WHO WE ARE
The seeds of Cape Bio Pharms (pardon the pun) were conceived in 2014. Our motivation is to build a commercial scale facility utilising the pioneering biotechnology developed by the University of Cape Town's Bio Pharming Research Unit - or BRU as it's affectionately called. Whilst attending a TEDex Talk in Cape Town in 2014, Belinda was inspired by the presentation of Professor Ed Rybicki, Director of BRU, demonstrating the potential of producing vaccines in transgenic tobacco. A key point was the incredible patent portfolio held by BRU that had yet to connect with local interest to commercialise. Belinda recognised the opportunity and the need for the commercialisation of this revolutionary technology and thus Cape Bio Pharms was formed. It took a further 4 years of investigation, market research, planning and business plan development. With the approval of much appreciated Grant funding from the South African Government's Department of Trade & Industry THRIP programme, as well as securing an additional investment partner, Cape Bio Pharms is now a reality.
CEO & FOUNDER - BELINDA SHAW: At the helm of our ship is Belinda; an ex-investigative journalist/producer of environmental documentaries and serial entrepreneur. She is the visionaryand founder behind Cape Bio Pharms. Belinda is driven by a passionate belief in the potential of plant-made proteins as a manufacturing advantage for South Africa and Africa. Belinda loves playing tennis, reading, and going for long power-walks.
DIRECTOR: BIOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT - TAMLYN SHAW: Tamlyn obtained her BSc in Human Life Sciences from the University of Stellenbosch in 2010 and thereafter moved to UCT for her Honours and Masters in Medical Biochemistry. After travelling around South East Asia teaching Science and English, she returned to join up with what she describes as "the most exciting startup in Cape Town" Tamlyn loves sushi, yoga, being outdoors and playing tennis.
SENIOR SCIENTIST - BIOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT - FRANCISCO PÊRA: Francisco is a passionate and critical scientist who hails from Lisbon, Portugal, as his name suggests. After finishing high-school, he decided to go to France to start university. There he did his first year of BSc (biology) at the Universite du Havre (Northern France) and then moved to Toulouse where he completed his consecutive two years of BSc in bio-engineering applied to plants at the Universite Paul Sabatier. He then moved to Cape Town, South Africa where he obtained his BSc (Hons) at UCT in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology working on a new rotavirus vaccine made of virus-like particles (VLPs) under the supervision of Dr. Inga Hitzeroth and Prof. Ed Rybicki. After completing his MSc, he worked as a CGEX intern in the same lab before joining the Cape Bio Pharms team. Francisco loves aquaponics, football, cooking and delving into cryptocurrencies.
SENIOR SCIENTIST - BIOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT -SCOTT DE BEER: Scott is a driven and enthusiastic practitioner of the scientific method. He studied at the University of Cape Town in the biotechnology division of The BioPharming Research Unit under the supervision of Dr Ann Meyers and Prof Ed Rybicki . He has a BSc in Molecular and Cell Biology and a BSc (Hons) in the production of diagnostic reagents to the foot and mouth disease virus in plants. He recently completed his MSc, which was a continuation of his honours project, to optimise expression of these diagnostic reagents for use in a competitive-enzyme linked immunoassay to differentiate infected from vaccinated livestock. Since his masters he also worked as a CGEX intern in the BRU lab before becoming a CBP team member . Scott loves to play soccer, golf, go rock climbing and annihilate his friends on X-box.
OFFICE MANAGER - TRACY HILBERT. Tracy is a resourceful, charismatic admin boss lady and world traveller. Having run her own company for many years, she has helped to build the infrastructure of Cape Bio Pharms from the ground up through dealing with suppliers, organising the accounts, overseeing the overall smooth running of the office and offering valuable support to the team. She is also learning the science very quickly! Tracy is an exercise addict who loves her children, the outdoors and travelling.
GROW ROOM SUPERVISOR - BULELANI NGCAKO: Bulelani is an enthusiastic and hardworking plant whisperer who manages our plant grow room. He has a passion for growth and nurtures our plants from seed to harvest. Bulelani is an amazing young man with lots of entrepreneurial flair. He put himself through matric through sheer hard work and determination. Bulelani is quickly learning the ropes of ensuring plants are kept healthy in our indoor hydroponic grow room. Bulelani has an interest in people, social responsiveness and loves house music.