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Present Staff

MULDER Nicola, Professor, Head of Division

 

Email: nicola.mulder@uct.ac.za
Phone: +27 21 406 6058

List of publications

Prof Nicola Mulder heads the Computational Biology division and leads H3ABioNet, a Pan African Bioinformatics Network of ~30 institutions in 17 African countries. Prior to her position at UCT, she worked for 9 years at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) in Cambridge, as a Team Leader for bioinformatics resources. At UCT, her research focuses on genetic determinants of susceptibility to disease, African genome variation, microbiomes, microbial genomics and infectious diseases from both the host and pathogen perspectives. Prof Mulder is actively involved in training and education as well as curriculum development in bioinformatics and genomic medicine.

MARTIN Darren, Associate Professor

 

Email: darrenpatrickmartin@gmail.com
Phone: +27 21 406 6837

List of publications

Darren Martin obtained his PhD from the University of Cape Town in 2001 and is now an associate professor at CBIO. He is the lead developer of the computer program RDP4 that is widely used for analysing genetic recombination and has been actively pursuing both computational and wet-lab based research aimed at defining the adaptive value of recombination and the evolutionary constraints under which it operates.

TIFFIN Nicki, Associate Professor

 

Email: nicki.tiffin@uct.ac.za

List of publications

Nicki Tiffin has worked previously in molecular genetics, molecular oncology and molecular endocrinology. She transitioned into the field of medical genomics and bioinformatics, and works in computational approaches to the genetic basis of disease in African populations; as well as ethical issues relating to research and re-use of data from African populations. She completed a Masters in Public Health specialising in Epidemiology, and worked with the Western Cape Government Health Department to assist with developing infrastructure, processes and governance structures for integrating clinical informatics and medical records into a health information exchange (P.I. Prof Andrew Boulle). In January 2018, Nicki joined the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Africa (CIDRI-Africa) and Computational Biology. She is working in data integration, leads an H3ABioNet node for developing capacity in genetic epidemiology, and continues to collaborate with the Provincial Health Data Centre.

WOOD Natasha, Lecturer

 

Email: natasha.wood@uct.ac.za

Dr Natasha Wood is a Research Career Award Fellow. She is an HIV computational scientist working particularly on questions of evolution and molecular dynamics. Her research is focused on understanding the characteristics of the HIV surface protein (envelope) that allow the virus to continue to evade the host immune system and antiretroviral drugs. These characteristics include the ‘sugar coat’, comprised of carbohydrates/glycans, on the HIV envelope surface that are vital for protein folding, transmission, infection, as well as immune escape and activation.


 

AMBLER Jon, Bioinformatician

 

Email: jon.ambler@uct.ac.za
Location: room N1.06.3

BOTHA Gerrit, Senior Bioinformatics Specialist

 

Email: gerrit.botha@uct.ac.za
Phone: +27 21 406 6390

 

Gerrit Botha is a Bioinformatics engineer at the Computational Biology division of the University of Cape Town. His background is electronic engineering but gained experience in bioinformatics whilst working as a software developer at the division. His area of expertise is in human variant analysis, microbial analysis and bioinformatics compute environment and pipeline design.

JOHNSTON Katherine, H3ABioNet Developer

 

Email: katherine.johnston@uct.ac.za
Telephone: +27 021 406 6390

LENNARD Katie, Bioinformatician

 

Email: katieviljoen@gmail.com
Location: room N1.06

MASLAMONEY Suresh, System Administrator

 

Email: suresh.maslamoney@uct.ac.za
Phone: +27 021 406 6390

Suresh Maslamoney is a techie at heart and has experience in system and network administration as well as in designing and developing ICT infrastructure. Suresh joined CBIO in February 2013 as a systems administrator and is tasked with developing and providing support on the core computational infrastructure for the CBIO and the H3ABioNet consortium. Prior to joining CBIO, Suresh spent 3 years in the UK working in various ICT posts before returning to RSA where he joined the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (SATVI). At SATVI Suresh was responsible for managing the IT section and all ICT related technical matters.

MEINTJIES Ayton, Software Developer

 

Email: ayton@cbio.uct.ac.za
Phone: +27 21 406 6390

Ayton Meintjes is a Bioinformatics software engineer at CBIO. He completed a BSc in Computer Science at the University of Pretoria, and after a period of development in the commercial field, returned to do a BSc (Hons) with specialisation in Bioinformatics. In 2008, he joined the CBIO Group at UCT and has collaborated on projects mostly focusing on human population genetics and genome wide association studies. He is currently part of the H3ABioNet Central Node, taking active part in the Infrastructure, Research, Node Assessment and User Support groups. His current research interests are in visualisation of complex biological datasets, workflow integration and computational challenges posed by the large databases produced by modern sequencing technologies.

PANJI Sumir, Network Manager

 

Email: sumir.panji@uct.ac.za
Phone: +27 021 406 6390

PARKER Ziyaad, Database Architect

 

Email: ziyaad.parker@uct.ac.za
Phone: +27 21 406 6390


 

FRITZ Leigh-Aphton, Administrative Assistant

 

Email: leigh.fritz@uct.ac.za
Phone: +27 21 406 6176

JULIUS Rolanda, Training Coordinator

 

Email: rolanda.julius@uct.ac.za

Rolanda Julius is completing a PhD with the University of Pretoria. Her research interests include zoonotic disease ecology, parasitology and molecular phylogenetics. She has experience in teaching molecular techniques and is dedicated to promoting public health awareness and life science education.

MOTHIBA Kgothatso (Confidence), H3A IT Support Consultant

 

Email: confidence.mothiba@uct.ac.za

Kgothatso Mothiba, also known as Confidence, joined the H3Africa Coordinating Centre in March 2018. He holds a National Diploma in Software Development, which he received in 2012, as well as a PHP Development Certificate, which he earned through IBM South Africa in 2013. He is responsible for the running of H3Africa website, providing IT assistance to the team and managing their mailing list. His interests include AI and it's potential to benefit medical institutes.

SKELTON Michelle, H3A Project Manager

 

Email: michelle.skelton@uct.ac.za

Michelle Skelton did her undergraduate training at the University of the Western Cape. After completing her Master's degree researching Oesophageal Cancer and the Role of Tumour Suppressor Genes, she was employed as a Research Officer at the University of Witwatersrand, in the Department of Molecular Hepatology. Her PhD explored the role of Hepatitis B Virus genome variation in liver cancer. This was followed by short research projects in HIV diversity at the University of Cape Town, where she subsequently enrolled for a post-doctoral research fellowship with Professor Dandara’s Pharmacogenomics Group in the Division of Human Genetics UCT. During this period, Michelle was particularly interested in the role of virus restriction genes and how variation in these genes between various ethnicities may contribute to differences in the prevalence of HIV infection. Currently, Michelle is the H3Africa Project Manager. The Human Heredity and Health in H3Africa (H3Africa) Consortium is jointly funded by the NIH and Wellcome Trust and supports 26 Research Sites in Africa. Through supporting cutting edge genomics research in infectious and communicable disease, and ethics, the project aims to build capacity and improve health in Africa.