The FABI team was delighted to learn this past week that the University of Pretoria (UP) will recognise Prof Brenda. Wingfield and Dr Tuan Duong for their research excellence. Both academics are core members of FABI, serving on the Management Committee and contributing substantially to the research excellence goals of the Institute.  Brenda, one of the founding members of FABI, established in 1998, was awarded the Chancellor's Award for Research. This is UP’s premier award for research made in recognition of exceptional achievement in the field, aimed at the advancement of science, and the associated promotion of the interests of the University. Brenda holds a DST-NRF SARChI Chair in Fungal Genomics and is a leader in the field of tree pathogen genomics, population genetics, and the genetics underlying fungal sexual reproduction. Within FABI, and specifically the TPCP/CPHB, Brenda made significant contributions to the program by implementing and driving the application of new molecular-based technologies to diagnose fungal tree pathogens and to study their biology.

Tuan will receive the University’s Exceptional Young Academic Achiever Award. This award is granted on the grounds of exceptional achievement in research, seen against the University's strategic objectives of academic excellence. Tuan's research focuses on various aspects of plant pathogenic fungi including their taxonomy, population biology, genetics and genomics. Amongst many other key activities, Tuan established and now drives, the MinION high-throughput genome sequencing platform at FABI. Other than his teaching and own research projects, he plays a key role in assisting many students and staff members with various aspects of their fungal (and in some cases plant) genome studies.