​​​​​The African Microbio​me Institute (AMI)​​​

Management Committee

Grant Theron.jpgProf. Grant Theron’s primary research area is tuberculosis (TB), which is the single biggest infectious cause of death in the world. His interests include the microbiome and TB; the intersection of which are remarkedly understudied given the importance of the microbiome in human health and the global burden of TB. TB is special amongst many diseases, as it requires thousands of doses of antibiotics for at least 6 months to treat a single episode. Grant’s group is evaluating the role of the microbiome in TB pathogenesis and the long-term impact of treatment in the microbiome .
Grant has published >70 papers. This work has attracted international recognition, including the IUATLD Young Investigator Prize, the Meiring Naudé Medal from the South African Royal Society, and the NSTF-BHP Billiton T.W. Kambule Emerging Researcher Award. Grant holds a South African National Research Foundation P-rating. Grant is Head of the Clinical Mycobacteriology and Epidemiology Group (https://goo.gl/6vNAxl) at Stellenbosch University.


Steve Innes.pngProf. Steve Innes is an associate professor in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Children’s Hospital, where he is a clinician-researcher at the institution’s Family Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Unit (FAMCRU).
His primary role is to create and implement new research to generate sound, scientifically-robust evidence aimed at developing effective and feasible guidelines for management of an aging HIV-infected paediatric population in resource-constrained settings in Southern Africa. Steve regularly provides clinical teaching to medical students at various levels of undergraduate study. Simultaneously, he supervises and mentors medical professionals pursuing post-graduate masters and PhD studies in his field.  
“Studying the gut microbiome may provide the key to understanding why some HIV+ children prematurely develop adult-type diseases (e.g. atherosclerosis, and chronic lung, kidney and bone disease) while others don’t.

“The goal of my clinical and research career is to ensure the long-term health and wellbeing of low socio-economic-rung HIV-infected children on antiretroviral therapy in South and sub-Saharan Africa. I intend to achieve this through clinical care of children and their families; clinical teaching and mentoring of clinicians and nurse-practitioners in paediatrics; and clinically-relevant research aimed at common problems facing front-line clinicians and nurse-practitioners, specifically those dealing with HIV-infected children.”  

David Tabb.png
David L. Tabb was born in November, 1973 near Kansas City, Missouri, in the United States. After graduating high school in Blue Springs, Missouri, in 1992, he attended the University of Arkansas as a Sturgis Fellow for a four-year Bachelor of Science program. He graduated in 1996 with a major in Biology and a minor in Computer Science. His choice of the PhD program in Molecular Biotechnology at the University of Washington proved significant as he trained under John R. Yates III, a pioneer in the nascent field of proteomics. David defended his dissertation in 2003, propelled forward by five first-author publications. After a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, he joined the faculty of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, as an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics. 

He was tenured and promoted to associate professor in 2011. In 2015, he left Vanderbilt and moved to Cape Town, South Africa, to join the Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics at Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. The key themes that motivate Prof Tabb’s research are revealing biological information from experimental data, removing roadblocks to quality proteomics experimentation, and bioinformatics education.

Andrew Whitelaw.jpgProf. Andrew Whitelaw worked as a consultant pathologist in clinical microbiology at Groote Schuur Hospital from 2003 – 2012. In December 2012 took up the post of Head of Department of Medical Microbiology at the University of Stellenbosch / Tygerberg Hospital. His early research revolved around molecular characterization of ESBLs in members of the Enterobacteriaceae, and he has been involved in a number of studies and activities related to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and infection control over the last decade, both for community as well as hospital acquired pathogens. Most relevant among these would be his involvement in the South African Antibiotic Stewardship Programme (SAASP), The Infection Control Society of Southern Africa, and the SA Ministerial Advisory Committee on AMR. 

Ongoing research interests focus on antimicrobial resistance in Enterobacteriaceae and Staphylococcus aureus, including molecular epidemiology and mechanisms of resistance as well as clinical impact and control of AMR. He is also involved in studies describing the human microbiota and in particular the effect of antimicrobials on the microbiota.

R Blaauw.jpgProf Renée Blaauw, PhD (Nutritional Sciences), is an Associate Professor in Therapeutic Nutrition at the Division of Human Nutrition, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town. 

She is a registered dietitian with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). She acted as Chairperson of the Professional Board for Dietetics in South Africa for the period 1999 – February 2004. She is a Past President of SASPEN (South African Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition) and an honorary member of both SASPEN and ADSA (Association for Dietetics in South Africa). 

She has authored / co-authored various articles and chapters in scientific publications and textbooks, presented research papers at international and national congresses, been an invited speaker at various symposiums, workshops and serves as a peer-reviewer for national and international scientific journals. 
Her main research interests includes Nutrition support of critically ill patients; Hospital malnutrition; Nutritional management of gastro-intestinal diseases; Pre- and Probiotics and Nutritional Epidemiology. She has been involved in various Provincial and national research surveys acting as primary investigator or research coordinator

van resnburg.jpgProf Christoffel van Rensburg MBChB, PhD: Head of the Division of Gastroenterology, Tygerberg Campus.

‘Christo’ has more than 35 years’ experience in clinical and academic  gastroenterology in South Africa, with a research focus on diseases of the upper GI tract. He runs a very busy clinical service with the assistance of one other consultant, a senior registrar, a GI fellow and 2 registrars. Their workload for 2018 included 7114 outpatient visits, 3669 gastroscopies, 1836 colonoscopies, 155 flexible sigmoidoscopies, 421 ERCPs, 20 capsule endoscopies, 75 dilations, 106 esophageal manometry and pH studies, 185 colonic polypectomies, and 184 GI stents. There were 1400 in-patient consultations.  ​