Meet the team members...


  • Prof Thérèsa L Coetzer

    Head of Plasmodium Molecular Research Unit
    Research interests: Molecular pathways of protein trafficking, programmed cell death and membrane lipid metabolism in Plasmodium falciparum Manipulation of the Plasmodium falciparum genome Identification of novel drug targets Gametocyte biology Identification of lead compounds targeting gametocytes
  • Dr Kubendran Naidoo

    Research Scientist and Laboratory Manager
    Research interest: To understand the molecular aspects of Plasmodium falciparum metabolism and lipid biology such as characterizing proteins and mapping pathways that may be essential for parasite survival and therefore targetable.


  • Dr Sonja Lauterbach

    Research scientist
    I am currently working on the sexual cycle of Plasmodium falciparum and setting up drug screening assays
  • Dr Belinda Bezuidenhout

    Postdoctoral fellow
    I recently completed my PhD, which focussed on the role of the adaptor protein complex medium subunit in protein trafficking within the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Future work I hope to be involved in is the elucidation of the function of the complex in its entirety.
  • Dewaldt Engelbrecht

    PhD candidate
    Research Interests: In vitro characterisation of programmed cell death in Plasmodium falciparum in response to stress stimuli naturally encountered by the parasite during malaria illness.
  • Warren Antonio Vieira

    PhD candidate
    Investigating the Molecular Participants of Programmed Cell Death in Plasmodium falciparum
  • Dale Liebenberg

    PhD candidate
    PhD candidate interested in programmed cell death (PCD) during the intraerythrocytic life stage of Plasmodium falciparum. He is currently working on characterising a putative Plasmodium falciparum inhibitor of apoptosis (PfIAP) protein.
  • Alisje Steyn

    MSc candidate
    MSc candidate interested in trafficking mechanisms of Plasmodium falciparum invasion proteins. Currently working on assessing the protein domains responsible for apical organelle localization of PfAMA1 and PfSUB2.
  • Melanie Wepener

    MSc candidate
    Plasmodium falciparum uses a multitude of pathways and proteins for invasion of human host erythrocytes. However, different invasion proteins may possess common transport mechanisms. My research is focused on identifying and elucidating possible mechanisms as potential drug targets.
  • Anthea Hean

    MSc candidate
    MSc candidate investigating a putative ataxia telangiectasia mutated protein involved in programmed cell death in Plasmodium falciparum