Christopher Marais

Representative - South Africa

Bioinformatics, Gene regulatory network prediction

As an undergraduate, Christopher majored in human genetics, physiology and psychology which he followed up with an honours degree in bioinformatics. He is currently busy with a master's project aimed at plant gene regulation for the ultimate purpose of optimized breeding strategies in the forestry industry. He has been involved with many additional projects covering more humanitarian purposes such as his role at the South African SDGHub and his participation in the construction of the initial COVID-19 vulnerability map for South Africa. Additionally, he has been involved in various other bioinformatics projects with a specific focus on the applications of AI and machine learning in plant and human genetics.

Christopher is concerned about the long term effects of biotechnology and the ethical considerations that go along with it. He believes that participating in and initiating the conversations related to these topics are underrepresented in the younger scientific community, and would like to increase their frequency and quality.