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Meet the PUB team


Manjusha Joseph-Sunil
Programme Head
Manjusha Joseph-Sunil joined the Science Communication Unit as a Programme Head for the PUB programme on the 15th of September 2008. She has a PhD in Biotechnology from the University of the Free State (UFS) and worked as a lecturer and researcher at UFS for 3 and a half years before joining SAASTA.


Melissa Gopaul
Project Officer
Melissa Gopaul joined the PUB programme as Project Officer in November 2009. She studied at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in Pietermaritzburg and has her BSc Honours in Botany. Her interest lies in the Plant Molecular Biology field. Melissa started off at SAASTA as a DST/NRF intern.


Martha Mokgoko
Martha Mokgoko joined SAASTA in November 2009. Prior to her employment at SAASTA, she served her internship at the Department of Home Affairs and thereafter was a volunteer for the NSTF programme. She was placed at Arcelor Mittal Science Centre and then transferred to SAASTA. Martha obtained her BSc degree in Computer Science and Statistics from the Vista University which is now known as the University of Johannesburg.

Former PUB Members


Masego Mokgoro
Project Officer
Masego Mokgoro served her internship at PlantBio one of the Biotechnology Innovation Centres of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) before being employed at SAASTA as the PUB project officer. She has an Msc in Biotechnology which she obtained at the University of Free State. Masego is currently working for the Innovation Fund.


Joanne Riley
Project Officer
Joanne Riley has an MSc in Genetics from the University of Pretoria. Her experience is largely in the field of biotechnology in medical research, having worked as a Research Associate at The University of Miami in the Division of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, and the University of Cape Town on a tuberculosis vaccine project. Joanne is currently employed at BioPad which is one of the Biotechnology Innovation Centres of DST.


Young Science Communicators Writing Initiative:

In an initiative to offer a platform to exercise skills in science communication, PUB commissioned a group of young scientists to write popular articles on various topics relating to biotechnology applications. Read their on articles on topics including sustainable energy, aquaculture, palaeogenomics, and more... Click here to view.

Previous PUB Quarterly Newsletters:

PUB's fourth quarterly newsletter 
third PUB Quarterly Newsletter 
second PUB Quarterly Newsletter
The first edition

Press release

Shedding Light on Human Genetic Diversity

A paper detailing the the Southern African Genome Sequencing Project and its results was published in the journal Nature.

Read more

Easy learning!

A range of teaching aids are available in a number of different languages


Interested in a career in the exciting field of biotechnology?

Find out more!