The 2020 Conference - postponed until further notice due to the Covid-19 Virus


The SACCMA inaugural meeting and first conference, that was due to take place from 21 to 24 March 2020, had to be postponed until further notice due to the outbrake of the Covid-19 Virus in South Africa. Pending the travel bans and other precautionary measures taken by authoroties, the The SACCMA Conference organising committee will communicate a suitable date towards the end of 2020 to all relevant parties as soon as possible. 


The Society for Advanced Cell Culture Modelling for Africa (SACCMA) aims to bring researchers in the fields of advanced cell modelling, three-dimensional (3D) cell cultures, 3D bioprinting and stem cell research together to exchange ideas, support each other and to facilitate new collaborations.


The conference therefore wants to promote knowledge exchange and collaboration between researchers, and to stimulate growth of the society. Furthermore, we would like to give postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows more exposure, and provide an energizing and informative program of speakers, while facilitating networking opportunities for sponsors through exhibitions.


Researchers, Postdoctoral fellows, Postgraduate students and technicians in the fields of advanced cell modelling, three-dimensional (3D) cell cultures, 3D bioprinting and stem cell research will all benefit from this conference and the networking opportunities that attending this conference will present. It will also be an ideal opportunity for companies in the industry to showcase their various products and technologies in the fields of Cell biology, Cell culture, Proteomics, Molecular biology, 3D bioprinting, Cell scaffolds. 3D Cell culture technology, Microscopy, and Cell imaging.


Prof Chrisna Gouws



Our Chair, Prof Chrisna Gouws is an Associate Professor in the Centre for Excellence for Pharmaceutical Sciences (Pharmacen™) at the NWU with an interest in developing advanced cell culture models for pharmaceutical applications. This includes novel clinostat based rotating bioreactor spheroid cultures and air-liquid interface cultures. Applications include toxicity studies, screening of indigenous plants for anticancer activity and skin regeneration.

Dr Werner Cordier



Dr Werner Cordier has a special interest in the use of multi-cellular spheroids in drug efficacy and toxicity testing. His research is focused on assessing the proliferative capabilities of such spheroids.  By assessing proteomic differences within different regions of the spheroids, the aim is to better understand the molecular drivers behind such factors to generate new targets for chemotherapeutic treat-ment. Furthermore, evaluating the underlying factors modulating permeability in such spheroids allow for better understanding of the potential of treatments to access the inner core where therapy often does not reach.

Dr Janine Scholefield



After a PhD in Human Genetics at UCT, she took up a Nuffield Medical Fellowship at Oxford. She returned to SA to pursue research in developing models of disease-in-a-dish using stem cells and genome engineering, especially within the unique context of the diverse sub-Saharan African genetic background. She is currently the Research Group Leader of the Bioengineering and Integrated Genomics research group at the CSIR and holds a senior honorary lectureship position in the Department of Human Biology at UCT. In addition, she is an associated editor for the journal Gene Therapy.

Dr Iman van den Bout



Dr van den Bout uses 3D cell culture to develop a model of breast cancer that starts to resemble the in vivo cancer environment. Initially a simple mono culture spheroid system was used but another cell line was added to investigate the interactions between metastatic and non-metastatic breast cancer cells. In future we plan to add endothelial and immune cells to model the interaction between cancer and non-cancer cells as well. We have developed some useful imaging tools to visualise proteins within the spheroids. These include a robust clearing protocol and imaging setup to image complete spheroids for multiple proteins.

Dr Clarissa Willers



Dr. Clarissa Willers is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Pharmacen™, Centre of Excellence for Pharmaceutical Sciences, at the North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa. She obtained her Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences in 2016, with her main focus on soil microbiology and is currently part of a research team that develops and uses cell culture models for pharmaceutical applications. Although traditional two-dimensional (2D) cell culture models are routinely used, she and her colleagues are currently developing and establishing three-dimensional (3D) spheroid models as an improved representation of in vivo tumours for cancer drug resistance research. 

SACCMA Conference Stakeholders:

SACCMA Conference Sponsors: