Dr John Woodland

Junior Research Fellow | Chemical Biology

John is a chemist with interdisciplinary research experience and a passionate interest in developing molecular strategies, such as treatments and tools, to tackle the scourge of infectious disease. His current role as a Junior Research Fellow involves conducting research in chemical biology and medicinal chemistry aspects of malaria and tuberculosis drug discovery. Funding for this position is provided by the Developing Emerging Academic Leaders (DEAL) programme under the auspices of the Carnegie Foundation of New York.

John completed his doctorate in the Department of Chemistry at UCT in 2016. His thesis embraced a diverse range of experimental techniques and led to the development of chemical biology probes to investigate drug localisation and drug-protein binding in the malaria parasite. He then spent two years in the UCT Department of Molecular and Cell Biology with Professor Janet Hapgood, focusing on steroid receptors and hormonal contraceptives in the context of another devastating infectious disease, HIV. John then joined the Drug Discovery and Development Centre (H3D) for two years as a postdoctoral medicinal chemist, allowing him to continue to pursue his interests at the interface of chemistry and other disciplines by designing and synthesising potential drug leads for malaria.

John is also passionate about using his skills to promote science and to improve scientific literacy in South Africa. He remains actively involved with departmental outreach projects and the activities of the local section of the Royal Society of Chemistry. John's other major interest is music. He directs his own choral group, VOX Cape Town, and has volunteered as a broadcaster on community station Fine Music Radio since 2006.