sefako Makgatho Academic Complex. At SANBS as Haematologist and Lead Consultant in Transfusion Services.
She is a SANAS technical auditor/expert in Medical Labs for ISO 15189 and Testing Labs for ISO 17025; member of SANAS specialist technical committee(STC) for Blood Transfusion.
She is also a member of: University of Limpopo School Senior Degrees Committee and Research & Ethics Committee(SREC); Regional NHLS Limpopo-Mpumalanga Pathology Management Committee (PMC) and National and Regional NHLS Internal Audit Team.
Prof. Felicity Burt is a Principal Medical Scientist in the Division of Virology at NHLS Universitas and the University of the Free State. She currently holds a South African Research Chair (SARChI) in Vector Borne and Zoonotic Pathogens Research. Her research focuses on detection, pathogenesis and molecular epidemiology of medically significant arboviruses and viral haemorrhagic fevers found in southern Africa. Her interests and expertise are on host immune responses to arboviral infections specifically characterizing humoral and cellular immune responses in patients; epitope discovery for development of diagnostic tools; development of molecular and serological assays for surveillance purposes; virus discovery; and development of vaccines against medically significant arboviruses. She is responsible for the biosafety level 3 facility at the University established primarily for handling zoonotic and arboviral pathogens. She has supervised 40 postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows and has more than 90 publications in international peer reviewed journals.
Dr Deborah Vaz is a consultant haematologist at the NHLS TAD & University of Pretoria(UP). She qualified in 2008 at WITS (MBBch), Fc(Path)Haem & MMed (Haem) in 2021 at UP. I gained experience as a general practitioner and emergency medicine between 2011 -2016.
Since my qualification in 2021, I have taken special interest in molecular haematology, blood transfusion medicine and clinical haematology where I am currently coordinating the haematology OPD clinic at SBAH and I engage with the Stem Cell Transplant team at UCT in attempt to improve patient QOL. I was invited to serve on the ISLH 2023 Molecular Analysis Scientific Committee, to coordinate the block 3 ECHO zoom teaching platform for our institution collaboration with SMU and University of Limpopo, and I am part of the Blood Transfusion and Patient Blood Management team at SBAH. I enjoy teaching and engaging with all.
Dr Mae Newton-Foot is a Senior Medical Scientist and lecturer in the Division of Medical Microbiology, NHLS Tygerberg and Stellenbosch University. She has a PhD in Molecular Biology from Stellenbosch University and has been working as a Medical Scientist since 2016. She is involved in molecular diagnostics, academic and research activities. She has been involved in the validation of several molecular diagnostic assays and is a member and former chair of the NHLS Microbiology Technology Assessment Committee. Her current research includes the investigation of antimicrobial resistance mechanisms, virulence mechanisms and epidemiology of bacterial pathogens in hospital, community and environmental settings, and the impact of antimicrobial treatment on the microbiome and resistome in humans. She currently supervises or co-supervises four PhD and 3 MSc students, and is on the editorial board of Scientific Reports.
Dr Masego Moncho is a Senior pathologist at the Department of Medical Microbiology, NHLS, Tshwane Academic Division-University of Pretoria(UP). She is currently registered with University of the Free State for the PhD. Her research interest is mycology and antimicrobial resistance.
Her responsibilities include Antimicrobial Resistance surveillance, teaching, supervising undergraduate and postgraduate students. She is currently a member of Microbiology Advisory Committee for the NHLS proficiency testing scheme and a member of the Critical care committee at Steve Biko Academic hospital.
Dr Harsha Somaroo is a Public Health Medicine Specialist with background in clinical care, HIV research, and health management. She currently holds a joint-appointment post at the Department of Community Health, WITS School of Public Health and Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, Gauteng Department of Health. She is the present president of the Public Health Association of South Africa (PHASA), an NPO representing the interests of the public health community in South Africa, and a council member at the College of Public Health Medicine of South Africa. She recently provided technical support to the Gauteng Department of Health’s COVID-19 Nerve Centre, from 2020 to 2022.
Dr. Nokwazi Nkosi is a clinical virologist at the Division of Virology, National Health Laboratory Service - Universitas, University of the Free State. She holds an avid interest in academic, clinical, diagnostic and research activities within the discipline of Medical Virology, inspired by the diverse range of viral pathogens involved in disease states and the implementation of appropriate interventions towards diagnosis, treatment, prevention and surveillance within the South African population.
Muriel Meiring is a Full Professor, Principal Scientist and the Acting Head of Department of the Department of Haematology and Cell Biology at the National Health Laboratory Service and University of the Free State at Bloemfontein, South Africa. Prof Meiring established the Specialised Haemostasis Laboratory at the University of the Free State as a reference center for von Willebrand Disease (VWD) in South Africa. The laboratory also enjoys international recognition as a reference laboratory. She also collaborates with laboratories in Belgium, Hungary and Australia, not only on research regarding VWD, but also on the development of antithrombotic agent and diagnostic kits and microvesicle contribution to haemostatic disorders. She is the inventor of 3 South African patents and 2 provisional international patents and author more than 40 peer-reviewed publications. She furthermore chairs the Research and Development Committee of the National Health Laboratory Service and besides her PhD and MBA degrees, she recently obtained her D Med Sc degree. She also now acts as the Head of the School of Pathology at the University of the Free State.
Dr Lethukuthula Mafisa is currently working as a Haemato-pathologist in the Department of Haematological Pathology as well as a lecturer at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) and NHLS DGMAH (Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital) since year 2020. She is a qualified Medical Technologist (Clinical Pathology). She obtained her National Diploma in Biomedical Technology at ML Sultan Technikon in Durban. She also obtained her MBChB, FC Path (Haem) and MMed (Haem) at SMU. She has a certificate in Programme in Business Management with cum laude through UNISA. She is a qualified SANAS assessor in the Medical Laboratories for ISO15189. Her special interests are flowcytometry, quality management system and morphology.
Dr Diana Jaravaza is an anatomical pathologist based at NHLS Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, and affiliated to Stellenbosch University. She completed her undergraduate medicine at the then Medical University of Southern Africa. It was here that the seed of pathology was planted. Following a two-year internship stint in Durban, she migrated to Windhoek. There she worked as a forensic medical officer. During that time she networked extensively, which saw her coming to South Africa briefly to write the postgraduate Diploma in Forensic Medicine. Subsequent to that she went to Melbourne, Australia, to complete her Masters in Forensic Medicine. All roads led to Cape Town and she spent a few years at the Salt River mortuary, before being accepted as an anatomical pathology registrar at Tygerberg. Her interests are neuro-, cardiac pathology, gynaecological and of course, autopsy pathology. Outside of work, she loves road trips, bicycles, and the great outdoors.
Dr Michelle du Preez in 2013, received her MBChB degree from the University of the Free State, with distinction.
She completed her internship at the Free State Hospital Complex from 2014 to 2015, after which she moved to Kimberley for Community Service at the Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital. She has worked in Paediatrics for 6 months and, thereafter, moved to Internal Medicine where she worked for the rest of her Community Service. In 2017, Dr du Preez worked as a medical officer at Internal Medicine at the RMS Hospital for 9 months.
In October of 2017, she was appointed as a registrar in Anatomical Pathology at the University of the Free State and NHLS Universitas Academic Laboratory. She received her MMed in Anatomical Pathology as well as the FCPath (SA) Anat degree in 2021, both with distinction.
Dr du Preez currently works as a consultant anatomical pathologist at the Universitas Academic Laboratory.
Dr Singh is a Senior Medical Scientist (Medical Microbiology) at the National Health Laboratory Services. He obtained a PhD in 2013, focusing on host restriction factors and expanded on this for his postdoctoral fellowship. His research interests are in host genetics, sexually transmitted infections, tuberculosis and antimicrobial resistance. His current focus is on developing novel real time PCR assays for infectious diseases. His joint university affiliations allows him to train not only registrars and med techs, but also postgraduate students. He has numerous international publications in peer reviewed, high impact journals. Dr Singh is guest editor on many journal committees’, including Frontiers. His work has been presented at local and international conferences, such as CROI, FIDSSA, etc.
Dr Aabida Khan is a Pathologist in the department of virology, National Health Laboratory Service and University of KwaZulu-Natal, based at Inkosi Albert Luthulu Central Hospital since 2017. Primarily involved in the diagnostic virology laboratory providing a consultative service, oversees the HIV drug resistance testing bench, involved in laboratory management, quality assurance, virology outreach support, teaching and training as well as being involved in research. Research interests include human papillomavirus (HPV) in head and neck cancers, HIV drug resistance, diagnostic virology, maternal and child health.
Dr. Jolly Musoke is a Senior Medical Scientist at the Department of Medical Microbiology, NHLS Universitas Academic complex, and the University of the Free State (UFS). She obtained her PhD from the University of Pretoria. Her research interest is investigating the prevalence, molecular epidemiology, and potential transmission of zoonotic diseases (i.e. zoonotic tuberculosis and brucellosis) at the wildlife-livestock-human interface. Her responsibilities include Antimicrobial Resistance surveillance, teaching and supervising undergraduate, and postgraduate students.
She is currently the co-chair of the NHLS MTAC and a member of the UFS Faculty of Health Science, Science programmes committee.
Raveen Parboosing is Associate Professor of Virology at the University of Witwatersrand and Principal Pathologist at the National Health Laboratory Service. His research interests include clinical virology, epidemiology, drug discovery and nanotechnology. His PhD explored a novel nanotechnology approach for the treatment of HIV infection. He has a Masters in Epidemiology from Columbia University in New York.
I’m a Senior Medical Scientist in the Department of Medical Virology in the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Pretoria, and National Health Laboratory Service Tshwane Academic Division. I received my postgraduate training in medical sciences at MEDUNSA, now the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University with Medical Virology as specialization.
My principal research interests cover the following themes: (I) diagnosis of HIV infection and monitoring antiretroviral therapy, from early infant diagnosis to resistance genotyping; (II) the epidemiology, diagnosis and monitoring of human papillomavirus and viral hepatitis, esp. hepatitis B and C.
Dr. Wells Utembe has a PhD in Public Health from the University of the Witwatersrand and a Master’s degree in environmental sciences from University Putra Malaysia. His main areas of focus include assessment of risks that may emanate from human and environmental exposure to chemicals, as well as effects that may result from developmental projects. He has been involved in many research projects and consultancies in risk assessment of chemicals (especially lead, pesticides and nanomaterials) as well as environmental impact assessment (EIA) of developmental projects. He has authored and co-authored many articles and book chapters on occupational and environmental health, toxicology, risk assessment, heavy metals, nanomaterials, pesticides, and environmental impact assessment. Dr. Utembe worked as a lecturer in environmental sciences in the University of Malawi before joining the Toxicology and Biochemistry Department of the National Institute for Occupational Health as a research scientist responsible for risk assessment and modeling. He is also an honorary member of the Environmental Health Department at the University of Johannesburg as well as in the Environmental Health Division, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town.
Dr. Opperman is a pathologist at the National Health Laboratory Service, Green Point Tuberculosis laboratory, Cape Town, South Africa. His specialist training was completed in the Division of Medical Microbiology at the University of Cape Town, Groote Schuur Hospital in 2021 [MMed (Microbiology Pathology)- Cum Laude; FC Path (SA) (Microbiology)-Cum Laude], where he is still actively involved as an honorary lecturer in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. He has an additional background in molecular biology [BSc Hons. (Microbiology)-Cum Laude; BSc (Molecular Biology)- Cum Laude], with a particular interest in antimicrobial stewardship and is on the Western Cape Provincial Antimicrobial Stewardship Committee. His research activities and collaborations include more than 25 peer-reviewed publications (18 first author) and three book chapters. Finally, he is enrolled in a Ph.D. at the University of Stellenbosch, DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Tuberculosis Research, SAMRC Centre for Tuberculosis Research, Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics. His Ph.D. study focuses on the emerging but neglected disease associated with non-tuberculosis Mycobacterium.
Dr Luyanda Kwofie is a Senior Medical Scientist in the Department of Immunology, National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) with a joint appointment as a Lecturer and Research Specialist at the Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Immunology, University of Pretoria.
She is actively involved in lecturing undergraduate and postgraduate students and responsible for laboratory training of scientists and medical students. Her role extends to the co-supervision of MMed and PhD students. She is also involved in HPCSA accreditation as a SANAS Technical Assessor for Medical Labs, monitoring intern medical scientists in training and involved in the examination of HPCSA intern medical scientist portfolios.
Currently, her research is focused on transplantation immunology and diagnostic procedures to optimize compatibility matching as well as identifying novel methods for assessing donor/recipient compatibility in renal transplantation.
In addition, Dr Kwofie has represented the Immunology Expert Committee (EC) as a member of a working group involved in the reviewing of the NHLS national handbook as well as a member of the subcommittee of the EC chairs looking at regulating the NHLS Oracle procurement. She is the chairperson of the Society of Medical Laboratory Technology of South Africa for Immunology Scientific Advisory Committee , South African and an Executive Board Member of the South African Immunology Society committee.
Ethan Gantana is a newly qualified pathologist at Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town. He completed both his undergraduate and postgraduate training at Stellenbosch University and has now started work as a haematopathologist in January 2023. During his registrar training, he has taken a keen interest in the diagnosis and surveillance of multiple myeloma, morphology as well as digital pathology.
Dr Kreshalen Govender is a clinical virologist at the University of Pretoria/NHLS Tshwane Academic Division. He did his undergraduate (2014) and postgraduate training at the University of Pretoria (2022). Before registrarship he was a clinical trials physician involved in various virological and vaccinology protocols including the HIV Vaccine Trials Network projects which sparked his interest in Virology. During registrarship, his interests included the molecular diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 (upon which my MMed was based), general clinical virology beyond the spectrum of HIV medicine and the early infant diagnosis of HIV. Dr Govender’s passion now is onco-virology specifically Human Papillomavirus; its molecular epidemiology and the detection of HPV-associated malignancy. He is also involved in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and training across various levels and courses. I aim to contribute to Virology through quality research and patient care.
Dr Ramokone Leelo is a Principle Medical Scientist in the Department of Virology, National Health Laboratory Service/Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University. She holds a joint PhD degree from University of Limpopo, (Medical Virology) and University of Antwerp, (Medical Sciences). She is a postgraduate supervisor and a senior lecturer, teaching postgraduates. Dr Lebelo has published in national and international peer reviewed journals and presented at local, national and international conferences and congresses. Her research interests are in vaccine preventable diseases, vaccinology and cancer causing viruses particularly human papillomavirus focusing on cervical cancer screening, HPV epidemiology, HPV basic science. Currently her team is investigating makers that would assist in identifying women at risk of development cervical abnormal lesions and therefore treated and managed timeously before the development of invasive cancer. She is a member of NHLS HIV drug resistance committee and also serves as an assessor for portfolio for intern medical scientist for HPCSA.
Catherine Worsley is a joint appointment principal medical scientist and senior lecturer in the Department of Immunology at the University of Pretoria/NHLS, as is currently vice-president on the South African Immunology Society (SAIS). She is involved in teaching, research and diagnostics. Her primary interest is in looking at immunology in the tumour microenvironment. She has also worked in the private sector, and was a laboratory manager responsible for diagnostic testing of haematological malignancies, immunological disorders and transplantation. Her other interests include immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, immunology, molecular biology, infectious and non-communicable diseases and evolutionary biology. She is also responsible for supervising post graduate students as well as training registrars, scientists and technologists.s
Dr Prathna Bhola is a senior pathologist in the Department of Medical Microbiology (NHLS/UKZN). She completed her MBChB degree at UKZN followed by her specialist (CMSA) qualifications in 2005. Subsequently, she completed her PhD at UKZN in 2020. Dr Bhola is a part of the Microbiology Academic unit in KwaZulu Natal, and her work entails a wide variety of activities. This includes managing her own allocated Microbiology laboratories in KZN, as well as sharing close relationships with clinicians in the respective hospitals regarding patient care, antimicrobial stewardship, infection prevention and control, surveillance and antibiotic policies.
Dr Bhola is also a lecturer at UKZN, involved in teaching, module development, and assessments of undergraduate medical students and BMSc students. She is involved in registrar training in her department as well as assessments. Her recent research interest has been to investigate the immune response to cryptococcal meningitis in adult patients in South Africa. She has various other ongoing research interests/projects including antimicrobial resistance and surveillance, immunology and infection prevention and control. She belongs to various committees relevant to Medical Microbiology including the KZN PTC and chairs the Infection prevention and control (IPC) committee of her residing hospital.
Dr Kim Steegen holds a PhD in Medical Sciences from the Ghent University in Belgium. From the start of her Masters, her research efforts have been largely focussed on HIV, with a strong focus on improving diagnostic services for patients living with HIV, especially in the context of HIV drug resistance testing. This is supported by 30 peer reviewed publications. She was a post-doctoral fellow at Janssen Diagnostics, Belgium for 3 years prior to moving to South Africa. Since 2011, she has been managing the HIV drug resistance laboratory at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital and has been actively involved in increasing of HIV drug resistance testing capacity in the South African public sector. Since 2017, she has also been the chair of the NHLS HIV drug resistance committee, where the emphasis is on standardization of HIV drug resistance testing as well as ensuring adequate quality control measures are adhered to across all laboratories.
Dr Brendon Price is a senior Anatomical Pathologist at the National Health Laboratory Service at Groote Schuur Hospital and holds a joint appointment with the University of Cape Town.
Apart from general pathology, he also provides the renal service for native and allograft kidneys from Groote Schuur Hospital, UCT private academic hospital, Livingstone Hospital and George Hospital. He has attended the European Renal Pathology Course in Amsterdam 2019 and has completed the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) certificate in Nephropathology.
His research interests include methylation profiling of gliomas and the application of Artificial Intelligence/Deep learning and Data Science in Anatomical Pathology in terms of screening, improved diagnosis and disease prognostication. In 2022 he completed a certificate in Artificial Intelligence in Pathology from the University of Paris. He also holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Natal.
Jean Kloppers is a HPCSA registered Medical Scientist and lecturer in the Department of Haematology and Cell Biology at the University of the Free State and NHLS Universitas in Bloemfontein since 2016. He is currently completing his PhD that primarily focusses on the genetics in bleeding disorders. Apart from his involvement in diagnostic work specializing in molecular haematology he also does research in the field of haematological malignancies. He is actively involved in the supervision of postgraduate students and has authored/co-authored 11 peer reviewed articles and is a reviewer for the African Journal of Laboratory Medicine and Peer J. He is furthermore a member of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee of the South African Haemophilia Foundation (MASAC) and the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH).
Anneke van Marle is a haematologist at the Universitas Academic Hospital (UAH) NHLS in Bloemfontein. She obtained her undergraduate degree (MBChB (cum laude)) at the University of Pretoria in 2009. Her postgraduate qualification as a haematologist (MMed Haem (cum laude), FCPath (SA) Haem) was obtained from the University of the Free State (UFS) in 2018. She was awarded the Muller Potgieter medal for her MMed research publication. Dr van Marle is involved in laboratory diagnostics & research and is a UFS lecturer for undergraduate and postgraduate students. She has a special interest in flow cytometry & haematology-oncology and is actively involved in the Haematology clinics of UAH and Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital in Kimberley.
Dr Stephanie Murugan is currently working as a haematopathologist at the NHLS laboratory in Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital (Kwa-Zulu Natal) and is the pathologist in charge of flow cytometry department.
She obtained her Fc Path (SA) HAEM in 2019 and her degree in Masters of Medicine (Haematology) in 2020, from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal.
She is actively involved in teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Her field of interest in haematology is flow cytometry and the research that she is presently working on entails diagnostic flow cytometry in acute leukemias.
Dr Ziyaad Valley-Omar serves a joint member of staff between the University of Cape Town and National Health Laboratory Service. He was awarded a PhD in Molecular and Cell biology in 2008, specializing in medical and general molecular virology. Subsequently doing post-doctoral research in the field of HIV diversity in the UCT Division of Medical Virology. He joined the NICD in 2011 as an intern medical scientist and registered as a medical scientist in the discipline of Molecular biology in 2013. As a senior medical scientist, he has played multiple roles in and driven optimisation of diagnostic virology and respiratory virus surveillance processes through the implementation of novel technologies such as NGS. As a UCT joint member of staff he has contributed to the academic programme through lecturing and supervision of students at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels as well as through research focussing on respiratory viruses and HLA
Dr Noncy Gomba is a senior research scientist and Waterborne Pathogens laboratory manager in the Immunology and Microbiology Department. She holds a PhD in Crop Protection from the University of Pretoria majoring in microbial ecology and food safety. Her research interests address several related themes on health risks associated with waterborne pathogens in workplace environments, wastewater (sewage) and alternative waters health risks, water safety and quality in buildings, microbial risk assessment, and biological source tracking. Dr Gomba has served as a principal investigator and co-investigator on several projects. Her current projects focus on exposure to microbiological and chemical contaminants at wastewater treatment plants, characterisation of bioaerosols, volatile organic compounds, and odours at wastewater treatment plants and surrounding communities, health risks associated with treated municipal sewage effluents (also known as recycled water) and roof harvested rainwater for non-potable purposes. Dr Gomba was also involved in the South African national SARS-CoV-2 wastewater surveillance project, a wastewater based epidemiology strategy that sought to monitor COVID-19 prevalence at community level using SARS-CoV-2 genetic markers presence in municipal wastewater.
Ruan (Gert) Marais is currently a Medical Microbiology registrar at the University of Cape Town (UCT) with major research interests in the development of novel molecular techniques such a metagenomic sequencing, their translation to clinical care and the development of automated tools to aid clinical decision-making. He graduated as the top student in the final year of medical school at the University of Pretoria. Through a Commonwealth Scholarship he completed a MSc in Molecular Biology and Pathology of Viruses at Imperial College London and received the Dean’s prize for the top student. He further has an MMed in Medical Virology, is a Fellow of the College of Pathologists - Virology and received the UCT Colin Kaplan award for Medical Virology for his contribution to SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic testing.
Prof. Sandeep Vasaikar is Professor of Medical Microbiology in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Walter Sisulu University (WSU). He is working as a Head of the division of Med Micro since 2004. He studied medicine (MBBS) at Grant Medical College (GMC), Sir JJ Hospital and did his MD in Medical Microbiology at Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital and Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College (LTMMC), Sion Mumbai. He completed his PhD in Health Sciences from WSU in 2016. His research interest are Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and AMR in rural area. He has received VC’s Research award for high achievement in research in 2019, was promoted as a full professor of Medical Microbiology in January 2020. His is in charge of Med Micro teaching of MBChB3 by Problem-Based Learning and Community-Based Education and coordinator of postgraduate programmes in the Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathology.
Gert van Zyl, MBChB, MMed (Virological Pathology), FCPath(SA)Virol, PhD, is a professor in Medical Virology and Principal Pathologist at NHLS, Tygerberg. His research interests include improving diagnostics of HIV, HIV drug resistance and HIV persistence in children. He is an author on more than 100 peer reviewed publications and has supervised several postgraduate students, including MMed, MSc and PhD.
Dr Florette Treurnicht is currently the Head of Department for Virology at University of Witwatersrand She obtained post graduate qualifications (Hons and Masters) from the University of Stellenbosch and PhD in Virology from the University of Cape Town. She had been working in the field of Virology for more than 30 years of which almost 10 years were at the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) as a medical scientist in the Virology laboratory of the Centre for Respiratory Diseases and Meningitis where she also served as Co-Head and Director for the WHO-designated National Influenza Centre of South Africa. During her early years at NICD Dr Treurnicht also completed the Management Development Certificate Programme through the School of Business Leadership at UNISA. Subsequently she was appointed in her current position and is now in the 5th year of her appointment. Dr Treurnicht is a C-rated scientist with more than 100 peer-reviewed publications mainly covering research areas in HIV and respiratory viruses. She participated in various WHO consultations on influenza viruses and respiratory syncytial virus and with others in her Team Virology/Wits are members of the Network for Genomics Surveillance in South Africa (NGS-SA).
Dr Michelle Naidoo is a pathologist and medical virologist at Stellenbosch University and the NHLS/Tygerberg diagnostic unit since November 2022. She completed her registrar training in virology at the University of Cape Town, where she completed her MMed in humoral immune responses to SARS-CoV-2.
Prof Nisha Naicker is the Head of Epidemiology and Surveillance at the National Institute for Occupational Health. She also holds the honorary positions of Associate Professor at the School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand and Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at the Department of Environmental Health, University of Johannesburg. She is a medical doctor that has specialised in Public Health Medicine and received her PhD in public health from the University of Witwatersrand in 2012. Since then her research has focused on Environmental and Occupational Health as well as surveillance systems for occupational exposures and health outcomes. She has authored and co-authored over 80 peer reviewed publications and supervised over 50 post graduate students. She has served as a reviewer for national and international journals and is an academic editor for public health journals such as BMC Public Health.
Dr Ivy Rukasha is a joint employee of the University of Limpopo and Polokwane Microbiology Laboratory. Her research interest is on Tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases and SARS-CoV-2.
Prof. Glenda Davison is currently the Head of the Biomedical Sciences Department at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. She holds a PhD in Haematology from the University of Cape Town and continues to work with the Department of Haematology as an Honorary Associate Professor. Glenda is a member of the South African Society of Haematology and currently serves as a councillor representing South Africa on the International Society of Laboratory Haematology. She is also a co-director of the SAMRC/CPUT Cardiometabolic health Research unit. Her research interests focus on the immune response in chronic inflammatory disorders such as cardiovascular disease including haematological malignancy.
Mr Charlton Arendse is Registered Medical Scientist with the HPCSA (Molecular Biology). Husband to the most humbled and loving wife and father of three daughters. Born and raised in Malmesbury, Swartland, Western Cape. First tertiary educated member of my family and a huge love for my community.
Mr Arendse is a Medical Scientist at NHLS Groote Schuur, Department of Human Genetics. Performs molecular human genetics tests, training of intern scientists, scientists, technicians, technologists and registrars, Co-supervision of small research projects. Manage parentage testing for the Western and Northern Cape region. Serves on the Employment Equity and Skills Development Committee for the Western and Northern Cape. Dr Arendse was previously at Pathcare (9 years). Involved in molecular infectious and human genetics diagnostics, QMS aspects of the laboratory and training of staff and students. He was also employed as a Food Microbiologist at Swift Silliker Mérieux NutriSciences (1 year). Microbial testing of various food products.
Mr Arendse holds a Bsc degree (Molecular and Cellular Biology) and BscMedScHons Degree (Human Genetics) from University of Stellenbosch, and a Certificate in Skills Development and Employment Equity (NQF5)
His interests include Neurodegenerative disorders, Pharmacogenomics and Human Identification (Forensics)
r Arendse’s plan is to enroll for his Master’s Degree in Human Genetics at the University of Cape Town in 2023 and to positively contribute to diagnostics by the translation of research into the healthcare sector.
Dr Chale-Matsau is a Senior Lecturer and Specialist in Chemical Pathology, University of Pretoria and National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS). Her qualifications include MBBCh, BSc Hons, MSc, FCPath, MMed and PhD.
She supervises research projects for registrars and scientists. Her interests include laboratory management, endocrinology, inherited metabolic diseases (IMD) and new-born screening. She has published in peer reviewed journals and presented at both national and international conferences.
Dr Chale-Matsau is a Section Editor for the African Journal of Laboratory Medicine and a reviewer for two international journals. She is a previous treasurer for the South African Association of Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine (SAACB) and a member of a few professional bodies that include Endocrine Society; Society for Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes of South Africa (SEMDSA) and the South African Clinician Scientists Society. She is a member of the Clinical Pathology Expert Committee, NHLS.
Dr Taryn Pillay is currently the pathologist-in-charge at Chemical Pathology at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital. She completed registrar training at the University of Witwatersrand in 2012 and has subsequently worked across multiple laboratories at the NHLS including Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital and Universitas Academic Complex Laboratories in Bloemfontein. Her major areas of interest include laboratory automation and improvement, as well as optimisation of quality assurance initiatives in the clinical laboratory. Her passion is in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, where she has significant involvement in curriculum development. She is currently the co-ordinator of the Clinical Pathology registrar training programme at the University of Witwatersrand, as well as the chair of the Clinical Pathology Expert Committee.
Dr. Tumelo Mapheto is a chemical pathologist at the Dr George Mukhari Academic Laboratory. She obtained her medical degree from the University of Cape Town in 2007 and qualified as a chemical pathologist in 2019. She responsible for the cytogenetics laboratory and is actively involved in the formal teaching and training of undergraduate medical students and training of registrars and scientist at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University.
Dr. Hemasha Mothi is a haematopathologist currently practicing at the NHLS Department of Haematology in Durban. After completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Kwazulu-Natal in 2006, Dr Mothi pursued a medical degree (MBChB) at the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine, graduating in 2011. In 2017, Dr Mothi began postgraduate training as a registrar in haematology at the University of the Free State where she achieved a Master of Medicine (MMed) degree in Haematology, and qualified as a specialist haematopathologist in 2021.
Dr Fiona Baine-Savanhu is a member of the Division of Human Genetics, National Health Laboratory Service & University of the Witwatersrand. She obtained her PhD from the University of Cape Town in 2015, for a thesis entitled ‘A molecular investigation of Huntington disease; origins of the mutation and current prevalence in South Africa’. She continued her research on HD and HD-like disorders, joining Wits as a Claude Leon postdoctoral fellow under the mentorship of Professor Amanda Krause. Fiona is currently a Principal Medical Scientist at the Division, where she oversees the microarray diagnostic service. She has a keen interest in understanding the molecular basis of genetic disorders affecting African populations and engages in exciting genomics research, alongside teaching and training postgraduate students.
Dr Anima Baiden obtained her MBChB from the University of Cape Town in 2008. After spending time in community health care and obtaining her HIV diploma, she was re-introduced to haematology and pathology during her medical officer time at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. Dr Baiden initiated her registrar training in 2015 at the University of the Witwatersrand and obtained her FCPath(haem) from College of Medicine in 2020. Since then, Dr Baiden has been working as a haematologist as joint staff in the Department of Molecular Medicine and Haematology, University of the Witwatersrand and in the main NHLS laboratory at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital. Dr Baiden’s interests are in teaching and training, automation and flow cytometry.
Dr Moshawa Khaba is currently employed as an anatomical pathologist in Dr George Mukhari academic Laboratory, NHLS and Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in Ga-Rankuwa, Pretoria. He obtained MBChB (MD) from Cuba, MMed from UKZN and fellowship from CMSA. He’s a generalist at heart with research interest in placenta, infectious, hematolymphoid and autopsy pathology.
Professor Amanda Krause is a Medical Geneticist and currently Head of the Division of Human Genetics, NHLS, and School of Pathology, University of the Witwatersrand. She has worked in the field of medical genetics for her entire academic career and has extensive training and experience in both clinical and laboratory-based medical genetics, with in-depth knowledge of both areas. Professor Krause has published over 95 original articles in scientific journals, 4 book chapters, and has presented at more than 150 national and international conferences. She is currently a Senator for the College of Medical Genetics in South Africa. She is passionate about ensuring that appropriate medical genetics services continue to develop and expand in South Africa, as well as throughout Africa. Her research is focused on understanding genotype-phenotype relationships in diseases of South African interest and in ensuring translation of research for patient benefit.
Dr Aijaz Ahmad is a Senior Medical Scientist in the Division of Infection Control of National Health Laboratory Service at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital and a Lecturer in the Department of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, School of Pathology, University of the Witwatersrand. His core research interest is understanding fungal pathogenesis and development of antifungal vaccines and novel antifungal drugs. He has obtained his Ph.D. in Medical Mycology. During his trainings as a Postdoctoral Scientist from the Wits Oral Biological Sciences, Tshwane University of Technology Pharmaceutical Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences and International Clinical Epidemiology Network, he gained lot of experience to be a medical microbiologist. He is HPCSA registered Medical Scientist in Microbiology and is also National Research Foundation (NRF) Y-rated researcher. With an extensive research experience in infectious diseases, microbial pathogenesis and drug development, he has authored/co-authored over 95 peer-reviewed publications. He is also a recipient of several research grants and awards including NRF Grant for rated researchers, Wits University – Friedel Sellschop Award, South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) Self-initiated Research Grant, and NHLS Research Trust Grant. With his academic citizenship role, he is a member of several international and national societies and committees such as Irish Fungal Society, South African Society for Microbiology, South African Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Scientific Society of Advanced Research & Social Change, NHLS Research and Development Committee, PathRed Innovation Summit Committee, Wits School of Pathology Transformation Committee, and Biosafety and Biosecurity Standing Committee of Academy of Science of South Africa. He has been elected on to the editorial board of many reputed journals such as PlosOne and Current Pharmaceutical Design. More than 15 post-graduate students have graduated under his supervision since 2015 and has also hosted 6 Postdoctoral fellows for their research projects. He is currently supervising 13 postgraduate students (5 PhDs, 6 Masters, 2 Honours).
Dr Nolukholo Ncete is a Haematopathologist at NHLS and Charlotte Maxeke Hospital since 2021. She obtained her MBChB at the University of Cape Town in 2012. She worked in the emergency department in Eastern Cape for a year after community service before taking the decision to specialise. She completed her FCPath Haem (CMSA) and MMed (Haem) at the University of Witwatersrand in 2021. She has a diploma in HIV management with interests in clinical haematology, coagulation and immunology.
Dr Saiendhra Moodley is a public health medicine specialist. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Division of Behaviour and Health Management Sciences, School of Health Systems and Public Health at the University of Pretoria. He completed his undergraduate medical training at the University of Cape Town and his specialist training in public health medicine at the University of Pretoria. He also holds postgraduate Diplomas in Mental Health, Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and Health Systems Management. He has a broad range of public health experience and has worked at the Office of Health Standards Compliance, in the Department of Public Health Medicine at Steve Biko Academic Hospital/University of Pretoria, and in the Provincial Department of Health in the Western Cape. He has previously served as Vice-President and President of the Public Health Association of South Africa. He is the current President of the College of Public Health Medicine. His research interests are public mental health and human resources for health.
Dr Nonhlanhla Tlotleng is a Senior epidemiologist at the National Institute for Occupational Health in the Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit. She is affiliated with the School of health Systems and Public Health, University of Pretoria and the Department of Environmental Health, University of Johannesburg where she is currently supervising MPH, MSc and PhD students. She has a special interest on occupational cancer research and surveillance of workplace related diseases. She has authored over 25 peer-reviewed publications, and is a member of the Editorial board for several peer review journals serving as a reviewer and an academic Editor. She received her Master’s in Epidemiology and her doctorate at the University of the Witwatersrand. She served as a member of the steering and the scientific committee of the Occupational health surveillance (OHSS) system and is currently the Deputy Chair of the NIOH Research committee.
Dr Amir Afrogheh is the Acting Head of Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS). He is also an extraordinary lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch (US), division of Anatomical Pathology. Amir holds a fellowship from Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital in Head and Neck Pathology.
He is an international fellow of the College of American Pathologists, and a member of the Endocrine Pathology Society. He has been a regular invited speaker at major national and international pathology meetings.
Amir is the editor of the Head and Neck Pathology Journal, and has published over 40 peer-reviewed papers in reputed international journals and conferences and has authored several chapters in pathology text books. Thyroid/oral cytopathology, HPV-induced cancers of the head and neck, molecular pathogenesis of adenoid cystic carcinoma are his main areas of research interest.
In recognition of his work, he has received numerous awards and prizes, including International Academy of Pathology ROC Kaschula award, best early career research award (UWC), and the US best research award. He was one of five cancer researchers nominated for the prestigious Oettlé Memorial Award of the Cancer Association of South Africa in 2019.
Aside from his more scholarly pursuits, Amir enjoys classical music, ancient studies and literature.
Dr Tracey Wiggill is a Principal Pathologist working in the Division of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, National Health Laboratory Service, Tygerberg Hospital and University of Stellenbosch. She has extensive experience and expertise in diagnostic pathology, with an emphasis on genetics, molecular diagnostics, next generation sequencing and immunophenotyping/flow cytometry. She is involved in teaching and training at all levels and research and development. Major research interests include: immunodeficiency associated malignancies particularly HIV associated lymphoma; molecular diagnostics of haematological malignancies; next generation sequencing; flow cytometry; COVID-19 and autoimmunity; and inborn errors of immunity.
Elizabeth Mayne is a haematopathologist with a special interest in immunology. She has established specialist laboratory services in immunophenotyping, cytometry and histology and immunohaematology at the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) which provides diagnostic support to a large geographic area in Southern Africa. She is extensively involved with training and supervising scientists, medical students and residents in pathology. She has been involved in national policy formulations for pathology and is committed to providing affordable pathology healthcare to the largest number of Africans. She sits on a number of national and international committees including as a member of the executive of the South African Immunological Society, chair of the National Expert Committee on Immunology and the current Chair of the Expert Chairs Committee for the NHLS and on the executive of the Science and Policy Committee of ISBER. Dr Mayne has published on immunology and pathology. In addition to her work in immunopathology, Dr Mayne is principal investigator of the CLS biorepository an in this capacity has been involved in investigation of non-communicable diseases as a member of the H3 Africa consortium. Dr Mayne has completed her doctoral thesis in vascular dysfunction in HIV
Khuthala Mnika obtained her PhD in Human Genetics in 2020 at UCT. Her PhD research focuses on Pharmacogenomics of Sickle Cell Disease: Pain and Drug metabolism associated Gene Variants and hydroxyurea-induced post-transcriptional expression of miRNAs in an African cohort. Currently, she is working as a Senior Medical Scientist at the National Health Laboratory Services(NHLS)/the University of the Witwatersrand In the Human Genetics division. Dr Mnika’s research interests include pharmacogenomics of sickle cell disease therapeutics and the genetics aetiology of inherited kidney disease in Africa.
Prof Maritha Kotze is a Principal Medical Scientist jointly appointed by Stellenbosch University and the National Health Laboratory Service of South Africa since March 2016. She has an H-index of 33 and serves on the editorial board of Frontiers in Genetics. She is also a director and the founder (April 2007) of Gknowmix, a multi-assay pathology-supported genetic testing platform used in translational research projects. Interdisciplinary implementation studies performed at the intersection of research and service delivery was recognized as best practice in breast cancer genomics by the International Consortium of Personalised Medicine in 2020. Advancing point-of-care genetic testing to whole genome sequencing positioned her as an innovation enabler. In 2021 she formed part of a selected Cape Health Tech Sector expert group featured by the Western Cape Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency. Her publications include more than 150 invited reviews, original articles, editorials and book chapters.
Dr Tongai Maponga is a senior medical scientist in the Division of Medical Virology at Tygerberg NHLS and Stellenbosch University. His primary research interests are on viral hepatitis. Tongai is a member of the Hepatitis B in Africa Collaborative Network (HEPSANET), the Network for Genomic Surveillance of South Africa (NGS-SA), and a fellow of the Future Professors Programme of the Department of Higher Education and Technology.
Dr Verena Gounden completed her undergraduate medical degree (summa cum laude) at the University of Natal. Following intership and community service she undertook her specialist registrar training at NHLS labs at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic and Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospitals. Dr Gounden joined the Department of Chemical Pathology at IALCH as a consultant in January 2011. During 2012-2014 she worked as a fellow at the National Institutes of Health Department of Laboratory Medicine in Bethesda, USA. She was appointed HOD at IALCH/UKZN Chemical Pathology in Dec 2016 and completed her PHD in Medical Biochemistry in 2021. Dr Gounden is also a diplomat of the American Board of Clinical Chemistry.
Dr. Sugeshnee Pather is a Principal Pathologist at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Laboratory and a Senior Lecturer who recently completed a Ph.D. in Anatomical Pathology at the University of the Witwatersrand. The areas of special diagnostic interest include HIV-associated lymphoma, gynaecological pathology, paediatric neoplasia and ocular pathology.
Dr Sanabria specialises in biochemical and genetic analyses of disease-related states, e.g. gene expression, “Self/non-self” recognition, innate immunity, cellular signal perception/transduction, and the assessment of toxicity via molecular biology-based techniques. She received the NRF Prestigious award, discovered a new gene (GenBank: GU196248) and received the NRF Innovation Fellowship to complete Postdoctoral studies, with training at CSHL (New York, USA). Dr Sanabria worked as a lecturer at UJ, then moved to the NIOH/NHLS as the Toxico-genomics Lab Manager and held an NHLS Research Trust Development Grant. She contributed to the WHO guidelines on protecting workers from potential risks of manufactured nanomaterials. She then obtained another MSC in Bioinformatics and Computational Molecular Biology and returned to the NIOH as HOD for Toxicology and Biochemistry. She has served as Chair of the Research Committee, an advisory board member of iNanoWS, extraordinary lecturer at UP, and associate member of American College of Toxicology.
Dr Ndivhuho Makhado MSc (Micro), MSc (Med), PhD (Med); is a joint Medical Scientist at the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) – Dr George Mukhari Tertiary Laboratory and the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University. She leads the Makhado Tuberculosis Research Unit, at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU). Her research focus is not limited to Mycobacteriology as she conducts other researches and does collaborative researches with different institutions, both nationally and internationally. She is a principal investigator in different research work. She also teaches undergraduate, postgraduate students, intern/medical technicians, technologists, and scientists as well as registrars. She supervises BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, MMed students as well as intern medical scientists. She co-ordinates the HPCSA intern medical scientist program at the SMU- NHLS – DGMTL. She serves as a peer reviewer in different journals, nationally and internationally.
Dr Jody Rusch is a consultant Chemical Pathologist working in service for the National Health Laboratory Services at Groote Schuur Hospital (GSH) and Red Cross Children's Hospital Metabolic Disease and Chemistry Laboratory. Academically, he works for the Division of Chemical Pathology at the University of Cape Town, in the Department of Pathology. He is currently Acting Head of Division for Chemical Pathology. After leaving school he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy at the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS), and worked in physiotherapy for a number of years, before returning to WITS to complete his MBBCH. He completed his FC Path (SA) in Chemical Pathology through the College of Medicine South Africa. He obtained his MMed through the University of Cape Town.
Dr Rusch is a member of UCT Path Exco, NHLS Chemistry Expert Committee, LASSA, DPATH-TEC, UCT Postgraduate Committee, and TBH Clinical Audit Meeting. He was recently invited to be member of UCT Professional Standards Committee. He is responsible for registrar and medical scientist intern training at GSH/UCT, and has been accepted to be a College of Medicine South Africa (CMSA) examiner for Chemical Pathology. He developed the UCT/NHLS Kaizen/Siyaphambili Programme as a continuous improvement strategic programme for the Division of Chemical Pathology. He has frequently presented both locally and internationally, and more recent presentations include: 23rd CDE Postgraduate Forum (2021), Pathred 2021, and Seoul Worldlab 2022. He is actively involved in research, including diabetes research with DIA-CT Database.
His interests include metabolism and diseases such as diabetes mellitus and obesity, the gut microbiota, mitochondria, biomedical innovation, and healthspan. Before settling in Cape Town, he lived and worked in Johannesburg, England and Japan.
Selokela Gloria Selabe is currently an Associate Professor and head of Department of Virology, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University and the head of HIV and Hepatitis Research Unit (HHRU). The Unit is actively involved in HIV, HPV and viral hepatitis studies addressing basic research, epidemiology, and prevention and control. She has published more than 30 articles nationally and internationally in accredited scientific journals and received an award for best female researcher in the University in 2011. She serves as convener of judging panel of Faculty of Health Sciences Research day committee, and have received a Chairman’s award for excellent service to Research Day in 2010. She also serve as a reviewer of protocols for funding for the NRF, MRC and NHLS as well as an external assessor for Medical Scientist interns who are due for registration with Health Professional Council of South Africa (HPCSA). She has been an external examiner for PhD, Masters and Honours dissertations and thesis for various universities in South Africa since 2008. She has successfully acquired research grant from the following bodies: NRF, MRC, NHLS and PRF and has supervised and co-supervised 5 PhD, 22 Masters and 12 BSc Honours students who have successfully completed their theses and dissertations
Dr van der Merwe is a principal medical scientist working within the Division of Human Genetics, Universitas Hospital in Bloemfontein. She was appointed in 1995 for the sole purpose of unraveling the contribution of the two newly identified familial breast and ovarian cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 in our South African populations. The translational research performed over the years resulted in the first diagnostic patients being tested in 1998. Although the methods and approaches have changed throughout the years, the Universitas Division of Human Genetics is currently the main referral center for this disease in the NHLS and have diagnostically screened more than 4 000 patients thus far for pathogenic variants in these and other moderate to high-impact related genes. This diagnostic experience and research representing the African continent has resulted in various national and international collaborations and publications. Dr van der Merwe and her team constantly strive to serve the public sector via the NHLS with the most affordable and cost-effective testing strategies for cancer patients to maximize the benefits of genetic testing within a limited health sector budget.
Dr Carmen Swanepoel is a Principal Medical Scientist and Lecturer within the Division of Haematopathology, Department of Pathology and jointly appointed by the National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS) and Stellenbosch University (SU) at Tygerberg Hospital, Western Cape, South Africa.
Promoting the science of biobanking, genetics and cancer as well as medical laboratory science and health data protection and sharing within South Africa and the rest of Africa is a key mission and Dr Swanepoel is involved in various projects associated with it. Other research interests include molecular applications in leukemia diagnosis, cancer resistance mechanisms as well the role of epigenetics particularly miRNA’s in haematological pathologies.
Dr Swanepoel has executive roles in various societies which include, vice-Chair of the Association of South African Women in Science and Engineering (SA-WISE), past treasurer of the South African Society of Haematology (SASH) and HPCSA Evaluation panel member for medical sciences for HPCS Intern training. She is also a council member for the European, Middle Eastern and African Society of biobanking (ESBB). Other membership and working group involvement is the International Society for biological and environmental repositories (ISBER) and the Biobank and cohort network (BCNET) in association with the international agency for research on cancer (IARC) and WHO. Through these initiatives, she has been heavily involved in related policy developments.
Dr Alina Esterhuizen is a Senior Medical Scientist in the Division of Human Genetics UCT and the NHLS GSH, where she currently heads the diagnostic service for molecular human genetics and drives the development of new protocols and translation of research into diagnostic practice. Her research interests lie mainly in the genetics of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disease, with a major interest in the genetics of early-onset epilepsies, which was the subject of her PhD thesis. Dr Esterhuizen is actively involved in the Divisional teaching and student supervision activities and is the HPCSA internship programme coordinator for Medical Biological Scientists in Genetics at UCT. She is a member of the Genetics Commission for the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) and an assessor for the European Molecular Quality Network (EMQN).
Professor Richard Naidoo has a broad background in molecular pathology and the pathobiology related to cancer development, with specific training and expertise in biomarker isolation and identification using FFPE tissue from clinical sample derived from the Hospitals attached to the University of Cape Town and the National Health Laboratory Service in South Africa.
As PI or co-Investigator on several University/MRC/NRF/NHLS trust grants he has investigated the underlying molecular events involved in the development of specific cancer cohorts in South Africa. These involve gene expression profiling, microRNA expression and protein expression using immunohistochemistry. Recently he has engaged with research related to the protein expression and distribution using MALDI Imaging.
He was the recipient of the Harvard Scholarship and also received the Fulbright Fellowship to conduct molecular biology research at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. His research involves the molecular analysis and identification of biomarkers from formalin fixed paraffin embedded carcinomas. Professor Naidoo has also successfully supervised both PhD and MSc students and published manuscripts from these projects.
He is currently spending a 5-month sabbatical at The Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences in the Netherlands. His work involves the application of single-cell RNA sequencing, spatial transcriptomics and, its potential application in diagnostic molecular pathology, specifically in FFPE tumor samples.
Dr Mpume Msimang is an Anatomical Pathologist based at NHLS/UKZN. He qualified for the MBChB undergraduate degree from UKZN, and thereafter did internship at Addington Hospital. He did Community Service at Ngwelezane Hospital. In 2011 he joined the registrar training program and qualified in October 2016 as a Pathologist (Anatomical). The MMed in Anatomical Pathology was attained a year later. Also, he did a diploma in Forensic Pathology via UKZN in 2017. He is currently actively involved as a councillor in the CMSA for Anatomical Pathology.
Dr Msimang currently works as a consultant anatomical pathologist at UKZN and was appointed as developmental HOD.
Laboratory Manager: Department Immunology, NHLS Tshwane Academic Division
Lucas Tabata was born on 20th February 1986 in the eastern cape and came to Pretoria for his studies. In year 2008 he archived National diploma in Biomedical Technology and 2010 Baccalaureus in Biomedical technology under Tshwane University of Technology. In 2018 BSc Honours in Medical Immunology under University of Pretoria supervised by Prof Riana Cockeran.
He has over 11 years’ extensive expertise in Allergology, Autoimmunity, Transplantation, Immunophenotyping and diagnosis of infectious diseases and he served as a supervisor under the department of Immunology for 4 years. He served as an action Laboratory manager for 2 years and fully appointed as a manager in 2022 under department of Immunology.
Dr Siphokazi Gwiliza is a pathologist based at the Division of Chemical Pathology, Dr George Mukhari Laboratory National Health Laboratory Service at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University. She obtained her MBChB from University of Pretoria in 2007. She completed her Medical Internship training at the Port Elizabeth Hospital Complex and Community Service at the East London Hospital Complex. She completed her postgraduate training (MMed) at the Division of Chemical Pathology at University of Pretoria and was admitted to the College of Pathologists of South Africa in May 2017. She also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Professional Education from the University of Cape Town (2021). Her areas of interest include laboratory management, renal and liver pathology. She has a passion for teaching and is involved both at an undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Dr Yonas Ghebrekristos is currently the laboratory manager of the NHLS Tuberculosis (TB) Laboratory at Greenpoint Complex, Cape Town. He is also affiliated with the Molecular Biology, Biomedical Sciences at Stellenbosch University. He has 15 years of experience working in a diagnostic TB laboratory. His research interests include Mycobacterium tuberculosis and evaluation of new TB diagnostic tests. Yonas completed his MSc at the University of Cape Town in 2017. His MSc focused on the characterization of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates with discordant rifampicin susceptibility test results in Cape Town. He is currently enrolled for a PhD with Stellenbosch University, looking at the heterogeneity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the Cape Town community
Kelebogile E. Moremi is a Medical Scientist in the Division of Chemical Pathology, Department of Pathology, SUN and NHLS, at Tygerberg Hospital. She teaches and trains, as well as coordinates the HPCSA-accredited intern training and Honours postgraduate programmes. Her love for clinical biochemistry and molecular biology/genetics is driven through research in which she investigates the effect of pathology and genetic underpinnings of metabolic syndrome that burdens non-communicable diseases (NCDs). In addition to protein electrophoresis, she is involved with point-of-care testing (PoC) which includes manufacturing of the R&D NCD PoC test kits, as well as bioinformatics analysis of next generation sequencing (NGS) data. In her PhD study, she is exploring the intricacy of COVID-19 host-genetics to bridge the gap between lifestyle-related and heritable risk factors for COVID-19 complications. She serves in numerous committees including the Departmental Transformation committee
Dr Saarah Davids is the unit manager and researcher at the SAMRC/CPUT Cardiometabolic Health Research Unit based at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. She obtained her PhD in medicine from the University of Cape Town. Dr Davids manages the daily running’s of the research unit, supervising of postgraduate students and project management. Current studies she is involved in, include, miRNAs, oral microbiome, COVID-19 and temporal changes in cardiometabolic risk profiles.
Dr Davids has published in peer reviewed journals and presented at both national and international conferences. Currently, she is a guest editor on a special edition for Frontiers in Endocrinology. Dr Davids is also a member of the South African Association of Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine (SAACB).
In the year 1986 she obtained her National Diploma in Medical Terminology. She obtained a BTech in Hematology in 1996 at TUT. She obtained her Honours in HIV Social Behavior in 2005. In 2012 obtained her BSc Honours status in Medical Immunology at the University of Pretoria supervised by Prof Anderson. She is currently working in the Department of Immunology as a Senior Medical Technologist.
She has over 40 years’ extensive expertise in Immuno Hematology, Flow Cytometry, Coagulation and Cytochemistry. She is a safety officer, and she also gives training to Medical Technology and Medical Scientists students as well as conducts their assessments.