STELLENBOSCH UNIVERSITY

The University of Stellenbosch (SU) is situated in the Western Cape region of South Africa and is ranked as one of the top five leading Universities in South Africa and Africa.  Close to 30 000 students are currently enrolled, with approximately 35% of these being postgraduate students.  SU has 3 strategic priorities for the future, which include: (1) Broadening access, (2) Sustaining momentum on excellence and (3) enhancing societal change.

Professor Abayomi, at SU is the principle investigator for the NIH-funded H3Africa biobanking  project, and is jointly appointed by SU and the National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS) as the Head of the Division of Heamatology.  He has gained extensive expertise in the field of biobanking governance and is currently serving as a Councillor on the Executive Committee of the ESBB (European, Middle Eastern and African Society for Biobanking and Biopreservation).

Team Members Contributing to the B3Africa Project

S.Carmen_149x160DR. CARMEN SWANEPOEL

carmens@sun.ac.za

I am a Molecular Biologist in the Division of Haematology at the National Health Laboratory Services and Stellenbosch University at Tygerberg Hospital, Western Cape, South Africa. I have been concerned with research, development of diagnostic laboratory tests and the teaching and training of staff and students in laboratory skills and quality management. I have also been instrumental in the development of the new flow cytometry research and training laboratory, cell culture facility and the NHLS/Stellenboch University Biobank in the faculty’s Pathology department.

Besides fulfilling the role of Scientific and Operational Manager of NSB, I am also involved in work related to governance, ethics, LIMS, sample and data protection, sample quality control and sustainability that is associated with biobank operations. My other research interests include Molecular Applications in leukemia and lymphoma diagnosis as well the role of epigenetics particularly miRNA’s in Haematological Pathologies.

What is your role in the B3Africa project?

I represent the project coordinator for NSB, the Stellenbosch University representative who will act as a beta site/use case for the proof of concepts via work package (WP) 7; I am involved in the development of the ethical and legal framework to allow for data sharing via WP 1; and I work closely with WP 3 giving input regarding biobanking operations and workflows for the LIMS in the box aspect of the project.

What is your vision for the project? What do you wish to contribute to by participating to this project?

That this project will highlight the importance of biobanks globally but particularly in Africa and the need to have such infrastructures for future research opportunities.

That it will help promote the complex science that is biobanking hand in hand with the ethical, legal and social aspect relating to sample and data sharing.

T Reid_176x235TIMOTHY REID
timothydawsonreid@gmail.com

I am a medical scientist in the Division of Haematology at the National Health Laboratory Services and Stellenbosch University at Tygerberg Hospital, Western Cape, South Africa. I have a background in Medical Virology and Immunohaematology, more specifically the dynamics of the B-cell compartment in untreated HIV infection. My involvement in the division is focused on training staff and students in flow cytometry, cell culture, and research methodology, and development or improvement of diagnostic tests. As an active member of the NHLS-Stellenbosch biobank (NSB), I am involved in Risk Management & Safety, Data Integrity, and technical troubleshooting.

What is your role in the B3Africa project?

I have recently taken on the portfolio of LIMS Design & Integration Analyst, where I have been assisting our software developer partners with the customization and design of our new LIMS (WP3 – LIMS in a box). In addition to this I am involved in WP7 (Use Cases) as Stellenbosch University is a test site/use case for the proof of concepts developed in the work packages.

What is your vision for the project? What do you wish to contribute to by participating to this project?

In the short term, this project will assist development of standards and guidelines that will foster the growth of Biobanks in the African continent. In the long term, this project will strengthen African and European research partnerships, and encourage future collaborations in all aspects of human, and health research.

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