Building an End-to-End mRNA Vaccine Research, Development and Manufacturing Platform in Africa: Science with a Purpose

31 May 2023

Professor Petro Terblanche has a successful track record in the strategic and operational management of technology -intensive organizations. she has played a key part in the design and implementation of South Africa’s biotechnology strategy. She holds the position of Chief Executive Officer of Afrigen Biologics (Pty) Ltd based in Cape Town, South Africa. Afrigen hosts the WHO Global mRNA technology development and transter Hub and has an mRNA covic-ly vaccine cancidate in development as part of a global program to build capacity and capabilities in LMICs to design, develop and produce mRNA vaccines. Petro also holds a part-time position as a Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the North-West University. A considerable part of her career was in research. development and innovation at the South African Medical Research Council (SAMC) as well as the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). She has held and holding several strategic public and private sector Board positions in SA as well as the position as President of the Stakeholders Organization for the Global Alliance for TB Drug Discovery and Development (2007-2010). She has several qualifications which include: a Master of Science and a Doctor of Science in Medical Oncology from the University of Pretoria, post-doctoral she was a visiting scientist at Harvard University School of Public Health and thereafter. completed a Management of Technology program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in agitation to several management and leadership programs trom leading institutions globally. Prof Terblanche is the author of more than 200 scientific publications and conference papers in public health. She was recently acknowledged as one of the legends of science by the Academy of Sciences South Africa.