Ann Meyers

Postdocs / Students

More informationSandiswa Mbewana
Post-doctoral fellow
More informationEmmanuel Margolin
Senior Scientific Officer
More informationJennifer Wayland
MSc student
Steven o'Connor More informationSteven O'Connor
MSc student
More informationSiphomelele Ndlovu
MSc student
More informationShelley Fearon
MSc student

Sandiswa Mbewana
Post-doctoral fellow

I am a Biotechnologist specializing in Plant Biotechnology. My Bsc Biotechnology degree was obtained at the University of the Western Cape in 2005. My post graduate studies (BSc Hons and MSc in Wine biotechnology) were completed at Stellenbosch University. My MSc was on the analysis of possible fungal resistance phenotype in transgenic tobacco plants over-expressing the native cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase gene. The key study area was Grapevine biotechnology focusing on disease resistance.
I have also worked as a Scientific Officer in the plant based vaccine group. My project was on the development of an avian influenza virus (H5N1) vaccine using plants and insect cell expression system. Now am have enrolled for a PhD on development of rift valley fever virus vaccine.
Emmanuel Margolin
Senior Scientific Officer
I completed my undergraduate studies in the Molecular and Cell Biology department at UCT before moving to Medical School for my honours and Masters. My M.Sc. project focused on the design and expression of novel HIV-1 Envelope antigens in different expression platforms. I am currently working for the HIV Vaccine Development Group at Medical School on a MRC SHIP funded project which aims to develop next generation HIV vaccines, for the induction of neutralizing antibodies. As part of this Project I am working in the BRU to develop a plant-based expression platform for the production of HIV Envelope subunit vaccines. In my free time I enjoy playing guitar, running and gyming.
Jennifer Wayland
PhD student
Jennifer WaylandI grew up in Gauteng and completed my BSc, BSc Honours and MSc in Microbiology at the University of Pretoria. My studies focused on establishing a high-throughput sequencing-based diagnostic system for the detection of grapevine viruses. My fascination with viruses and their diagnosis led me to BRU at the University of Cape Town, with their new and exciting approaches to serological reagent and vaccine development.
Working under the supervision of Prof. Ed Rybicki and Dr Ann Meyers, my PhD is focused on the expression of the West Nile Virus NS1 and prM-E genes as reagents for serological detection and VLPs as a candidate vaccine in N. benthamiana.
Steve O'Connor
MSc student
SusanneI grew up in Hilton in Kwa Zulu Natal. I attended St Charles College in Pietermaritzburg and then obtained my Bachelor of Science degree in molecular biology and biotechnology as well as Honours in plant biotechnology at Stellenbosch University. I have transferred to UCT to pursue my Master’s degree. I work under Dr Ann Meyers on a project developing vaccines for Foot and Mouth Disease Virus (FMDV) in plants. Specifically; my project aims to express and optimize expression of the structural proteins of the FMDV with the intention of producing a virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine in the plant Nicotiana benthamiana. The hope is that these VLPs will provide a safer and more cost effective vaccine for the agricultural industry.
Siphomelele Ndlovu
MSc student
Siphomelele NdlovuI am originally from Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. I completed my undergraduate studies in Biochemistry at the University of Pretoria. I then did my honours in Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Cape Town, as part of the BRU. I am currently doing my masters under the supervision of Prof Ed Rybicki, Dr Ann Meyers and Dr Rosemary Meggersee. My project focuses on the expression of Horseradish Peroxidase (HRP) and Alkaline phosphatase fused anti-rabbit single variable chain fragments (scFvs), derived from a mouse phage display library, in N. benthamiana.
Shelley Fearon
MSc student
Shelley FearonI completed my BSc in Genetics and Ecology and BSc (Hons) in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Cape Town.
I am currently pursuing an MSc in the Biopharming Research Unit under the supervision of Dr. Ann Meyers, Dr. Inga Hitzeroth and Prof. Ed Rybicki. My project focuses on the African horse sickness virus (AHSV), a devastating, highly infectious disease affecting equids. The research involves producing AHSV-specific antibodies and VP7 crystalline-particles in plants, for the development of potential therapeutic and prophylactic vaccines.