Our Team

Dr. Jennifer Thomson

Dr. Jennifer Thomson is the head of the Microbiology Department of the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She is also the director of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Laboratory for Molecular and Cell Biology.

Dr. Thompson has a master’s degree in genetics and a doctorate in microbiology. She conducted postdoctoral research in microbiology as a research fellow at Harvard, and in chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She also holds an honorary doctorate from the Sorbonne and received the L’Oreal/UNESCO for Women in Science award for Africa and the Middle East.

Dr. Thompson is emeritus chair of the board of directors for the African Agricultural Technology Foundation and vice-chair of the board of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agribiotech Applications (ISAAA). She is a member of the South Africa National Advisory Council on Innovation and has published three books on biotechnology: “Genes for Africa,” “Seeds for the Future” (co-published with Cornell), and “Food for Africa.”

In 2016, Dr. Thomson was elected president of the Organization for Women in Science in the Developing World.