Mr Vasili Balios
Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology
I am interested in the genetic manipulation of organisms to solve various problems faced around the world. My passion for science, specifically genetics, was ignited in high school and I fuelled this through pursuing a bachelors degree in genetics and microbiology, while participating in the Forest Molecular Genetics (FMG) mentorship programme. Furthering my studies, I completed my Honours degree in genetics with the FMG research group where I was trained to conduct scientific research at a high level. I thrive on identifying gaps in scientific knowledge and formulating questions and experiments in attempt to fill these gaps.
I am currently enrolled for my Master’s degree in genetics at the University of Pretoria and I am working with the FMG research group under the supervision of Prof. Alexander Myburg and Dr. Steven Hussey. I am honoured to be part of a world class research group which gives me the opportunity to use cutting edge technology, techniques and compete at an international level. My MSc research focuses on the development of a biotechnology application to enable the accelerated breeding of late flowering Eucalyptus species. The project involves a wide range of techniques, such as phylogenetics, bioinformatics and genetic engineering. My research is in close collaboration with Prof. Steve Strauss from Oregon State University, which are world leaders in forest biotechnology.