Five members of the Molecular Plant Pathogen Interactions (MPPI) or Cereal Foliar Pathogen Research Group (CFPRG) graduated with MSc (Biotechnology) degrees at the 2015 Autumn graduation at the University of Pretoria.  Molecular studies of maize-fungal pathosystems was the common theme of graduates Monique HeystekThomas Schmidt (both supervised by Prof. Dave Berger, co-supervised by Dr Bridget Crampton), Mischa Muller (supervised by Dave, co-supervised by Bridget and Dr Irene Barnes), and Brigitte Langenhoven (supervised by Bridget, co-supervised by Dave). Degracious Kgoale of the MPPI group studied Arabidopsis defence gene expression in response to bacterial wilt (supervised by Dave and co-supervised by Dr Sanushka Naidoo, leader of the EPPI group).  Consistent with the UP billboard outside the Graduation Hall stating that 91% of UP graduates are employed within 6 months, Degracious is employed at Biocom Biotech Cc in Centurion, Mischa is Special Projects Manager at Inqaba Biotech in Pretoria, and Monique and Thomas are working towards their Patent Attorney qualifications at Spoor and Fisher and DM Kisch Inc., respectively. Brigitte is pursuing a PhD degree in the CFPRG. Elelwani Ramulifho from the MPPI group, who graduated with a BSc (Hons) Biotechnology degree, is working at ARC-Small Grains Institute in Bethlehem.

Photo: L-R:  Brigitte, Monique, Bridget, Thomas, Degracious, Mischa, Dave at the Graduation Ceremony.