The REDSSA Research Team is made up of a multi-national network of data scientists, bioethicists, legal experts, academics and administrative staff. The bioethics consortium includes representation from all over sub-Saharan Africa including Cameroon, eSwatini, Ethiopia, Ghana, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Dr Marietjie Botes
Marietjie has transitioned from a 20-year career as a practising attorney in health law and biotechnology to academia focusing on interdisciplinary research in the intersection between science, technology, law, and ethics. She holds the degrees of BProc, LLB, LLM (Intellectual Property Law) and a PhD (Biotechnology Law). Her research interests include the regulation and ethics involved in advanced medical products such as gene therapies, gene and stem cell research, the use of big (geospatial) data in the context of health emergencies and pandemics, Digital Health technologies - in particular with regard to implanted devices such as Brain-Computer Interfaces and their impact on fundamental rights, including online behavioural manipulation and how it shapes debates around digital ethics and its push towards digital constitutionalism. Marietjie published widely on these topics, both nationally and internationally, and serves as co-editor for the special edition on Digital Ethics for the Humanities and Social Sciences Communications Journal (Springer Nature). She is an elected member of ASSAf involved with the second consensus study on gene therapies in South Africa, and one of the invited experts and co-authors of the SA Country Reports on COVID-19 in which she addressed various legal issues with regard to pandemic management. In her free time, Marietjie collaborates with artists and scientists to create comics which she uses to teach and stimulate debate around biotechnology and digital ethics. She serves as the project coordinator for the REDSSA project.