Professor Lizette Jansen van Rensburg


Department of Genetics

[email protected]


Breast Cancer Genomics 

Lizette Jansen van Rensburg completed a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Stellenbosch in 1987. 

Her initial research (at the AEC Life Sciences Institute) focused on radiobiology, specifically in the context of radiotherapy and mechanisms of cell sensitivity to radiation exposure. 

Following the establishment of the Department of Human Genetics (1990) in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Pretoria, she was instrumental in setting up their molecular laboratory and since then has established a Human Cancer Genetics Research Group.  She has worked extensively on breast cancer genetics, both as an inherited disorder as well as a somatic cell disease. 

She has published over 35 research papers. 



IRT-related research projects

Lizette Jansen van Rensburg and and her collaborators focus largely on breast cancer genomics, addressing the urgent need for the discovery and characterization of novel markers for breast cancer in South African populations. Exome sequencing is being applied to samples from breast cancer patients using two approaches: The first approach to discover high penetrance variants in familial breast cancer, and the second to investigate variations between normal and tumour genomes within the same patient.  


Key Publications

Sluiter, MD, Mew, S, van Rensburg, EJ (2009) PALB2 sequence variants in young South African breast cancer patients. Familial Cancer 8: 347-353

Sluiter, MD, van Rensburg, EJ (2011) Large genomic rearrangements of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Breast Cancer Res Treatment 125: 325-349

Antoniou, AC, Kartsonaki, C, Sinilnikova OM, et al. (2011) Common alleles at 6q25.1 and 1p11.2 are associated with breast cancer risk for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. Human Molec Genet. 20: 3304 – 3321



Published by Grant Christie

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