Scientific African Team
University of Pretoria, South AfricaSpecialty:
Agriculture and Food Security
Sanushka Naidoo is currently an Associate Professor in the Division of Genetics in the Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology at the University of Pretoria. She is a member of the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute. She has a PhD from the University of Pretoria in Biotechnology, and an MSc degree in Plant Biotechnology from the University of Stellenbosch at the University of Stellenbosch. Prof. Naidoo is a Next Einstein Forum Fellow (2017-2019). She is the current President of the South African Genetics Society (2017-2020) and was awarded a Y-rating by the South African National Research Foundation (2015-2020). Her research is dedicated to plant defense in forest tree species. Sanushka is focusing on mechanisms that can confer broad-spectrum, long lasting resistance by dissecting gene families and responses to pests and pathogens in forest trees. She has adopted genome editing technology (CRISPR) to develop plants with desired traits. With the development of new technologies, novel genetically modified crops are poised to increase yield and protect against pests and pathogens under harsh African climates. Dr Naidoo believes we are better equipped to harness this knowledge to address one of Africa’s biggest challenge- that of food security.