Dr Susan Winks

Head of Research Operations and Business Development

Dr Susan Winks is currently employed as the Head of Research Operations and Business Development at H3D and manages the team of professional staff that support the interdisciplinary drug discovery work at H3D.

Susan Winks obtained her BSc and BSc (Hons) degrees, both with distinction, at the University of Cape Town. She came top of her class for honours, winning herself the James Mohr Medal and was subsequently awarded the Andrew Mellon Scholarship to complete her PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand under the supervision of Prof. Jo Michael. During this time, she also worked as a Teaching Assistant, lecturing and tutoring chemistry to undergraduate students.

In 2010 Susan was appointed as a Research Scientist at iThemba Pharmaceuticals Ptd Ltd, a start-up biotech focused on drug discovery for neglected diseases. In 2011 she was promoted to Principal Scientist and became the team leader for various infectious disease drug discovery projects. During this time, Susan decided to pursue a part-time MBA through the Management College of South Africa, which she was subsequently awarded in 2014.

In August 2013, Susan was appointed as a Research Officer at H3D Drug Discovery and Development Centre, working as a lead chemist for a tuberculosis drug discovery project. The centre was at the start of its growth phase and Susan took the opportunity to get involved in establishing operations and project management systems to support the science. This included facilitating an organisational restructure to a Matrix-based structure to support interdisciplinary teamwork, design and implementation of a new strategic Human Resource system for the centre and improving data management systems, lab management systems and project management practices.

In 2019, Susan took up the position of Head of Research Operations and Business Development at H3D. Her role includes ensuring operational continuity and sustainable growth by long-term strategic planning, management of partnerships and stakeholders, fundraising and renewal of funding agreements, management of internal governance structures and portfolio oversight.