Patience Thenjiwe Mthunzi-kufa
Research group leader
Mthunzi-Kufa (OMB) holds a PhD in Physics from the University of St Andrews, Scotland, United Kingdom. She is the research group leader for biophotonics, specialising in advancing point-of-care diagnostics. She has published several popular science papers, peer-reviewed journal and conference articles, filed invention disclosures and graduated postgraduate students.
Mthunzi-Kufa leads the CSIR’s biophotonics research. Lasers of different regimes are used to optically micro-manipulate embryonic stem cells for tissue engineering investigations, neuroblastoma cells for neurodegenerative studies, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) infected cells for targeted antiretroviral drug delivery in latent viral sites and to answer basic questions in HIV-1 pathogenesis, as well as cancerous cells to study intricate bioprocesses at single cell level.