Executive Director, Grants, Innovation and Product Development, South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)

Michelle has a doctorate in Medical Microbiology from the University of Cape Town and has post-doctoral experience in a start-up biotechnology company emanating from the University of Cambridge (UK). She spent 10 years consulting on technology innovation through her own company and has been involved for the last 17 years in the strategic management and commercialization of the SAMRC’s intellectual property and in capacity building in these areas in Southern and East Africa. Michelle has also spent the last 8 years managing grant funding for the SAMRC. She has been heading the Technology Transfer Office, the Global Health Innovation Accelerator and the GIPD HIV Programme, and provides oversight of various other grant programs and strategic projects. She has also been extensively involved in the SAMRC’s funding response to COVID-19. Michelle served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Southern African Research & Innovation Management Association (SARIMA) for 10 years, including 3 years as Vice President: Innovation and Technology Transfer, and 2 years as President. She served previously as Chair of the Board of Acorn Technologies, a life sciences incubator, a director of the Licensing Executive’s Society South Africa, the South Africa Liaison for the Life Sciences Committee of LESI, and a member of the Higher Education South Africa (HESA) Strategy Group for Innovation and Technology Transfer. She currently serves as a board member of the Biologicals and Vaccines Institute of SA (Biovac) and two SAMRC linked companies and is a member of the NHLS Research and Innovation Committee.