We congratulate Divine Shyntum on passing his PhD oral exam on Tuesday morning after his PhD Prestige on Monday. Divine is originally from Cameroon. He completed his MSc in the USA and joined the TPCP/CTHB programme and the Department of Microbiology in 2007 in order to undertake a PhD.

The topic of his PhD was The functional characterization of the Type VI secretion system in Pantoea ananatis, under the leadership of Prof Teresa Coutinho, Prof Fanus Venter and Dr Lucy Moleleki. His research focused on trying to understand how Pantoea ananatis functions as a successful plant pathogen. His approach was to target the Type VI secretion system and using functional genomics determined that this system plays a role in virulence and inter-bacterial competition. Divine already published one paper from his PhD, with more to follow. He is going to join Prof Jacques Theron in the Department of Microbiology at UP as a postdoctoral fellow.

Shyntum DY, Venter SN, Moleleki LN, Toth I, Coutinho TA. (2014) Comparative genomics of type VI secretion systems in strains of Pantoea ananatis from different environments. BMC Genomics 15:163. 10.1186/1471-2164-15-163