Biotech Updates

5 Questions with UCT's Jennifer Thomson

March 7, 2018

ISAAA launches 5 Questions with... a new series featuring personalities on its blog to be published quarterly. To celebrate International Women's Day on March 8, the first article in the series features Jennifer Thomson, a strong woman whose passion and advocacy is promoting women in science.

Jennifer is one of the many successful women whose work has been celebrated around the globe. She has been a strong advocate of promoting modern biotechnology in Africa for its potential in helping the continent overcome hunger and poverty. The first woman to head a department in the Science Faculty at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa, she has written a number of peer-reviewed papers and authored books about genetically modified (GM) crops. She is also a well-known speaker about GM crops and has addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos twice and the United Nations as guest of then Secretary General Kofi Annan. Her three books, Genes for Africa, Seeds for the Future, and Food for Africa are best sellers and written with the layperson in mind.

Jennifer, a microbiologist, is now an Emeritus Professor of Microbiology in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at UCT. Her main current research interests are in the development of maize resistant to the African endemic maize streak virus and tolerant to drought. She is President of the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), and one of the 16 women and 10 African scientists who were elected as fellows to The World Academy of Science (TWAS) in January 2018.

To know more, read 5 Questions with Jennifer Thomson in the ISAAA Blog.