Menu Close

Jennifer Ann Thomson

Chair of OWSD SA National Chapter and Emeritus Professor in Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Cape Town

Jennifer (PhD Rhodes) is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Cape Town. She was Assoc. Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand and Director of the Laboratory for Molecular and Cell Biology for the CSIR, before becoming Head of the Department of Microbiology at UCT. She won the L’Oreal/UNESCO prize for Women in Science for Africa in 2004 and has an Honorary Doctorate from the Sorbonne University. Her research field is the development of genetically modified maize resistant to the African endemic maize streak virus and tolerant to drought. She has published three books on Genetically Modified Organisms: Genes for Africa, Seeds for the Future, and Food for Africa. She is a member of the board of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), based in Nairobi and vice-chair of ISAAA (International Service for the Acquisition of AgriBiotech Applications). She serves on the National Advisory Council on Innovation of the South African Minister of Science and Technology and chairs the South African chapter of the Organisation of Women in Science for the Developing World.


  • –present
    Emeritus Professor in Molecular Biology, University of Cape Town


  • 1974 
    Rhodes University, Ph.D Microbiology