Division of Molecular Biology & Human Genetics


Mycobacteriology: Host-pathogen mycobactomics​



 Principal Investigator

Prof Samantha Sampson
Email: ssampson@sun.ac.za

Prof Sampson is a tuberculosis (TB) researcher with expertise in mycobacterial genetics, microbiology, immunology and animal models of TB. Prof. Sampson obtained her PhD from Stellenbosch University, and undertook post-doctoral training at the Harvard University School of Public Health and Imperial College London (where she held a Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellowship). She was recently awarded a SARChI Chair in Mycobactomics, whereupon she returned to South Africa to establish a research group focused on TB host-pathogen interactions within the  DST/NRF Centre of Exce​llence in Biomedical Tuberculosis Research in the Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics.
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Dr Jomien Mouton
Email: jomien@sun.ac.za
Project title: Understanding the biology of persister populations of M. tuberculosis at the host-pathogen interface.

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Dr Tiaan Heunis
Email: heunistd@sun.ac.za
Project title: A proteomic view of M. tuberculosis and the interaction with its human host.

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Serena Camassa.pngDr. Serena Camassa

Email: serenacamassa@sun.ac.za

Project title: Determining the role of PPE_MPTR proteins in TB pathogenesis: functional and computational analysis.

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PhD Candidates

Ms Juanelle du Plessis
Email: jdp@sun.ac.za
Project title: Structure, function and inhibition of RNA Polymerase in M. tuberculosis
Co-supervisor(s): Prof. Rob Warren, Prof. Ramesh Wigneshweraraj
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Ms Caroline Pule
Email: cpule@sun.ac.za
Project title: Deciphering the physiology of drug tolerant and resistant M. tuberculosis
Co-supervisor(s): Prof. Rob Warren, Prof. Tommie Victor, Dr. Gail Louw, Dr. Jomien Mouton 
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Ms. Hanri Visser
Email: hvisser@sun.ac.za
Project title: Investigating the Potential Anti-mycobacterial Effect of Novel Polycyclic Compounds on Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Co-supervisors: Prof. Sarel Malan, Dr. Lizma Streicher




Ms Namaunga Kasumu Chisompola
Email: unga_k@yahoo.co.uk
title: Genetic characterization of drug resistant clinical isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis circulating within a high HIV prevalence district of Zambia.
Co-supervisors: Prof. Rob Warren, Dr. Lizma Streicher






 Mr. James Gallant

E-mail: jgallant@sun.ac.za

Project title: The role of PE-PGRS variation in Mycobacterium tuberculosis in immune evasion and disease outbreaks

Co-supervisors: Prof. Wilbert Bitter (VU, Netherlands), Dr. Tiaan Heunis


MSc Candidates

Mr Marvin Theys
Email: mgt@sun.ac.za
Project title: The characterisation of beta-lactamases in M. tuberculosis.
Co-supervisor(s): Prof. Rob Warren, Dr. Niel van Wyk




Ms. Trisha Parbhoo

Email: trishap@sun.ac.za
Project title: Understanding mycobacterial population heterogeneity at a single cell level
Co-supervisors: Dr. Jomien Mouton, Dr. Digby Warner




Ms. Antoinette Colic
Project title: Immunogenetic diversity of PPE_MPTR proteins of M. tuberculosis
Co-supervisors: Prof. Alan Christoffels






Ms. Carissa Blair
Email: caskb@sun.ac.za
Project title: Extent and consequences of ppe_mptr genetic diversity






Co-supervised students

Dr. Valery Tshilombo (Msc candidate)

Ms. Ncite Da Camara (MSc candidate)

Ms. Heather Moyo (MSc candidate, University of the Western Cape)

Ms. Nastassja Steyn (PhD candidate)

Ms Melanie Grobbelaar (PhD candidate)

Mr. Michael Whitfield (PhD candidate)

Ms. Erika Kapp (PhD candidate, University of the Western Cape)


Past students

Ms. Jesmine Arries (MSc, 2016)

Dr. Valery Tshilombo (MSc, 2016)

Mr. Keith Siame (MSc, 2016)

Ms Carissa Blair (BSc Hons, 2015)

Dr. Marisa Klopper (PhD 2015, co-supervised)

Dr. Philippa Black (PhD 2015, co-supervised)

Sasha Lee-Lynch (BSc Hons 2014)

Thobile Nqganeka (BSc Hons 2014)

Trisha Parbhoo (BSc Hons 2014)

Lara Meyer (BSc Hons 2014)