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Pharmacogenomics & Drug Metabolism

Overview

PHARMACOGENOMICS AND DRUG METABOLISM RESEARCH GROUP

 

Group leader/Principal Investigator

Professor Collet Dandara [BSc, BSc (Hon), PhD]

TEAM MEMBERS

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr Nicholas Ekow Thomford (BSc, MPhil, PhD)

PhD Students:

Doreen Mhandire (BSc, Bsc (Hon), MSc)

Dr Donald Tanyanyiwa (MD)

MSc Students:

Arinao Ndadza (BSc)

Mulalo Magadze (BSc)

Daniella Munro (BSc) BSc (Hon)

Kagisho Montjane BSc, BSc (Hon)

Hons student

Precious Moloi (BSc)

NRF supported Interns:

 

External Students:

Sarudzai Muyambo (BSc, MSc)- PhD student -University of Zimbabwe

Oppah Kuguyo (BSc, MSc) - PhD student -University of Zimbabwe

 

Associated Members/Collaborators:

Michelle Skelton (BSc, BSc (Hon), MSc, PhD)- Manager at H3Africa Bionet

Elizabeth Kampira (BSc, MSc, PhD)- Lecturer at the Malawi College of Health Sciences

Kudakwashe Mhandire (BSc, BSc (Hon), MSc, PhD)- Lecturer at University of Zimbabwe

Marelize Swart (BSc, BSc (Hon), MSc, PhD)- Postdoctoral research fellow, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Nyarai Desiree Soko (BSc, BSc (Hon), MSc, PhD) – Lecturer

Kevin Dzobo (BSc, BSc (Hon), MSc, PhD) – Senior Research Scientist, ICGEB, Cape Town Component

 

Information on current postgraduate positions:

please email: collet.dandara@uct.ac.za

Division administrator: heidi.paulse@uct.ac.za  

 

Research focus/interests

 

The Pharmacogenomics and Drug Metabolism Research Group (PharmGx) focuses on the genomic basis of human susceptibility to disease and differential response to therapeutic treatment (e.g. efficacy and toxicity). The group uses genomic and molecular biology techniques to investigate genomic variation in drug metabolizing enzyme genes (e.g. cytochrome P450, glutathione S-transferases, sulfotransferases, UDP-glucuronosyltransferases, alcohol dehydrogenases, aldehyde dehydrogenase and N-acetyltransferases), drug transporters (e.g. ABC, SLC) and nuclear receptors (PXR and CAR). In addition to host genetics, the group also investigates the role of microbial genomes on drug response and disease susceptibility. Genomic variation is detected through any of the following techniques; PCR/RFLP, Sequencing (SNaPshot, Sanger and NGS), Taqman Assays and SNP arrays. Furthermore, the group explores the pharmacogenomics of herbal compounds. In the African context where health systems are in transition, the group also evaluates the potential interaction between conventional medicine and herbal compounds. The group has an established interest in epigenetics through the work on the role of microRNA variation and DNA methylation in cancer.

SUMMARY OF CURRENT PROJECTS

  • Pharmacogenomics of Anti-retroviral therapy
  • Pharmacogenomics of coumarins
  • Pharmacogenomics of statins
  • Schizophrenia pharmacogenomics
  • Chemotherapeutic drugs and herbal compounds and their effects on gene expression profiles of drug metabolising enzymes
  • Discovery of HIV latency activators (Natural products)
  • Pharmacomicrobiomics
  • Genetic susceptibility to breast, cervical and oesophageal cancer
  • Genetic susceptibility to cytomegalovirus (CMV) acquisition and transmission