SAMJ: South African Medical Journal
On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574
BEIGHTON, P et al. The University of Cape Town's contribution to medical genetics in Africa : from the past into the future. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2012, vol.102, n.6, pp.446-448. ISSN 2078-5135.
The Division of Human Genetics (DHG) of the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town (UCT) - established in 1972 - recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. We review its history, current status and future objectives. Dr Stuart Saunders, former Professor of Medicine and Vice-Chancellor of UCT, played a pivotal role in initiating the DHG. Dr Peter Beighton served as Professor of Human Genetics from 1972 to 1999. In this period, the initial focus was on medical genetics and the development of cytogenetic, biochemical and molecular laboratories, with the help of Professor Jacquie Greenberg. Fourteen clinical and scientific DHG members obtained doctorates; of these, 8 achieved full professorial status. Current Head of the Department, Professor Raj Ramesar, succeeded to the Chair in 1999. Expansion of the molecular laboratories followed. The DHG now has comprehensive programmes for postgraduate scientific training, research and service. Publications during the lifetime of the DHG include more than 540 articles in peer-reviewed medical, genetic and scientific journals, 20 books and contributions to over 40 chapters/editorials in scientific and medical genetic books