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Executive Committee

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.

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Kelly Chibale is a full Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Cape Town (UCT) where he holds the Neville Isdell Chair in African-centric Drug Discovery & Development. He is also a Full Member of the UCT Institute of Infectious Disease & Molecular Medicine, a Tier 1 South Africa Research Chair in Drug Discovery, founding Director of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) Drug Discovery & Development Research Unit at UCT and is the Chairman and CEO of the H3D Foundation. Kelly is also the Associate Editor: American Chemical Society Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

Kelly obtained his PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry from the University of Cambridge in the UK (1989-1992). This was followed by postdoctoral stints at the University of Liverpool in the UK (1992-94) and at the Scripps Research Institute in the USA (1994-96). He was a Sandler Sabbatical Fellow at the University of California San Francisco (2002), a US Fulbright Senior Research Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (2008) and a Visiting Professor at Pfizer in the UK (2008).

In 2018 Kelly was recognized by Fortune magazine as one of the World's 50 Greatest Leaders and in 2019 he was named as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans by New African magazine.

Follow Kelly's Twitter account on @Kelly_Chibale.

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Dr Greg Basarab 

Head of DMPK, Biosciences and Medicinal Chemistry

Greg Basarab has an appointment as a Principal Research Officer and Associate Director at UCT and the affiliated H3D where he heads efforts directed towards the eradication of resistant infectious diseases.

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Previously, Dr. Basarab led multi-disciplinary drug discovery teams at AstraZeneca working on the design of novel mode-of-action antibacterials, efforts that led to three drug candidates entering human clinical trials including two currently in Phase 3. Previous to that, he worked at DuPont where he led projects in three departments: Central Research & Development, Biochemicals and Agricultural Products working in the antifungal arena and in automated chemical synthesis. He received a B.S. in Chemistry from the Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Dr Susan Winks

Head of Research Operations and Business Development

Dr Susan Winks is currently employed as the Head of Research Operations and Business Development at H3D and manages the team of professional staff that support the interdisciplinary drug discovery work at H3D.
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Susan Winks obtained her BSc and BSc (Hons) degrees, both with distinction, at the University of Cape Town. She came top of her class for honours, winning herself the James Mohr Medal and was subsequently awarded the Andrew Mellon Scholarship to complete her PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand under the supervision of Prof. Jo Michael. During this time, she also worked as a Teaching Assistant, lecturing and tutoring chemistry to undergraduate students.

In 2010 Susan was appointed 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 became the team leader for various infectious disease drug discovery projects. During this time, Susan decided to pursue a part-time MBA through the Management College of South Africa, which she was subsequently awarded in 2014.

In August 2013, Susan was appointed as a Research Officer at H3D Drug Discovery and Development Centre, working as a lead chemist for a tuberculosis drug discovery project. The centre was at the start of its growth phase and Susan took the opportunity to get involved in establishing operations and project management systems to support the science. This included facilitating an organisational restructure to a Matrix-based structure to support interdisciplinary teamwork, design and implementation of a new strategic Human Resource system for the centre and improving data management systems, lab management systems and project management practices.

In 2019, Susan took up the position of Head of Research Operations and Business Development at H3D. Her role includes ensuring operational continuity and sustainable growth by long-term strategic planning, management of partnerships and stakeholders, fundraising and renewal of funding agreements, management of internal governance structures and portfolio oversight.

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Mrs Ayesha Banderker CA (SA)

Finance and Administration Manager | Admin

Ayesha Banderker manages and enables the financial, systems, policy and administrative framework within which H3D is able to function optimally. 
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The position provides appropriate financial management and support services to the Director and general staff within the Centre in accordance with University requirements, policy and procedures. The position also  ensures adherence to statutory requirements, assess risk and strives for operational efficiencies across the entire unit. She has been operating in the finance position for 7 years, setting up organisational systems and working to support the Centre. 

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Dr Sandeep Ghorpade

Principal Investigator, Medicinal Chemistry

Sandeep Ghorpade joined H3D in September 2014 as a Chief Research Officer. He is leading H3D TB portfolio since 2015 and has recently taken up responsibility of leading a hit-to-lead program for malaria.

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With 11+ years of drug discovery experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Sandeep worked on several lead generation and lead optimization programs at AstraZeneca, India focused on discovering new medicines for TB. Sandeep is well versed with various lead generation approaches, using target-based and whole-cell based screens and has a keen interest in structure-based lead generation. He published six medicinal chemistry papers and a patent based on his work in TB drug discovery research at AstraZeneca. Before joining AstraZeneca, Sandeep worked at Glenmark Research Centre on diabetes projects, from which he added another patent to his credit.

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