Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player



Keynote Speakers

Professor Oluwatoyin Ajibola Asojo
National School of Tropical Medicine (NSTM)
Baylor College of Medicine 1102 Bates Avenue Suite 550
Houston, Texas 77030, USA

Homepage: Oluwatoyin Asojo


Oluwatoyin Asojo’s research focuses on protein crystallography, structure based development of vaccines and therapeutics, with a particular interest on diseases of the underserved and neglected pathogens. She is currently an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, Texas, USA) and the Director of the Structural Biology and Protein Characterization Section of the National School of Tropical Medicine (NSTM). Prof Asojo obtained her PhD (Chemistry) from the University of Houston (1999). She is co-chair of the database committee of the US National Committee for Crystallography, a former Carnegie African Diaspora Fellow (2016), on the Fulbright Specialist Roster Chemistry Education (2015-21), a Society for Science and the Public Science Advocates (2016), and a Norton Rose Fulbright Faculty Excellence awardee in Teaching and Evaluation (2017).


Professor Mark W Peczuh
Department of Chemistry, University of Connecticut
55 North Eagleville Road, U3060
Storrs, CT 06269, USA


Mark Peczuh’s research focuses on the synthesis of ring-expanded carbohydrates and conformational analysis, the synthesis and structural analysis of macrocycles, investigations of protein-small molecule interactions (especially protein-carbohydrate interactions), and the discovery of new antibacterials. He is currently an Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of Connecticut (Storrs, Connecticut, USA). The philosophy of the Peczuh group is to support an inclusive research environment that encourages inquiry through rigorous experimentation, sound logic and unconventional thinking. Prof Peczuh obtained his PhD (Chemistry) from Yale University (1999). He is a former Fulbright Fellow at the Institut Químic de Sarrià in Barcelona, Spain (2013), a New Investigator awardee (Carbohydrate Division) of the American Chemical Society (2006), and a National Science Foundation Early Career Development (CAREER) awardee (2006).


Professor Harald Pasch
SASOL Chair in Advanced Analytical Polymer Science
Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science
University of Stellenbosch
7600 Stellenbosch, South Africa

Homepage: Harald Pasch

Harald Pasch’s research focuses on the development of advanced analytical methods for complex polymers. He has conducted research in Kuwait and Germany, notably at the German Institute for Polymers (DKI) where he developed novel methods for polymer fractionation, most prominently in the field of multidimensional liquid chromatography leading to the publication of textbooks on liquid chromatography of polymers and mass spectrometry (in 1997 and 2004, respectively). Professor Pasch obtained his PhD (Polymer Science) from the German Academy of Sciences (1982) and his habilitation (DSc) in 1987; since 2014 he is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Stellenbosch, as the SASOL Chair in Analytical Polymer Science. In addition to postgraduate supervision and publishing research articles, Professor Pasch continues to publish textbooks to inform intermediate and advanced polymer scientists, including Multidimensional HPLC of Polymers (2013) and Advanced Separation Techniques for Polyolefins (2014).

Professor Pasch is the recipient of the 2017 South African Chemical Institute Gold Medal


Professor Daniela I Bezuidenhout
School of Chemistry, University of the Witwatersrand
Johannesburg 2050, South Africa

Homepage: Daniela Bezuidenhout

Daniela Bezuidenhout’s research focuses on the synthesis of new carbenes and carbene metal complexes for application in catalysis and small molecule activation. This research extends to the design of metallodrugs (bioinorganic) and optoelectronic applications. In 2016 she joined the University of the Witwatersrand as an Associate Professor in the School of Chemistry, after several years as an academic staff member at the University of Pretoria where she completed her PhD (Chemistry) in 2010. She is a former Fulbright Fellow at the University of California, San Diego USA (2011/12), a runner-up finalist for the Nedbank SAWEF Water-Energy-Food Nexus Research Award (2013), and an inaugural fellow of the Tuks Young Research Leaders Programme (TYRLP 2015)

Professor Bezuidenhout is the recipient of the 2017 South African Chemical Institute Raikes Medal



Professor Helen Drummond
Department of Chemistry
North-West University (Mafikeng Campus)
Private Bag X2046
Mmabatho 2735, South Africa


Helen Drummond’s research focuses on teaching methods designed to develop and improve students’ competence in intellectual skills and strategies to enhance success in learning and applying chemistry effectively. These skills include three-dimensional visualisation, mathematical and reasoning skills, and problem solving and organisational skills. She is currently a Full Professor of Chemistry at the North-West University and also a Deputy Dean of Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. Prof Drummond obtained her PhD (Chemistry) from the North-West University (2003) and she also holds a MEd from the University of the Witwatersrand (1989).

Professor Drummond is the recipient of the 2016 South African Chemical Institute Chemical Education Medal


Professor Zenixole R. Tshentu
Department of Chemistry
Nelson Mandela University
Port Elizabeth 6031, South Africa

Homepage: Zenixole Tshentu

Zenixole Tshentu’s research focuses on the beneficiation of earth and secondary materials, from selective metal extraction chemistry to the design of metal complexes for application in medicine and catalysis. Prof Tshentu, who is an Associate Professor of analytical/inorganic chemistry at NMU, summarizes his research philosophy as “the quest for selectivity and specificity in chemical and biological systems”. He completed his PhD in Inorganic Chemistry at NMU (2005) before moving to Rhodes University as a lecturer, rising to senior lecturer, before moving back to NMU (2013) where he was appointed the Head of Department of Chemistry in 2016. In addition to being an NRF-rated researcher (C2), Prof Tshentu is an active participant in the promotion of chemistry research in RSA including serving in many conference-organizing committees and as the incumbent Executive Secretary of SACI.

Professor Tshentu is the recipient of the 2016 South African Chemical Institute Raikes Medal


Professor Ruby Hanson
Faculty of Science Education
University of Education, Winneba
PO Box 25, Winneba, Ghana


Ruby Hanson’s research focuses on finding students’ conceptual challenges and remediating them through innovative and interactive teaching and learning strategies. These include the development of e-courseware, diagnostic worksheets, and the use of micro science equipment for conceptual labs. She is currently an Associate Professor of Chemistry Education, and the Vice Dean of the Faculty of Science Education, at the leading teacher education institute in the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa, the renowned University of Education in Winneba. Professor Hanson obtained an MPhil in Analytical and Environmental Chemistry from the University of Cape Coast (2003) where she carried out research in chemical toxicology studies before completing her PhD in Chemistry Education from the University of Education, Winneba (2014). She currently heads a Science Team that is spearheading a revolutionary national curriculum transformation for basic schools. In addition to other awards received at local and international conferences, Prof Hanson is proud to be a recipient of a district Best Teacher Award in the Kwaebibrem District in the Eastern Region of Ghana.


Dr Lynne A. Pilcher
Department of Chemistry, University of Pretoria
Hatfield, Pretoria. 0002
South Africa

Homepage: Lynne Pilcher

Lynne Pilcher’s research focuses on organic synthesis to solve biological problems, with an emphasis on developing TB diagnostics based on mycolic acids, application of nanotechnology to improve existing TB, HIV and Malaria drugs, and mechanistic studies on purine compounds to elucidate the role of adenine in kinase reaction mechanisms. Dr Pilcher completed an MSc in natural products structural elucidation at Rhodes University (1996) and a PhD in synthetic organic chemistry from the University of Cambridge (2000). In addition to her interest in proposing mechanisms to explain organic reaction, Dr Pilcher also has a keen interest in igniting research curiosity in undergraduate students. For a part of this work, she was awarded the University of Pretoria Laureate award for Teaching Excellence (2014).

Dr Pilcher is the recipient of the 2017 South African Chemical Institute Chemical Education Medal



v vc nnzfgnfgz