Kim Hulett

chief executive officer next biosciences kim hulett

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Bachelor of Computer Science (Rhodes University), Higher Diploma in Accounting, CA (SA), Certificate in International Tax.

After graduating from Rhodes University with a Bachelor of Computer Science Degree, Kim Hulett completed a Higher Diploma in Accounting. She qualified as a chartered accountant after completing her articles with Price Waterhouse in Johannesburg. Kim joined Hambros Bank in London, focusing on cross border corporate finance. After returning to South Africa, Kim set-up her own consulting business in corporate finance, structured finance, tax, and black economic empowerment transactions, and was actively involved in the incubation of a number of businesses in the media, entertainment, technology, security and medical industries. Kim is a trustee of the Oliver & Adelaide Tambo Foundation and also a member of Abundance 360, an international entrepreneurial programme set-up by Peter Diamandis, which aims to turn success into significance using disruptive exponential technologies.

Kim founded Next Biosciences together with Netcare Limited in 2005 and is responsible for the overall strategy and management of the business.

Dr. Yvonne Holt

dr yvonne holt chief medical officer next biosciences

Chief Medical Officer

MBBCh (Wits), Diploma in Child Healthcare, Diploma in Transfusion Medicine.

Yvonne Holt graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand 1997 with a Bachelor in Medicine and Surgery (MBBCH Wits). Yvonne worked as a Medical Officer in the departments of Paediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynaecology for 4 years after graduation, and obtained a Diploma in Child Health (DCH) during this time.

In 2006, Yvonne’s interest in the fields of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Paediatrics and stem cell technology brought her to a new career path when she joined Next Biosciences as Medical Director. In this capacity, Yvonne is responsible for the medical development of the stem cell program at Next Biosciences and highlighting the benefits of this new technology. In 2011, Yvonne completed a 2 year, internationally recognised Diploma in Transfusion Medicine through the University of Bloemfontein.

With Next Biosciences expanding services, Yvonne remains responsible and oversees all medical development and laboratory management of the new services.

Andre Crawford-Brunt



Bachelor of Commerce (Rhodes University).

After matriculating from St John’s College, Andre graduated from Rhodes University with a Bachelor Degree in Commerce. He started his career at Ivor Jones Roy & Co (IJR) on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 1994. In 1998 he became a partner before IJR was sold to Deutsche Morgan Grenfell and subsequently moved to the UK in 2002, where he ran numerous businesses for the bank including a European proprietary fund as well as the Emerging market and European Equity trading businesses. Andre relocated to New York in 2010 to run the bank’s US trading business. In 2012, he became the Global Head of Equity Trading for Deutsche Bank.

Andre is a member of Abundance 360, an international entrepreneurial programme set-up by Peter Diamandis of Singularity University.

Andre has investments and interests spanning artificial intelligence, computational finance, disruptive ecommerce start-ups and biosciences.

Dr Nhlanhla Msomi



BSc (Honours) in Molecular Genetics in Biotechnology (Sussex University (UK), PhD (Genetic Engineering) (UKZN), Diploma in Management Accounting & Finance (Varsity College), International Executive Development Program (Wits Business School).

Dr. Carola Niesler


Chief Scientific Officer

Bachelor of Science Honours, PhD (Cambridge, UK), Senior Lecturer (Biochemistry), University of Kwa-Zulu- Natal, SA.

Prof Carola Niesler is an established NRF-rated scientist whose research has focussed on stem cells in regeneration and repair. She is currently an Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Academic Leader of Biotechnology in the School of Life Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, SA,

She started her research career analysing adipose-derived stem cells during her PhD at the Department of Clinical Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, UK, and subsequently spent two years in a Centre of Excellence for wound healing research at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester, UK.

In 2001 Carola joined Stellenbosch University to establish a Stem Cell Biology Group in the Department of Physiological Sciences. During this time, she also acted as a Director of Virtus Clinical Development, a clinical research organization based in Cape Town. Prof Niesler has published more than 33 papers in international peer-reviewed journals and graduated more than 20 PhD/MSc students.


Catherine Holmes


Managing Director of Next Genetics

Bachelor of Business Science, Marketing Honours (University of Cape Town).

Catherine matriculated from St Mary’s D.S.G in Kwa-Zulu Natal in 2004, and then graduated from the University of Cape Town in June 2009 with a Bachelor of Business Science and Honours in Marketing.

Catherine joined Next Biosciences in June 2010 as Marketing and Communications Manager, where she is responsible for all aspects of client-related marketing and communications. To date, Catherine has been instrumental in a number of exciting projects: implementation of an e-commerce platform for clients to register on-line, a lead management system, an on-line gift registry, an on-line client feedback survey as well as a number of successful marketing campaigns.

Catherine has a passion for social media marketing as well as digitizing the consumer decision journey and client interaction with Next Biosciences.

Carina Neophytou

cfo next biosciences

Chief Financial Officer

Bachelor of Commerce, Accounting Honours (University of Johannesburg), CA (SA).

After completing her Bachelor of Commerce, Carina obtained a Bachelor of Accounting Honours Degree from The University of Johannesburg in 2007. She then joined RSM Betty & Dickson (Johannesburg) in 2008 under a training contract and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in January 2011. Carina has audit experience in retail, manufacturing, property and investment companies and also gained extensive experience in the audit of retirement funds. Carina joined Next Biosciences as Financial Manager in October 2010 and is responsible for the financial management, accounting and related taxation and administration functions of Next Biosciences’ operations.

Rizwana Khan


Quality Manager

NDip Biotechnology

Rizwana matriculated in Kwa-Zulu Natal in 2002, and then graduated from the Durban University of Technology in March 2007 with an NDip in Biotechnology. Rizwana went on to complete her in-service at an outsourced laboratory in Durban. After having completed her in-service, she started working for a pharmaceutical company as a Microbiologist, moving her way up to Senior Microbiologist, Quality Control Manager and then Quality Assurance Manager. As Quality Assurance Manager, she was involved with the implementation of ISO 17025, ISO 9001, GMP, GL, obtaining medical licences with SAPC and MCC.

Rizwana joined the Next Biosciences team in 2017, where she is responsible for managing and maintaining the Quality Management System at Next Biosciences.

Rizwana is currently studying a Business Management Degree.

Shelley Bredin


Managing Director of Netcells

Bachelor of Commerce, Honours in Economics

Shelley completed her Bachelor of Commerce degree with Honours in Economics at Rhodes university in 2008. From there she joined the Corporate and Investment Banking Graduate programme at Standard Bank. After her graduate year she moved over to the Personal and Business Banking division in Africa and worked on various projects which would to grow financial services across Africa. Following on from her five years at the bank she sought a new challenge and pursued her creative interests. She opened up her own design business and gained invaluable experience in running this for 2 years. At the beginning of 2016 she partnered with an established decorating business to open a workshop focusing on manufacturing of soft furnishings where she was primarily responsible for operations and logistics and day to day management of the workshop.

Shelley joined Next Biosciences in November 2017 as a Business Development Manager, looking for new products and services in the personalised healthcare space which could add value to the practitioners and clients of Next Biosciences. In January 2019, Shelley moved into the Netcells business unit, where she now heads up the division.

Roxann Van Rugge


Chief Legal Officer

BA LLB (Rhodes University)

Roxann completed her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws Degrees at Rhodes University in 2008. She moved to London in 2009 to travel the United Kingdom and Europe. After returning in 2011, Roxann completed her Articles of Clerkship and Board Examinations in Durban, she was admitted as an Attorney of the High Court in April 2013. Roxann practised at Strauss Daly Attorneys (Durban) for a short time before moving to Johannesburg to join a group of companies providing a number of services to private healthcare providers as the in-house Legal Advisor. During this time Roxann found a passion for training healthcare practitioners on law and ethics specific to their profession. She joined Next Biosciences as the Legal and Compliance Manager in January 2016.

Roxann is responsible for ensuring that the company’s operations adhere to the laws, regulations and the business rules of the biotechnology and medical industry. She is also the Human Resources Manager for Next Biosciences.

Tanya Nel


Head of Sales

WITS Management Advancement Program (MAP)
CIBM – IMM – Marketing Certificate

After matriculating  in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Tanya completed her tertiary education at the Natal College of Nursing. She then changed career direction and has spent the last 25 years in Pharmaceutical Sales and Marketing.

Tanya spent the majority of these years at two major Multi-National Pharmaceutical Companies (GlaxoSmithKline and Novo Nordisk)  in various roles in both middle and senior management, as a National Sales Manager and Business Unit Head,  across therapeutic areas spanning HIV, Vaccines, Diabetes, Antibiotics, Asthma and  Haemophilia. Tanya’s main responsibilities included: launching products into the SA market, collaboration projects with various stakeholders such as NGO groups and Patient Advocacy groups and implementation of  Coaching Programs aligning sales teams to achieve commercial objectives.
Apart from her studies in Marketing and being awarded Top Achiever at Wits Business School, Management Advancement Program (2009 cohort) , Tanya also is also an ACSTH accredited Lifeskills Business Coach (2013).

Tanya has a passion for projects and programmes within healthcare and health sciences where she can work with teams who add value to individuals and their families in order that they are more empowered and educated to make decisions around their health.

Erhardt Nel


Chief Technology Officer

Bachelor of Science, Informatics

Erhardt started his career as a software development contractor in 1997, working at various financial institutions including ABNAMRO Bank in the United Kingdom. Erhardt then joined Price Waterhouse Coopers in 2009 as Software Development Manager. In 2016, Erhardt joined the Next Biosciences team as the Lead System Engineer and has been in the role of Chief Technology Officer since September 2018.  Erhardt heads up the technology team at Next Biosciences and has been instrumental in implementing a number of key systems.

Kajel Somaroo


Next Genetics Laboratory Manager and Medical Scientist (Molecular Biology)

BSc Honours Genetics (Wits)
Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration

Kajel obtained her BSc (Hons) in Developmental Biology and Genetics from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, in 2010. She then completed a two-year internship in the department of Somatic Cell Genetics at the National Health Laboratory Service where she obtained her registration as a Medical Biological Scientist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.

In 2014, Kajel joined Genesis Genetics South Africa (which became a Next Biosciences’ company when it was acquired by Next Biosciences in 2016). Kajel then went on to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration with Milpark Business School in 2017. She uses her scientific and business knowledge to drive efficient services whilst maintaining excellent patient care.

Jodie Thomas


Netcells Laboratory Supervisor

Bachelor of Science, Honours in Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Jodie completed her BSc (Hons) degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology and graduated cum laude from the University of the Witwatersrand, in March of 2017. In her honours year at Wits, Jodie joined the Molecular Biosciences Research Thrust, a thrust aimed at stimulating research, collaboration and other academic activities in the broad area of health-related molecular biosciences and later went on to take 1st prize in the category of “Hons /Msc Poster Presentations” at the Annual Research Day.

Jodie joined Next Biosciences in 2017 as a Medical Technologist and has played a key role within the Netcells division. Since joining Netcells, Jodie has been a part of key implementations within the division and played an instrumental role in ensuring the compliance of Netcells with ISBT 128, the global standard for the terminology, identification, coding and labelling of medical products of human origin.

Jodie is passionate about constantly delivering high quality services and patient care through innovative science and technology and is responsible for the overall supervision of the Netcells Laboratory.

Our Scientific Advisers

Dr. Musa Mhlanga


International Scientific Adviser

BS (Georgetown University), PhD (NYU School of Medicine).

Dr. Musa Mhlanga is a cell biologist who holds a PhD in cell biology & molecular genetics from the New York University School of Medicine (2003). He began his PhD at Rockefeller University and upon completion of his doctoral work he was awarded a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowship at the Institut Pasteur in Paris to work in the laboratory of nuclear cell biology.

In June 2008 he joined the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CISR) in Pretoria, South Africa where he headed the Synthetic Biology Program, and was the research group leader of the Laboratory of Gene Expression and Biophysics. He currently leads a major translational research initiative at the University of Cape Town.

Dr. Mhlanga also holds a visiting faculty appointment to Harvard Medical School and to the Institute of Molecular Medicine in Lisbon, Portugal. He is the founder of three early stage Biotech start-up companies in France, United States and South Africa.

Prof. Marco Weinberg


International Scientific Adviser

BSc Honours in Medical Biochemistry (Wits), PhD in Molecular Biology (Wits).

Prof. Marco Weinberg is a biochemist and molecular biologist whose research career has focused on the study of gene regulation and the role of engineered nucleic acids as novel therapeutics. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine at the University of the Witwatersrand Medical School, South Africa and concurrently an Assistant Professor at the Scripps Research Institute, California, USA.

He has pioneered the use of fast-cleaving hammerhead ribozymes, short hairpin RNAs, long hairpin RNAs, mirtrons, aptamers and CRISPR tools as powerful gene silencing agents against viral diseases and cancer. His work on antisense non-coding RNAs as epigenetic modulators of gene expression has opened-up several new avenues for translational research using novel strategies to silence (and activate) viral genes. Prof. Weinberg has published over 55 papers with several in prestigious international journals and is rated by the National Research Foundation (NRF) as a leading international scholar.
He has successfully graduated 20 doctoral/masters students and several postdoctoral fellows and is on the editorial board of Molecular Therapy and the South African Journal of Science. Lastly, Prof. Weinberg is an inventor on 6 international patents and co-founder/director of Zetta Genomics International, a start-up company involved in clinical next generation sequencing analytics.

Dr. Carl Montague


Scientific Adviser

BSc (Hons) Biology, University of York, Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge MBA (Cum Laude), of Stellenbosch Business School, University

Carl Montague is a molecular and cell biologist who was awarded his PhD from the University of the Cambridge in 1998 where he studied the genetics of obesity and gene expression and cellular biology of adipocytes in the laboratory of Professor Sir Stephen O’Rahilly. Following this he held positions in Obesity and Diabetes Drug Discovery at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals (Alderley Park) and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma (Biberach).  In 2008 he graduated from University of Stellebosch with an MBA (cum laude) and was awarded the Old Mutual Gold Medal.

In 2012, Carl moved to the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) where he served as the Site Director of the Vulindlela Clinical Research Site and later as the Chief Operating Officer.  Prior to joining Next Biosciences, Carl was the Chief Operating Officer of the MSQ Health Group, a company he co-founded.

Carl’s role at Next Biosciences is to lead and grow the Biologics section of the business along with the development of new cellular and biologic products.

Dr. Chris Maske



MBChB BSc(Hons), DPhil(Oxon) FCPath


Prof. Jeffrey M. Gimble


International Scientific Adviser

B.A. in Biology (Dartmouth College, Hanover), MD and PhD in Cell Biology (Yale University).

After an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Barnes Hospital, Washington University in St. Louis (1982-84), Dr Gimble completed a Medical Staff Fellowship in the Laboratory of Immunogenetics, NIAID, NIH (1984-87). Dr. Gimble began studying the differentiation properties of bone marrow stromal cells, now known as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), in 1987 as a faculty member at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. His laboratory was among the first to investigate the molecular biology of bone marrow stromal adipogenesis.

In 1999, Dr. Gimble left academia to join Zen-Bio as its Director of Tissue Engineering. In 2000, Dr Gimble co-founded Artecel Sciences, where he served as Chief Scientific Officer and whose mission was to develop tissue engineering products based on the use of human adipose-derived stem cells. After the sale of the company in 2003, Dr. Gimble joined the Pennington Biomedical Research Center where he remained on faculty until 2013 as a tenured Professor developing methods for the isolation and characterization of adipose derived stem cells for regenerative medicine. In 2010, he co-founded LaCell, a biotech company delivering premium quality human stem cell products to research laboratories.

Dr. Gimble currently serves as LaCell’s Chief Scientific Officer whilst continuing to serve as an Adjunct Professor in the Center for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine.