VC's Inaugural Lecture: Professor Collet Dandara

Vice Chancellor's Inaugural Lecture Series

Pharmacogenomics and personalising medicines in African populations for quality healthy: yet another story of playing catch-up

Pharmacogenomics involves understanding how changes in genes affect a person’s response to drugs. Pharmacogenomics helps to predict who will benefit from a medication, who will not respond at all, and who will experience adverse drug effects. However, not much research has been done on African populations, yet Africans carry the most genetically diverse genomes. Pharmacogenomic biomarkers are important in personalising medicine to optimise patient therapies and avoid adverse effects. This lecture focusses on decoding African genomes to unlock our understanding of black African patients’ responses to treatment-particularly deviations from observations in non-Africans.

Professor Collett DandaraCollet Dandara is a Professor of Human Genetics, Principal Investigator of the Pharmacogenomics and Drug Metabolism Research Group at the University of Cape Town. 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. Dandara is a former Chair of Transformation and Equity in the Faculty of Health Sciences. Serves on the selection of candidates for the South African Young Academy of Sciences (SAYAS). He was a recipient of the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) Young Affiliate Award in 2012. In the 2014 he was a finalist in the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) Awards in the category, Human Capacity development. Dandara has supervised to graduation more than 20 MSc and Doctoral students. He is the Vice-Chair of the African Consortium of Pharmacogenomics (APC), and a member of the following organisations; African Society of Human Genetics (AfSHG), the Human Variome Project (HVP), Global Genomic Medicine Collaboration (G2MC) Initiative and the Global Pharmacogenomics Network. Dandara has authored more 125 publications in international journals and an H-index of 26 (Google-scholar), 22 (Scopus). He serves on Editorial Boards of several journals.

Date: Wednesday, 25 September 2019 
Time: 17:30
Venue: New Learning Center Lecture Theathre, Anatomy Building, Anzio Road, Haculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town.