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About UP

Prof A.A. Myburg

(1969 - )

Alexander Andrew (Zander) Myburg is ‘n mede-professor in the Department Genetika aan die Universiteit van Pretoria en Adjunkpresident van die South African Genetics Society (SAGS). Hy is ook die leier van die internasionale Eucalyptus Genome Network (EUCAGEN) en die Joint Genome Institute (JGI)-projek wat onlangs deur die Verenigde State van Amerika (VSA) se Departement van Energie geloods is om die Eucalyptus boomgenoom te sekwens. Prof Myburg is in 2001 as lektor by UP aangestel. Hy is in 2004 tot senior lektor, en in 2007 tot mede-professor bevorder. Hy het in 1997 sy MSc-graad aan die Universiteit van die Vrystaat voltooi. Hy het onder meer Fulbright- en ‘n National Research Foundation (NRF) beurse ontvang om sy doktorale studies in die VSA voort te sit. Hy het sy PhD in Genetika en Bosbou in 2001 aan die North Carolina State-universiteit ontvang. Met sy terugkeer na Suid-Afrika het Prof Myburg die Hout en Vesel Molekulêre Genetika-program saam met Sappi en Mondi – Suid-Afrika se twee grootste pulp- en papiervervaardigers – gestig. Die doel van hierdie program is om die molekulêre basis van houtvorming te verklaar en om biotegnologiese benaderinge te ontwikkel om die eienskappe van houtvesel in vinnig-groeiende bosboubome in Suid-Afrika te verbeter. Sy navorsingspan het reeds belangrike bydraes gelewer soos die isolasie en karakterisering van Eucalyptus-bome se sellulose synthase geen. Prof Myburg vervul ‘n belangrike rol in verskeie nasionale en internasionale organisasies, waaronder EUCAGEN (waarvan hy ‘n stigterslid en sedert 2004 internasionale koördineerder is), die International Union of Forest Research Organisations (IUFRO) se werksparty oor die molekulêre biologie van bosboubome (waarvan hy van 2005 tot 2007 voorsitter was) en die Suid-Afrikaanse Plantkwekersvereniging (waarvan hy van 2004 tot 2006 ‘n lid van die bestuurskomitee was). Hy het verskeie pryse en toekennings vir sy navorsing ontvang, insluitende UP se Uitnemende Jong Navorserstoekenning, die Presidentstoekenning van die NRF, en die British Association Silwer Medalje wat deur die Suider-Afrikaanse Vereniging vir die Bevordering van Wetenskap aan hom toegeken is. Prof Myburg is outeur van 27 portuurgeëvalueerde navorsingsartikels en verskeie hoofstukke in boeke oor plantmolekulêre-genetika en genomika.

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Alexander Andrew (Zander) Myburg is an associate professor in the Department of Genetics at the University of Pretoria and Vice-President of the South African Genetics Society. He is also the leader of the International Eucalyptus Genome Network (EUCAGEN) and the recently announced United States of America (USA) Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI) project to sequence the Eucalyptus tree genome. He was appointed at UP as a lecturer in 2001, promoted to senior lecturer in 2004 and associate professor in 2007. He completed his MSc degree at the University of the Free State in 1997 and received the Fulbright Scholarship and the National Research Foundation (NRF) Prestigious Scholarship for his doctoral studies in the USA. He completed a PhD degree programme in Genetics and Forestry at North Carolina State University in 2001. Upon his return to South Africa, he established the Wood and Fibre Molecular Genetics Programme in collaboration with Sappi and Mondi, the two largest pulp and paper companies in South Africa. The programme aims to elucidate the molecular basis of wood formation and to develop biotechnology approaches for the improvement of wood fibre properties in fast-growing plantation trees in South Africa. His research team has already made significant contributions such as the isolation and characterisation of the cellulose synthase genes of Eucalyptus trees. Prof Myburg plays a leading role in several national and international organisations, including the International Eucalyptus Genome Network of which he is a founder member and international coordinator (since 2004), the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) working party on the molecular biology of forest trees of which he was chairperson (2005 - 2007), and the South African Plant Breeders Association, of which hewas a member of the Management Committee (2004 – 2006). He has received numerous prizes and awards for his research, including the UP Outstanding Young Researcher Award, the NRF President’s Award for young researchers and the Southern Africa Association for the Advancement of Science British Association Silver Medal. He is the author of 27 peer-reviewed research articles and book chapters on plant molecular genetics and genomics.