Melinda Griffiths

Molecular biologist

Melinda Griffiths grows pond scum in a lab, although the technical term for it is "microalgae�. If all goes according to plan, this microalgae could be used to produce biodiesel in a more efficient way. Although passionate about algal biofuels, Griffiths believes a switch to electric transport is inevitable. So, in future, she'd like to study artificial photosynthesis, or as she explains to the not-so-scientifically minded, "getting plants to turn sunlight into electricity�. This consummate academic has a BSc in cell biology, an MPhil in bioscience enterprise, and is working on a PhD in bioprocess engineering. She's worked on preventing malaria at a lab in Canada, researched the marketability of a Dengue Fever vaccine and helped start a company that develops coatings for heart stents. In addition to tutoring undergrads at university and editing science textbooks for Heinemann Publishers, Griffiths volunteers with TeachOut, teaching English and biology at township schools. She also serves on the committee of South African Women in Science and Engineering. � Faranaaz Parker

Lunch spot: Table Mountain Cafe, Cape Town