Deputy Director of IMBM-Assoc. Prof. UWC


The Institute for Microbial Biotechnology and Metagenomics (IMBM) is a leading research unit within the Department of Biotechnology at the University of the Western Cape. IMBM is committed to being a globally competitive institute through excellence in research and in the training of future research leaders, and hosts the DST/NRF SARChI research chair in Microbial Genomics. The core research objective of the Institute is to develop Microbial Biotechnology, through complementary aspects of Microbial Biology. Current research interests within the Institute include Environmental and Industrial Microbiology, Metagenomics, Applied Genomics, and Marine Biotechnology. IMBM is accommodated in the new Life Sciences Building, providing state of the art research facilities and equipment. These include the Next Generation Sequencing Facility and other “omics” related technologies.

To further strengthen, promote and expand the microbial biotechnology portfolio of the Institute, the University of the Western Cape seeks to appoint a researcher to build relationships and visibility with industry, and to contribute to the development of the Institute.

The appointee will be expected to: implement strategically aligned initiatives to establish collaborative linkages with national and international industries; translate project-based priorities into innovation activities; build the research capacity of the Institute in the area of microbial biotechnology through project development; fund-raising and post graduate recruitment and supervision; contribute to the teaching of undergraduate modules in the Department of Biotechnology; contribute to the day-to-day management of the IMBM and its strategic development.

Minimum criteria for appointment include a PhD in Microbiology / Biotechnology or any other area relevant field; a record of research activities in microbial biotechnology; a record of research grant income from research agencies and/or industry; research activity and productivity befitting the level of appointment; teaching experience in Biotechnology and Microbiology to both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

For further information (but not applications) about this position, please contact Prof Marla Trindade (Tuffin) Director of IMBM onituffin@uwc.ac.za, Tel + 27 21 959 9725

Closing date: 13th March 2015


In your application you are encouraged to highlight your strengths as a Teacher and a Researcher and also include anything else that you feel may be pertinent to the Selection Panel by forwarding your covering letter and detailed curriculum vitae accompanied by a research statement, as well as the names and full contact particulars (i.e. e-mail & postal addresses, telephone & cell numbers) of at least three referees, together with copies of your ID and highest qualification, to: Bongiwe Mbeki, Human Resources Department, University of the Western Cape, Private Bag X17, Bellville 7535, or via e-mail to bmbeki@uwc.ac.za (fax +27 21 959 1466)

In line with the University’s commitment to diversifying its workforce, applications from designated groups will be given priority consideration. The University reserves the right not to make an appointment or to make an appointment at a lower level.



The Institute for Microbial Biotechnology and Metagenomics was established in 2007, and is led by Professor Marla Tuffin as the Acting Director. Recognised as one of the leading research units at UWC, IMBM forms part of the Department of Biotechnology. IMBM is committed to being a globally competitive research institute through excellence in research and at the highest levels of competence.

IMBM is accommodated in the Life Sciences Building, providing state-of-the-art research facilities and equipment. In 2011 we launched the Next Generation Sequencing Facility, designed to provide a regional and national high throughput sequencing service. The platform, managed by Dr. Bronwyn Kirby, boasts 2 sequencers (Roche GS Junior and an Illumina MiSeq), a Lightcycler and Bioanalyser. This platform is the first of its kind in the Western Cape, and aims to make high throughput sequencing accessible and affordable to academic research laboratories.

The IMBM team encompasses more than 45 research, administrative and technical staff. The Principal Investigators leading the research activities are Prof. Marla Tuffin and Dr. Bronwyn Kirby. In addition, Dr. Heide Goodman and Mr. Lonnie van Zyl assist in all aspects of Institute management and administration. The group currently supports a large post-graduate contingent comprising 5 Honours students, 12 Masters, 6 PhD, 2 Post-Doctoral researchers, and 7 technical and support staff.

The research interests within the Institute include Environmental and Plant Microbiology, Metagenomics, Applied Genomics, Nanotechnology, Marine Biotechnology, Enzymology and Structural Biology. IMBM researchers employ and develop modern and leading-edge technologies for metagenomic gene discovery and molecular ecology research. We have extensive skill is in the cloning, expression, and recovery of heterologous genes, and the technology and skill to conduct detailed physical and functional characterization of novel enzymes. We have accumulated an extensive collection of microbial isolates (3000+ marine sponge isolates, 300+ thermophilic bacteria, 100 psychrotrophic bacteria, 100 actinomycetes and several extremophilic bacetriophages), metagenomic libraries and environmental DNA preparations. These materials constitute a highly valuable resource for the identification of novel genes, metabolic pathways and secondary metabolites. With the Proteomics and Sequencing facilities within the Department, we are ideally positioned for “omics” research, and are involved in the comparative assessment of microbial growth, gene expression, engineered strains and much more.

Please contact Prof. Marla Tuffin at ituffin@uwc.ac.za.

Positions available for 2015-16

Welcome to IMBM VIDEO