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Molecular Biologist

Location:
Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Posted:
February 18, 2020

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Resume:

ROXANNE HIGGITT

Molecular Biologist / Educator

+27-61-020-**** adbuav@r.postjobfree.com live:roxannehiggitt https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9819-6018

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Roxanne_Higgitt https://www.linkedin.com/in/roxanne-higgitt-68183258/ WORK EXPERIENCE

Research Assistant (part-time) 2020

Mycorrhizal Fungi Research Group, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Rhodes University

Projects:

1. Molecular classification of fungal specimens

Roles & Responsibilities:

• Extract DNA and perform quality assessment

• Amplify ITS region by End-Point PCR and perform quality assessment

• Prepare samples for sequencing off-site

Research Assistant 2018 - 2019

Host-Pathogen Mycobactomics Research Group, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Stellenbosch University

Projects:

1. Perform in silico analysis of conserved Mycobacterium tuberculosis PPE_MPTR proteins to identify potential MHC Class I epitopes to use as potential vaccine candidates 2. Optimize growth of M. smegmatis biofilms in a continuous flow bioreactor for the study of persister formation & transcriptomics

3. Elucidate the role of M. tuberculosis PPE_MPTR proteins in eliciting a host innate immune response and assess the function of the conserved PPE domain regarding this response Roles & Responsibilities:

• Assist in monitoring health and safety & implementing process, protocols & safe working practices to ensure compliance with regulation & legislation

• Arrange servicing or repairs of equipment & instruments in the laboratory & maintain records

• Assist in ordering of consumables & reagents for general use and maintaining good housekeeping of the laboratory

Research Assistant (part-time) 2018

Animal TB Research Group, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Stellenbosch University Roles & Responsibilities:

• Performed mycobacterial culture and speciation of African wild dog samples

• Performed an IFN-γ enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and associated data analysis of African wild dog samples for assessment of immune sensitization to M. bovis

• Submitted manuscripts from MSc thesis for publication in peer-reviewed journals Research Assistant (part-time) 2017 - 2018

Clinical Microbiology and Epidemiology Research Group, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Stellenbosch University

Roles & Responsibilities:

• Performed an unstimulated IFN- γ ELISA and associated data analysis on extrapulmonary samples from tuberculosis patients

• Assembled clinical sample collection packs and assisted with sample cataloguing

• Assisted with sample processing, microbiological slide preparation (Zeihl-Neelson staining)

• Prepared general-use laboratory reagents

Assistant Lecturer (part-time) 2017

Division of Clinical Anatomy, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Stellenbosch University

Roles & Responsibilities:

• Provide lectures and practical sessions on Cell Biology to first year MBChB students

• Prepare materials for practical sessions for Cell Biology module

• Prepare tests and examinations for Cell Biology module and assist with invigilating Academic Tutor (part-time) 2015 - 2016

BrightSparkz Tutors, Cape Town

Roles & Responsibilities:

• Attend tutoring sessions to assigned high school learners

• Prepare for tutor sessions to be tailored to the learner’s needs

• Provide learners with materials for assessment, review and homework

• Provide feedback report on progress of each learner EDUCATION

MSc in Molecular Biology 2016 - 2017

Animal TB Research Group, Stellenbosch University

Thesis: “Characterization of Mycobacterium bovis-specific immune responses in Africa wild dogs (Lycaon pictus)”

Areas of research: bovine tuberculosis, immunology, cytokine assay optimization & development, in vitro characterization of antigen-specific immune responses, determination of infection status by mycobacterial culture and speciation BSc (Hons) in Molecular Biology 2015

Animal TB Research Group, Stellenbosch University

Thesis: “Investigating antigen-specific immune responses in Mycobacterium bovis- exposed spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta)”

Areas of research: bovine tuberculosis, immunology, biomarker identification, primer design, Sanger sequencing analysis, qPCR optimization & development Postgraduate Certificate in Education 2013

Department of Education, Rhodes University

Senior Phase and Further Education Training, with a focus on Life Sciences and Natural Sciences BSc 2009 - 2011

Faculty of Science, Rhodes University

Majors: Botany, Zoology; Minor: Chemistry

National Senior Certificate 2008

Victoria Girls’ High School, Grahamstown

Subjects: English Home Language, Afrikaans First Additional Language, Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Accounting, Computer Applications Technology, Life Orientation CERTIFICATES

First Aid Level 1 training Sept 2019

NOSA (Pty) Ltd

Cape Town Acid Fact Club Annual Meeting Aug 2019

Cape Town Acid Fast Club

Southern Africa Ubuntu Leadership Summit Aug 2019

Golden Key International Honour Society

Occupational Health And Safety Short Course Jun - Aug 2019 Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town, in association with GetSmarter Health and Safety Representative training Apr 2019 Frontline Safety Health & Environmental Consultants Fire Marshall training Mar 2018

dynamikos Occupational Health and Safety

6th South African Immunology Society Conference Mar 2018 South African Immunology Society

Cape Town Acid Fact Club Annual Meeting Aug 2017

Cape Town Acid Fast Club

Introduction to Bioinformatics short course Aug 2017 H3ABioNet:Pan African Bioinformatics Network for H3Africa Scientific Writing Skills for Academic Articles workshop May 2016 Stellenbosch University

Teaching Knowledge Test: Language and background to language learning and teaching (Band 3)

Oct 2014

Cambridge English Language Assessment, University of Cambridge Teaching Knowledge Test: Young Learners (Band 4) Mar 2014 Cambridge English Language Assessment, University of Cambridge Teaching English in a Foreign Language (40 hours) Jan 2014 i-to-i

AWARDS

Stellenbosch University Publication Incentive 2019 Stellenbosch University Publication Incentive 2019 Harry Crossley Research Project Grant 2017

SARChi Grant-holder’s Linked Bursary, National Research Foundation 2016 - 2017 Innovation Bursary, National Research Foundation 2015 Golden Key International Honour Society membership 2009 PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

Publications

Higgitt RL, van Schalkwyk OL, de Klerk-Lorist L-M, Buss PE, Caldwell P, Rossouw L, Manamela T, Hausler GA, Hewlitt EP, Mitchell EP, van Helden PD, Parsons SDC, Miller MA. 2019. Prevalence of Mycobacterium bovis infection in African wild dogs, Kruger National Park, South Africa. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 25(7), doi: 10.3201/eid2507.181653

Bernitz N, Kerr TJ, Goosen WJ, Higgitt RL, de Waal C, Clarke C, Cooper DV, Warren RM, van Helden PD, Parsons SDC, Miller MA. 2019. Impact of Mycobacterium bovis-induced pathology on interpretation of QuantiFERON®-TB Gold assay results in African buffaloes

(Synercus caffer). Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology, 217, doi: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2019.109923

Bernitz N, Kerr TJ, Goosen WJ, Clarke C, Higgitt R, Roos EO, Cooper DV, Warren RM, van Helden PD, Parsons SDC, Miller MA. 2019. Parallel measurement of IFN-γ and IP-10 in QuantiFERON®-TB Gold (QFT) plasma improves the detection of Mycobacterium bovis infection in African buffaloes (Synercus caffer). Preventative Veterinary Medicine, 169, doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2019.104700

Higgitt RL, van Schalkwyk OL, de Klerk-Lorist L-M, Buss PE, Caldwell P, Rossouw L, Manamela T, Hausler GA, can Helden PD, Parsons SDC, Miller MA. 2018. An interferon gamma release assay for the detection of sensitization to Mycobacterium bovis in African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus). Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 55(3), doi: 10.7589/2018- 03-089

Higgitt RL, Buss PE, van Helden PD, Miller MA, Parsons SDC. 2017. Development of gene expression assays measuring immune responses in the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta). African Zoology, doi: 10.1080/15627020.2017.130930 Conference Presentations

Higgitt RL, Miller MA, Parsons SDC. Diagnosing Mycobacterium bovis in African wild dogs. Oral presentation at the 6th South African

Immunology Society Conference

4 Sep 2017

Higgitt RL, Miller MA, Parsons SDC. A diagnostic assay for Mycobacterium bovis infection in African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus). Poster presentation at the 6th

South African Immunology Society

Conference

3 – 6 Sep 2017

Higgitt RL, Miller MA, Parsons SDC. Diagnosing Mycobacterium bovis in African wild dogs. Oral presentation at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, Stellenbosch University Annual Academic Day 30 Aug 2017

Higgitt RL, Miller MA, Parsons SDC. That’s one sick puppy! Oral presentation at the Cape Town Acid Fast Club Annual Meeting 22 Aug 2017

LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE

Health and Safety Representative 2019

Host-Pathogen Mycobactomics Research Group, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Stellenbosch University

Service Director 2019

Golden Key International Honour Society Stellenbosch Chapter Projects led:

• Science Expo Mentor Initiative at a local public school

• Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Shavathon, in collaboration with CANSA Secretary (one term) 2016

Tygerberg Postgraduate Student Council, Stellenbosch University Community Service and Environment Representative 2010 Beit Residence House Committee, Rhodes University

REFERENCES

Prof. Samantha Sampson

Stellenbosch University

adbuav@r.postjobfree.com

Dr. Mandi Alblas

Stellenbosch University

adbuav@r.postjobfree.com

Prof. Michele Miller

Stellenbosch University

adbuav@r.postjobfree.com

Prof. Jo Dames

Rhodes University

adbuav@r.postjobfree.com



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