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EuroSciPy 2013

Brussels, Belgium - August 21-24 2013

Johann Rohwer

Johann Rohwer - Stellenbosch University, South Africa

I received my PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands) under the supervision of Hans Westerhoff in 1997. Subsequently, I have been employed in the Department of Biochemistry at Stellenbosch University (South Africa), first as a Senior Lecturer, then from 2002-2010 as Associate Professor, and since January 2011 as Full Professor.

My main research focus is systems biology, an interest that I have held since my doctoral studies. I apply an integrative approach consisting of theory, modelling and quantitative experimentation to the investigation of control of cellular function and collaborate on many projects. My own particular interest lies in:

  • Kinetic modelling of plant metabolism (sugarcane and Arabidopsis).
  • Control analysis and modelling of microbial free-energy metabolism.
  • Development and extension of new software (PySCeS, the Python Simulator for cellular Systems), as well as new enzyme kinetic equations, for computational systems biology.
  • Development of Python-based parallel computational tools for large scale parameter-sensitivity analysis of kinetic models, as well as for simulating partial differential equation-based models.
  • Biological in vivo and in situ NMR spectroscopy to monitor microbial free-energy metabolism online and in a non-invasive way, and to characterise enzymes in terms of their kinetic parameters.

In terms of research management, I have co-chaired "BTK: International Study Group of Systems Biology" for the period 2000-2005 and have been on the International Advisory Committees for five of its conferences. Since 2009 I have been elected to the international STRENDA commission created by the Beilstein Institut in Germany. It is the brief of this commission to formulate a list of unified Standards for Reporting Enzymology Data. I have served as Secretary of the South African Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (SASBMB) from 2006-2012.

I have received a number of awards and honours for my work:

  • Stellenbosch University Award for Excellent Research (2010)
  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany) Research Fellowship (2008)
  • Beckman-Coulter Silver Medal of the SASBMB (2003)
  • President's Award from the South African National Research Foundation (2001)

I have published 47 peer-reviewed papers in international journals, 14 peer-reviewed published conference proceedings and 1 book chapter. Since 2008 I have been elected to the editorial board of the journal BMC Systems Biology where I serve as an Associate Editor, and since 2012 to the editorial board of Frontiers in Plant Systems Biology.


Parallel computation in Systems Biology with Python