Inaugural lecture: Professor Collet Dandara

13 September 2019 | From Kgethi

Dear colleagues and students

I write to cordially invite you to the next Vice-Chancellor’s Inaugural Lecture, the fifth in the series this year, to be presented by Professor Collet Dandara on 25 September. The lecture is titled “Pharmacogenomics and personalising medicines in African populations for quality health: Yet another story of playing catch-up”.

Professor Dandara is a professor of human genetics and principal investigator of the Pharmacogenomics and Drug Metabolism Research Group in the Division of Human Genetics in the Faculty of Health Sciences.

His research uses genomic technologies to explore inherited genetic differences that affect the way African patients respond to treatment with therapeutic drugs, including medicinal herbs. His lecture focuses on decoding African genomes to unlock our understanding of black African patients’ responses to treatment – particularly deviations from observations in non-Africans.

Pharmacogenomics involves understanding how changes in genes affect a person’s response to drugs. It helps to predict who will benefit from a medication, who will not respond at all, and who will experience adverse drug effects. Pharmacogenomic biomarkers are important in personalising medicine to optimise patient therapies and avoid adverse effects. However, not much research has been done on African populations, even though Africans carry the most genetically diverse genomes.

Professor Dandara is a former chair of transformation and equity in the Faculty of Health Sciences and serves on the selection panel of candidates for the South African Young Academy of Science. He was a recipient of The World Academy of Sciences’ Young Affiliates Award in 2012, and in 2014 he was a finalist in the National Science and Technology Forum Awards in the human capacity development category.

He is the vice-chair of the African Pharmacogenomics Consortium and a member of the African Society of Human Genetics, the Human Variome Project, the Global Genomic Medicine Collaborative, the Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium and the Pharmacogene Variation Consortium.

Professor Dandara has authored more than 125 publications in international journals and serves on the editorial board of several journals. He has supervised to graduation more than 20 masterʼs and doctoral students.

Please join us for this lecture.

When: Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Where: New Learning Centre Lecture Theatre, Anatomy Building, Anzio Road, Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT

Time: 17:30 (doors open at 17:00)

RSVP: Please confirm your attendance online by 22 September 2019.

For further information, please email or phone 021 650 4847.

Please note: Due to limited space, seats will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.


Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

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