Team:WITS-CSIR SA/AboutUs/MeetTheTeam


Media:Example.ogg<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" ""> Biotweet - Collaboration

Meet the team

Name: Sasha Reznichenko Team Member
Field of Study: Molecular Medicine
About Sasha:

Sasha is the “MOM” of the team – making sure everyone eats on time and has a substantial meal. She is always the one that is most stressed out. She is very dedicated to her work – only arriving 10-15min late, like a true lady. While waiting for a PCR reaction, Sasha can be found in the common room painting her nails, talking and laughing (too loud for anyone else in the department to concentrate). Her primary interest is the field human genetics and her passion lies in the medical successes that can be achieved through developments such as synthetic biology and gene therapy. She has thoroughly enjoyed doing a project with a team of colleagues since she always has someone to talk to and there is never a dull moment with all the crazy conversations that arise in the lab.

Name: Ezio Fok Team Member
Field of Study: Molecular Medicine
About Ezio:

Ezio has a keen interest in all things that are fun. He enjoys day dreaming and jamming. His drink of preference is Schweppes Dry Lemon. He claims that it is wildly delicious and provides him with a regular, prophylactic dose of the malaria drug quinine (30 mg/l). He is commonly known for his wisdom, which is demonstrated by his mane of grey hair. His hobbies involve sleeping, eating food and learning how to swim. He also enjoys things like iGEM and science.

Name: Gloria Hlongwane Team Member
Field of Study: Microbiology and biotechnology
About Gloria:

Gloria is a super crazy stickler for perfection with a broad sense of humour. She likes organizing all her thoughts and ideas that occur throughout the busy day on paper towels, particularly serviettes. She talks non-stop, that is,every time, all day and every day. She believes that, she is probably the most affable and aloof person she has ever met. If not doing work, she is somewhere doing one of three things; (1)laughing, (2) thinking of what to eat or (3) eating like a horse.

Name: Natasia Kruger Team Member
Field of Study: Microbiology and biotechnology
About Natasia:

Natasia is a workaholic, which means if you can't find her at any time of the day or night, you probably haven't checked the lab. Her passion lies with biotechnology and iGEM has narrowed this interest to the specific field of synthetic biology. She is the “listener” of the team and helps team members calm down when they are STRESSED! She has many late night lab activities including trips to the vending machine and inventing new games to pass time, such as the ability to play tetris manually o_O. She thoroughly enjoyed the iGEM process and would recommend it to engineering or biology undergrads!

Name: Bradley Marques Team Member
Field of Study: Information engineering
About Bradley:

As a biomedical engineer, Bradley likes to think of blood flow as an electrical current, and is occasionally known to model people as spheres. He can usually be found whittling the early hours of the morning away banging out an emergent behaviour simulation. His information engineering degree has piqued his interest in pervasive computing, the human-computer interface as well as an active interest in digital arts. When not contemplating his lack of existence after Ray Kurzweils’ singularity, he may found trolling game design forums with the judicious use of smileys.

Name: Michelle Robinson Team Member
Field of Study: Master's in Molecular Medicine
About Michelle:

After experiencing firsthand the fun and insanity of iGEM as a member of the first-ever Wits iGEM team, Michelle Robinson elected to become a student advisor to the 2011 team. In between working towards her Masters of Science in Medicine Michelle practices her nagging skills and makes sure that the team knows that ‘we only have 62 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 4 seconds until the Wiki Freeze!’ The iGEM competition inspired her to stay within synthetic biology and Michelle is currently working on a gene therapy-based project with a synthetic biology twist. When she isn’t slaving in the lab or slave-driving the iGEM team, Michelle pursues some of her other interests such as activism and advocacy - she is involved in various projects that advocate for public and rural health; as well as scientific literacy and the interface between science and the media.

Name: Laura Millroy Team Member
Field of Study: PhD Molecular Medicine
About Laura:

Laura has a keen interest in synthetic biology and genetic engineering, especially in relation to advances in human health. Her PhD project involves the development of aptamer siRNA chimeras for the treatment of HIV. Beyond lab work and research, Laura spends her time baking, painting and editing iGEM documents! Laura is a student advisor to the team for a second year. She enjoys helping the team to realise their goals while understanding the importance of having fun.

Name: Youtaro Shibayama Team Member
Field of Study: Genetics
About Youtaro:

During his postgraduate studies, Youtaro specialized in the genetics of bacteriophages of Gram positive pathogens and also in the structures of endogenous plasmids occurring in these bacteria. He is currently pursuing his interests in the nuclear architecture of both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells as a postdoc in Synthetic Biology of the CSIR.

Name: Robyn Brackin Team Member
Field: Gene Expression and Biophysics
About Robyn:

Robyn has always had a thrist for acquiring scientific knowledge, from her early years when she dissected stamens from the flowers in her mothers garden to later on in life when she acquired degrees in both Molecular Biology and Electrical Engineering. Now working as a Biomedical Engineer she gets to play not only with pipettes, eppies and solutions but also with soft polymers, resistors, wago controllers and really cool microscopes. Robyn is an advisor to team for a second year and enjoys helping the team with imaging on the microscope. Robyn and the team really enjoy seeing flourescently labelled bacteria!

Name: Dr Karl Rumbold Team Member
Field of Study: Industrial
About Karl:

Dr Rumbold is a microbiologist by training; he graduated from the University of Graz, Austria, and started an international academic career at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, where he received his PhD. He then held research positions at University College London, Ghent University and the Dutch research organization TNO. He returned to South Africa after accepting a faculty position at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg in 2009. He thinks iGEM is an awesome experience and that the team is so fortunate to be in it for the second time.

Name: Prof Marco Weinberg Team Member
Field of Study: RNA Biology and
Gene Therapy
About Marco:

Prof Marco Weinberg loves science…and good coffee…but mostly science. An associate professor of the University of the Witwatersrand, Marco works within the Antiviral Gene Therapy Research Unit and became entangled with the iGEM competition quite by accident. He has been one of the team faculty advisors for the past two years, working closely with the biology students in particular. He believes that it is important to push the team members to approach their project with scientific rigour and a strong work ethic, but also to remind them of the importance of being imaginative, and to inspire them to actively enjoy the experience of working in such a stimulating and creative environment.

Name: Dr Raymond Sparrow Team Member
Field: CSIR: Biosciences
About Raymond:

Dr Sparrow is from the UK and came over to South Africa in 2005 to the National Laser Centre then transferred to Biosciences in 2007. He is currently the Human Capital Development Manager for the Synthetic Biology ERA. In the UK he conducted research into ultra-fast photosynthetic light harvesting and energy transfer reactions. He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Central Lancashire and conducted research at the Lasers For Science Facility at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and Daresbury Synchrotron Radiation Source. Then a Higher Scientific Officer at Daresbury on a Vacuum Ultra Violet Beamline. From 1992 - 2005 he was a lecturer in Life Sciences at Bromley College of F&HE.

Name: Dr Musa Mhlanga Team Member
Field of Study: Cell Biology and Biophysics
About Musa:

Dr Musa Mhlanga is the research leader of the Synthetic Biology ERA of the CSIR’s gene expression and biophysics research group. He studied at the New York University Medical School and the Rockefeller University before heading off to France for postdoctoral research. He has research interests in gene expression, imaging and microscopy, nuclear architecture, single molecule biology and high-throughput screening, and has presented a number of papers internationally in these fields. Musa has been instrumental in setting-up synthetic biology in South Africa and has played a significant role in helping both the 2010 and 2011 iGEM teams.

Retrieved from ""