Mario G. Santos, University of the Western Cape, Square Kilometre Array, Astrophysicist
Mario Santos is an Associate professor at the University of Western Cape. He has a PhD from Oxford University, Master from Cambridge University, undergrad from University of Lisbon.
His main focus is "radio-cosmology" - studying how the next generation of large radio telescopes, such as MeerKAT in South Africa and the future SKA will be able to answer fundamental questions in Cosmology.
Keolebogile Motaung, Researcher Tshwane University of Technology (Ms)
Keolebogile Shirley Motaung is a Biomedical Scientist and the Assistant Dean in charge of Postgraduate Studies, Research, Innovation and Engagement in the Faculty of Science at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). She is also the Founder of Global Health Biotech (PTY) LTD. She obtained her D.Tech (Biomedical Technology) in 2010, at TUT in collaboration with University of California, Davis, USA.
As a Professor, research scientist and entrepreneur, she trains her postgraduate students not just on how to do research, and become a scientist, but also on how to become entrepreneur. By becoming entrepreneurs, they can create jobs for themselves after completing their studies at a time when jobs are scarce, and unemployment is high.
Jeffrey Mphahlele, Vice President for Research, South African Medical Research Council
Jeffrey Mphahlele is the Vice President of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) since October 2014, the largest science council dedicated to funding and conducting health research in South Africa. Prior to joining the SAMRC, he was Professor and Academic Chair of the Department of Virology, National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) at University of Limpopo Medunsa Campus (2009 to Sep 2014), Head of the South African Vaccination and Immunisation Centre (SAVIC) at the same institution (2005 to 2014) and Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Virology, University of Glasgow, Scotland (1996 to 1997).
His research interest in prevention and control of human viral diseases has covered a wide range of topics, including the viral hepatitis, gastrointestinal viral infections, human papillomaviruses, molecular epidemiology of HIV, genomics of infectious diseases, vaccination control of hepatitis B, rotavirus and HPV, and strengthening immunisation services and policies. In the process, he has trained, supervised and mentored numerous doctoral and master students.
Pedro Monteiro, Head: Ocean Systems & Climate at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
Pedro Monteiro is a Chief Oceanographer at CSIR, and he has a PhD Oceanography.
Pedro Monteiro has a special interest in the understanding of how and why the ocean biogeochemistry of oxygen and carbon adjusts to climate variability. The use of numerical modelling as experimental platforms to understand scale sensitivities of coupled physics and biogeochemical processes in the Southern Ocean is a key focus. This is being used to contribute to reducing uncertainty in long term evolution of the climate - carbon system in fully coupled Earth Systems models.
Mapitso Molefe, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
Mapitso Molefe is Chief Director of Biotechnology and Health, from Department of Science and Technology and has a PhD in Green Chemistry/Biocatalysis from Michigan State University.
Her Scientific Areas include, Renewable Energy, Energy Storage, Electric Mobility, Biomass to Power, Biogas to Power, Natural gas to Power, Biofuels, SET Human Capital Development, Portfolio Management, Funding and Financing RDI, Negotiation, Programme and Project Management, Technology Management, Strategy Development, R&D, Innovation, Biocatalysis, Catalysis, Organic Synthesis, Biotechnology
Tebogo Mokoma, Deputy Director: Overseas Bilateral Cooperation- Department of Science and Technology
Tebogo Mokoma is Deputy Director at the Department of Science and Technology, in charge of International Cooperation. He has a MBA from TUT Business School.
He is responsible for, among others, to identify new areas of science and technology cooperation with a view to strengthen the South African system of innovation with South African science institutions and to facilitate access to international critical skills for South Africa through identification of partner countries and facilitate science and technology experts exchange programmes.
Paul Groot, SARCHI chair, Professor in U. Cape Town (SARCHI - South African Research Chairs Initiative by the NRF)
Paul Groot is professor of astronomy at, and co-founder of, the Department of Astrophysics of Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. He received his PhD at the University of Amsterdam in 1999, was a CfA Fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, USA.
His areas of expertise are ultracompact binaries, transient sources and gravitational wave emitters. The research is focused on discovering and characterizing these elusive systems and using them as a probe to understand fundamental physics. For this he uses wide field surveys, such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey , and the European Galactic Plane Surveys, of which he is one of the leading researchers. The European Galactic Plane Surveys consist of the IPHAS survey of the Galactic plane in H-alpha, the blue UVEX survey (both on La Palma using the INT Wide Field Camera and the Southern VPHAS+ survey, using the ESO VST+Omegacam.
Beverley A. Damonse, NRF
Beverley Damonse is the Group Executive: Science Engagement and Corporate Relations of the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa. She obtained a BSc (Microbiology and Plant Pathology), BEd and MEd from the then University of Natal (now University of KwaZulu-Natal) and a Doctorate degree (Education Policy and Management) from the University of Pretoria.
Her responsibilities include driving and implementing policy and strategy development in the areas of research advancement and technology; public communication and engagement with science; science education; as well as corporate communications and stakeholder engagement.
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