Thandi is a research and innovation leader currently serving as Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Engagement at Tshwane University of Technology. She holds a PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology from the University of Cape Town, a Higher Diploma in Education, a postgraduate degree in Higher Education Management from the University of Melbourne, Australia and a certificate in Management Development Programme from the University of Stellenbosch Business School. After a postdoctoral research period, she worked at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) as an early career scientist, and the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC). In 2008, she joined the National Research Foundation as Director for Human Capacity Development and later as Executive Director for DST-NRF Research Chairs Initiative and Centres of Excellence, the national flagship programmes of the Department of Science and Technology (DST). Before joining TUT, she was Professor and Head of Research at the University of the Western Cape.