Michelle launched her scientific career at the University of the Witwatersrand, obtained a BSc in Biochemistry & Physiology, followed by a BSc (Hons) in molecular medicine and an MSc in molecular biology in Professor Michael Kew’s laboratory. Thereafter, she worked at the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) as both a research and development scientist and laboratory manager. She began her PhD in 2008, exploring in vitro HIV-1 drug resistance phenotyping, genotyping and novel virological failure detection tools for clinical patient management. Her research was performed at Virco Lab, Inc (now Janssen Diagnostics) in Belgium and at the NHLS in Johannesburg. The study was completed within the framework of the Affordable Resistance testing for Africa (ART-A) consortium, headed by the PharmAccess Foundation (The Netherlands).
Michelle put into practice her PhD associated-assays at partner laboratories in Zimbabwe (Newlands Clinic; Harare) and Uganda (JCRC; Kampala, Fort Portal, Mbale). Post-PhD, she spent much of her career in the molecular research and diagnostics environment and related quality systems at the NHLS, focusing on HIV drug resistance and haematological malignancies. Michelle was actively involved with the development of education programmes and training of haematopathology registrars, intern medical scientists, and medical technologists. As a project manager, Michelle carried out the design and implementation of an NHLS dashboard to enable the monitoring of performance indices of the Department of Health’s HIV programme. She is a registered medical scientist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa, and currently serves as an examiner for intern medical scientist portfolios.
Having joined Diagnostech in 2015, Michelle strives to enhance the use of state-of-the-art technologies to drive highest level quality research in South Africa and Africa. She has a personal interest in translational research focusing on the medical diagnostics environment. She believes that these are exciting times for molecular biology and that the industry is a key player in how our humanity as a species is evolving.
In her spare time, Michelle loves spending time with her dogs and taking adventurous and cultural journeys with her loved ones. She also loves most things Japanese and in an alternate universe, she’d be a Hollywood movie director… or a doggie day-care owner.