Clinical Mycobacteriology and Epidemiology
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics

​​​​​​​​​​Clinical Mycobacteriology and Epidemiology (CLIME) Group​​

Members

Grant-Theron.jpgGrant Theron
Principal investigator
Email: gtheron@sun.ac.za

Grant is interested in improving how patients with TB or drug-resistant TB are diagnosed, enhancing our understanding of TB transmission, and investigating whether the microbiome has any role in TB pathogenesis. Grant trained at the University of Cape Town and University College London. When he isn't thinking about TB, he is probably on Table Mountain.

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NCBI MyBibiliography

 

Post-doctoral fellows and research students: 

Hridesh Mishra
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Email: hrideshkmishra@gmail.com

Hridesh is investigating the infectiousness of TB patients and the aerobiology of M. tuberculosis. Hridesh is a disciplined Ashtanga yoga practitioner, he loves watching stand-up comedy shows, movies and series.

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Charissa Naidoo
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Email: ccnaidoo@sun.ac.za

Charissa is investigating the microbiome in pulmonary tuberculosis patients, including during treatment, and its association with treatment outcomes. Charissa enjoys oil painting and hiking.​

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Byron Reeve
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Email: byronreeve@sun.ac.za

Byron is leading the evaluation of several new TB diagnostic, where he is measuring their impact in different settings. Byron loves road running and competing in half marathon races. When he's not running, he's playing video games.

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Rouxjeane Venter
Postdoctoral Research Fellow​
Email: rouxjeane@sun.ac.za

Rouxjeane’s research focuses on understanding the infectiousness of TB patients and exploring novel diagnostic approaches for drug-resistant TB. Outside of academia she spends most of her time at the bouldering gym or dancing.​

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Suventha Moodley.jpgSuventha Moodley
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Email: suventha@sun.ac.za

Suventha’s research focuses on understanding the role of microbiome, microbiome-associated metabolites, and antimicrobial resistance in ESKAPE bacteria during various stages of the TB disease spectrum. Suventha enjoys digitally capturing the beautiful landscapes of Cape Town.   

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Clime Image-Anna.jpgAnna Okunola​
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Email: annaojo@sun.ac.za

Anna's research focuses on tuberculosis (TB) diagnostics, specifically to qualify the performance of a point-of-care serological triage test for active TB. Anna loves reading fiction novels and autobiographies. 

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Shima Abdulgader.jpgShima Abdulgader
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Email: sabdulgader@sun.ac.za

Shima is working on the validation of novel and existing point of care diagnostics assays for the prediction of incipient TB. When Shima is not working, she enjoys cooking and spending quality time with her family. 

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G​eorgina Nyawo
PhD student
Email: georginan@sun.ac.za

Georgina is studying the microbiome in the context of extra-pulmonary TB, as well as several other areas. Georgina loves to sing... at church, karaoke, in the lab, everywhere… 

ResearchGate profile

​ 

Zama.JPG Zama Mahlobo​
PhD student
Email: pzamah@sun.ac.za
Zama is working on investigating the infectiousness of TB patients and the factors associated with the airborne survival of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Zama likes playing pool and her favorite TV shows are "Family guy" and "American dad". ​

 


Brigitta Derendinger
PhD student
Email: brigitta@sun.ac.za

Brigitta is working on advancing how drug-resistant TB is ultimately diagnosed by optimising and evaluating new tests and developing phenotypic methods for new TB drugs. Brigitta enjoys building complex Lego and needlework in her spare time.

   

  
S.-Naidoo-photo.jpgSamantha Pillay
PhD student
Email: samantha.naidoo@nhls.ac.za

Samantha is based at a National Health and Laboratory Service laboratory in Cape Town, where she routinely performs high volumes of tests for drug-resistant TB, and uses these data towards her studies. Samantha loves travelling and trying out new recipes.

ResearchGate profile

 

Gcobisa.jpgGcobisa Ndlangalavu
PhD student
Email: gcobisa@sun.ac.za

Gcobisa is investigating new sputum-and non-sputum-based TB diagnostics that can be used at point-of-care. She is interested in seeing how well these TB diagnostics work in people living with HIV (PLHIV) initiating antiretroviral therapy, as well as HIV viral load testing for monitoring PLHIV already on antiretroviral treatment. Apart from enjoying her laboratory work, Gcobisa loves going to the gym and spending time with her family. 

 


 


Yonass.jpg​Yonas Ghebrekristos
PhD Student
Email: yonasg​@sun.ac.za

Yonas is working on improving the diagnosis of TB and drug-resistant TB (including heteroresistance) in a high volume programmatic laboratory using novel molecular tools . He is based at a National Health and Laboratory Service laboratory in Cape Town. In his spare time, Yonas loves playing football and watching sport. 

ResearchGate profile


Clime_Tinaye.jpg
Tinaye Chiyaka 

PhD student
Email: tinayechiyaka@sun.ac.za

Tinaye is studying the role of the Microbiome in pulmonary TB pathogenesis. The study will focus on microbiome from the site of disease (Bronchoalveolar space). Tinaye is a staunch Arsenal fan & amateur photographer.




Erick Auma.jpgErick Auma 
PhD student
Email: eauma@sun.ac.za

Erick is studying clinical and molecular epidemiology of resistance to new and re-purposed tuberculosis drugs using novel molecular tools.  Erick loves watching football, playing chess and enjoys watching series and reality shows, especially Survivor and Amazing race.

ResearchGate profile


Erick Auma.jpg
Arthur Chiwaya

PhD student
Email: achiwaya@sun.ac.za

Arthur is studying Markers for predicting incipient Tuberculosis. Arthur spends his free time watching nature and technology documentaries, travelling, and cooking when stressed.​



Welile Dube
PhD Student

Welile's research focuses on the evaluation of a serological triage rapid test (SeroSelectTB) against the standard of care. She enjoys hiking. 




Stephanie.JPG Stephanie Minnies
PhD Student
Email: stephm@sun.ac.za

Stephanie is working on novel and rapid tests for diagnosis of tuberculosis using non-sputum specimens. "It's wingardium leviOsa, not leviosAH."

   
 


Stephanie.JPGLoren Rockman
Masters student
Email: rockman@sun.ac.za

Project: Focuses on novel methods for the diagnosis of Tuberculosis in high-risk HIV-positive people.

Loren is investigating the yield and accuracy of GeneXpert Ultra in patients with presumptive EPTB. Loren enjoys spending a fair amount of time in the kitchen and loves going on long road trips.

   
 

NANDI NIEMAND.jpgRencia Alberts
Masters student ​
Email: renciaalberts@sun.ac.za

Rencia is working on characterising the resistance to new and repurposed tuberculosis drugs. Rencia is an avid painter, tea taster and a lover of ballet.​  

 



 Laboratory staff:

Megan Hendrikse​​
Laboratory Manager ​
Email: mhendrikse@sun.ac.za

Megan overseas the day to running of the CLIME laboratory, assisting with the co-ordination of new and existing projects. Megan enjoys spending sunny days outside with her family.​ 



 
Zaida Palmer
Senior Technical Officer
Email: zaida@sun.ac.za

Zaida oversees specimen processing and diagnostic testing at multiple sites in the field, as well as the biobanking of specimens at the main lab. Zaida loves cooking and shopping for clothes.

ResearchGate profile

 

 

Happy.jpg

Happy Tshivhula
Research Assistant
Email: tshivhula@sun.ac.za

Happy attends to various day to day laboratory tasks and assists with specimen processing, DNA extractions and diagnostic testing across several studies. Happy is a massive soccer and wresting fan.

ReasearchGate Profile

  

NANDI NIEMAND.jpgNandi Niemand 
Research Assistant
Email: nniemand@sun.ac.za

Nandi attends to various day to day laboratory tasks and assists with diagnostic testing and sample collection for multiple studies. After a busy week Nandi likes to escape the city life. You will probably find her unwinding with a glass of wine and her dogs  always close by, or working in the farrowing houses on the farm. 

ReasearchGate Profile


 

Desiree_Mbu.jpg​Desiree Mbu
Research Assistant 
Email: desireelm@sun.ac.za

Desiree assists with day to day laboratory tasks and is involved in specimen processing, biobanking and data capturing across multiple studies. Desiree's hobbies involve dancing and cooking. ​




Irene.jpgIrene Mardarowicz
Research Assistant
Email: imardar@sun.ac.za

Irene assists with specimen processing, diagnostic testing and biobanking across multiple studies.




Clinical staff

Charlotte Lawn
Research Nurse
Email: clawn@sun.ac.za

Charlotte is based at Scottsdene TB clinic, where she recruits patients with suspected TB to evaluate the accuracy and impact of new TB tests. Charlotte is a keen orchid grower and loves gardening.

 


  

Charmaine van der Walt
Research Nurse
Email: charmainev@sun.ac.za  

Charmaine leads recruitment at Kraaifontein Community Health Centre, where she recruits patients into studies evaluating the impact of new diagnostics for TB and HIV. Charmaine loves to snorkel. 

 


 

R-wilson.jpg Ruth Wilson
Research Nurse
Email: wilson@sun.ac.za

Ruth is based at Tygerberg General Hospital and collects specimens from patients with suspected extrapulmonary TB. Ruth loves instrumental music and often supports local artists.

 

 

   

Jane.jpgJane Fortuin
Research nurse
Email: jcfortuin@sun.ac.za

Jane is a research nurse based at the Wallacedene clinic and recruits patients suspected with TB.

 

 

Lizl.jpgLizl Bashe
Research nurse
Email: lbashe@sun.ac.za

Lizl is a research nurse currently involved in the Bedaquiline Hair Study at Brooklyn Chest Hospital.  ​




Dawn Davis
Research Nurse
Email: dawnd@sun.ac.za

Dawn loves hiking and camping in her spare time.​​




​Fikiswa Seti
Community Health Worker
Email: fikiswa@sun.ac.za

Fikiswa helps source patients, consent them, conduct home visits in the Kraaifontein area, and performs several point-of-care tests at the clinic. Fikiswa loves walking.

 


 

Dandelene.jpgDandelene Sylvester
Community Health Worker
Email: dandelene@sun.ac.za

Danny helps source patients, consent them, and conduct home visits in the Scottsdene area. Danny loves dancing and socialising with family and friends.

 



 

Zintle_Ntwana.jpg ​Zinthle Ntwana
Community health worker
Email: zntwana@sun.ac.za

Zinthle is based at the Wallacedene clinic and handles recruitment of patients and helps consent them.

 

 

 

 

Raymond Fredericks
Driver
Email: rpfredericks@sun.ac.za

Raymond is the group driver and all-round handyman, and plays an important role in the functioning of the recruitment sites.  Raymond loves table tennis and soccer.

 


Byron Biscombe​
Driver
Email: bbiscombe@sun.ac.za

Byron is ambitious and driven. He sets goals for himself and is always striving towards something. He is a humble individual who will try to assist where he can without complaints.​




Alumni


Selisha Naidoo​
Laboratory Manager ​
Rebecca_Tadokera.jpg
Rebecca Tadokera
Research Scientist


Tatenda Mujuru
MSc student​
A Steyn.jpg
Ashley Steyn
Research Field Worker
A Sampson.jpg
Analeen Sampson
Research Nurse
Linda_Makaluza.jpg
Linda Makaluza
Research Nurse
Natasha.png
Natasha Kitchin
Technical officer
Caroline.jpg
Caroline Vanherck
Intern
 
​​Nozuko Zukiswa
PhD student

Yolanda.jpg
Yolanda Novokoza
Intern
RL_Higgitt.jpg 
Roxanne Higgitt 
Research Assistant
Marina.jpg
Marina Ferreira
Study co-ordinator
c.jpg
Chantell Meyer
Research Nurse