Raj S. Ramesar

University of Cape Town, South Africa

As Professor and Head of the Division of Human Genetics and Director of the MRC Human Genetics Research Unit at the University of Cape Town, the emphasis of his research has been on disease susceptibility in South African populations, progressing from the commonly recognised inherited diseases, to those that are more complex yet more common and relevant to our large burden of disease, e.g. hypertension, bipolar disorder, amongst others. The richness of the population biodiversity in Africa has led to Raj’s latest quest to establish a research programme, ‘Heritage’ that crosses all academic boundaries and celebrates our origins, our diversity (lineages, cultures, languages), while using this opportunity to identify those genomic fragments which predispose us to disease. This quest will contribute to a more proactive and preventative approach to health. Raj’s translational work in genetics was recently recognised through the Alan Pifer Award for 'outstanding research that demonstrates relevance to the advancement and welfare of South Africa's disadvantaged people'.

Biography Updated on 19 January 2009

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