H3D’s executive committee (EXCO) is responsible for the formulation and oversight of H3D strategy, business plans and financial decisions.
Prof Kelly Chibale
Director of H3D
Kelly Chibale is the Founder and Director of H3D.Read more.
He is also the founding Director of the South African Medical Research Council Drug Discovery and Development Research Unit at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He is a full Professor of Organic Chemistry at UCT, a Tier 1 South Africa Research Chair in Drug Discovery and a Full Member of the UCT Institute of Infectious Disease & Molecular Medicine. Kelly is a Fellow of UCT, the Royal Society of South Africa and the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Kelly obtained his PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry from the University of Cambridge in the UK with Stuart Warren (1989-1992). This was followed by postdoctoral stints at the University of Liverpool in the UK as a British Ramsay Research Fellow with Nick Greeves (1992-94) and at The Scripps Research Institute in the USA as a Wellcome Trust International Prize Research Fellow with K.C. Nicolaou (1994-96). He was a Sandler Sabbatical Fellow at the University of California San Francisco in the USA (2002), a US Fulbright Senior Research Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in the USA (2008) and a Visiting Professor at Pfizer in the UK (2008).
Dr Greg Basarab
Head of DMPK
Greg Basarab has worked in various aspects of antibacterial and antifungal infection research
for over 30 years at AstraZeneca and at DuPont before joining the H3D. novel mode-of-action antibacterial drugs. Two projects led to the identification of drug candidates that entered human clinical trials including one currently in Phase II trials for the treatment of gonorrhea. He is the primary inventor of the two clinical candidates and the inventor otherwise of over 30 patent applications, 19 of which have been granted. Earlier in his career, he led projects at in three departments of the DuPont Corporation: Central Research & Development, Biochemicals and Agricultural Products working mostly in the antifungal arena and in automated chemical synthesis. Before that, he received his academic training first from the Pennsylvania State University to earn a B.S. in Chemistry and then from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology working in natural products total synthesis to earn a Ph.D. in Chemistry.
Dr Leslie Street
Head of Medicinal Chemistry, H3D at UCT
Dr Leslie Street has over 25 years experience as a medicinal chemist in the drug discovery industry.Read more.
During this time, Dr. Street led many projects targeting the central nervous system (CNS) and identified clinical candidates for various neurological and psychiatric disorders in both the UK and US. At the Merck Sharp and Dohme Neuroscience Research Centre in the UK, where Dr. Street spent 20 years, his group identified the drug MAXALTR for the treatment of migraines. Further, Leslie led projects targeting muscarinic, 5-HT1D and GABAA receptors, where several series of compounds were identified as clinical candidates.
Following Merck, Dr. Street spent 6 months at Renovis Biosciences in San Francisco, and then 5 years at Cortex Pharmaceuticals in Irvine, in Southern California, where he was responsible for directing the medicinal chemistry projects for CNS disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and opiate induced respiratory depression. From this research, several compounds were identified as pre-clinical candidates and a compound successfully completed early phase clinical studies.
Since April 2012, Dr Street has led the medicinal chemistry group at the Drug Discovery and Development Centre (H3D) at the University of Cape Town working on malaria and tuberculosis drug discovery projects.
Dr Susan Winks
Operations and Research Project Manager
Susan Winks obtained her BSc with distinction in Chemistry and Biochemistry from the
University of Cape Town in 2004 and later her BSc(Hons) degree in 2005 also from the University of Cape Town. She came top of her class for honours, winning herself the James Mohr Medal. In 2006 she moved to Johannesburg where she studied her PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand under the supervision of Prof. Jo Michael. During the following 4 years Susan worked as a Teaching Assistant and lectured chemistry to undergraduates. At the end of 2009 Susan completed her PhD entitled “Vinylogous Sulfonamides in the Total Synthesis of Indolizidine Alkaloids from Amphibians and Ants”.
In 2010 Susan started working as a research scientist at Ithemba Pharmaceuticals Ptd Ltd, a start-up biotech focused on drug discovery for neglected diseases. In 2011 she was promoted to Principal Scientist and with her increased involvement in managerial activities she decided to pursue a part-time MBA through the Management College of South Africa, which she obtained in 2014. Susan joined H3D as a Research Officer in August 2013 and in 2015 she retired from the lab bench to increase her involvement in project management and operations at H3D.
Mr Dries Oelofse
Business Development Manager of H3D at UCT
He has training as a bioinformaticist graduating with an MSc Bioinformatics from the University of Pretoria in 2005 before working as a Bioinformatics Consultant in the University of the Witwatersrand.Following that Dries joined the National Bioinformatics Network in 2007 primarily looking at bioinformatics services delivery and funding programme management. The NBN merged with the Cape Biotech Trust, a government biotechnology funding vehicle, in 2009. It was during this time that Dries made the switch from Science to investment management of public funding in science and technology, working in the Technology Platforms portfolio of Cape Biotech for two years before the Trust was dissolved and merged into the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA).
In 2010 Dries started his MBA through the University of Stellenbosch, and he graduated Cum Laude in 2012. Soon after completing the degree Dries left TIA to join the H3-D Centre and is responsible for financial management, fund raising and business development for H3-D. He has several years’ experience in the National System of Innovation in South Africa and has a passion for increasing South Africa’s economic development through the translation of science research and development into science business.
Mrs Ayesha Banderker
Senior Financial Officer | Admin
University of Cape Town
Private Bag X3
T | 021 650 5495
E | 021 650 5195