Organising Committee

Speaker 1

Prof Johann Rohwer (Chair)

Johann Rohwer is Professor in Biochemistry at Stellenbosch University, and served as Head of Department from 2015–2019. He obtained his Ph.D. in 1997 from the University of Amsterdam and then joined Stellenbosch University, where he jointly with his colleagues Jacky Snoep and Dawie van Niekerk now leads the Laboratory for Molecular Systems Biology, a research group that studies the control and regulation of cellular processes using theoretical, numerical and experimental approaches. Johann has contributed to the theoretical development of metabolic control analysis, to its experimental application, and to the development of software tools for computational systems biology. His main research interests are the construction of kinetic models of cellular function with a particular emphasis on plant and microbial central carbon metabolism, cellular redox networks, and glucocorticoid receptor signalling. To aid model construction, his lab has developed a method applying NMR spectroscopy to obtain enzyme kinetic parameters for whole metabolic pathways from reaction time-courses. He is a member of the international STRENDA commission.

Speaker 1

Prof Jacky Snoep

Jacky Snoep is Professor in Biochemistry at Stellenbosch University, and holds a South African Research Chair in Mechanistic Modelling of Health and Epidemiology, since 2013. Jacky’s main research focus is central carbon metabolism and its (dys) regulation in metabolic diseases, such as type II diabetes, but also in blood glucose concentration homeostasis in malaria patients, and metabolism of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. For all research topics in Jacky’s group a strong quantitative approach is taken, using a combination of experimental and mathematical modelling techniques. Jacky has also been active in data and model management; he is director of the JWS Online initiative, and plays an active role in development of the FAIRDOMHub. Jacky collaborates with many overseas groups, e.g. the Westerhoff, Bruggeman and Teusink groups in Amsterdam, Bakker in Groningen, Siebers in Essen, Goble in Manchester, Mueller in Heidelberg, and Goksor in Gothenburg.

Speaker 1

Dr Dawie van Niekerk

Dawie van Niekerk is a lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry at Stellenbosch University. He is interested in unified mathematical and computational frameworks for analyses of pharmacological effects of drugs and disease response in patients and populations. This is accomplished by combining detailed mechanistic mathematical models of metabolism and signal transduction with statistical and phenomenological models of disease, pharmacology and epidemiology. It involves combining work from a variety of fields in health and life sciences and applying mathematical, computational and experimental techniques to construct the formalism, to code, simulate and analyse the models, and to do additional biochemical characterisation of the relevant metabolic pathways.

Laboratory for Molecular Systems Biology
Department of Biochemistry, Stellenbosch University