Genetics and Disease

Genetics and Disease

Genetic studies provide important contributions to health research; however, the vast majority of participants are from the European population groups. There are few studies with participants from the African continent, with the majority being African-American, leaving a significant proportion of the African continent essentially unexplored. Africa has greater genetic diversity than any other continent and is the root of human origin, thus will provide extremely valuable knowledge and understanding on the genetic basis of disease. The current disparity in population diversity of genetic studies can cause issues in health research since the outcomes will be far less accurate for individuals from African populations. The focus of this group is to determine the role of genetics in various disease outcomes in the African population, under the leadership of Professor Michael S. Pepper.

Project topic/title

Project leader/student

Ethics reference number

A molecular Investigation of Cystic Fibrosis in South Africa

Prof Michael S Pepper



Investigation of CFTR variants in South African patients with Cystic Fibrosis

Odette le Grange

(MSc student)

NAS 039/2021

Genetic deafness among sub-Saharan African populations: the characterization of deafness genes in a population from the Limpopo province of South Africa

Dr Rosemary Kabahuma

(PhD student)


Analysis of variants in host genes associated with COVID-19 outcomes in the African population

Fatima Barmania

(PhD student)



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