Raj Ramesar is Professor and head of the Division of Human Genetics at the University of Cape Town. He also serves as Director of the MRC Human Genetics Research Unit, and CANSA’s Colorectal Cancer Research Consortium. Prof Ramesar is principal investigator on the Retinal Degenerative Disorders research project. Apart from being involved directly with several established research projects aimed at elucidating the genetic basis of diseases in South Africa, he is currently channeling his energy in setting up research into understanding the genetic basis of the more complex yet common chronic disorders (e.g. hypertension) in our populations. Raj is married to Jenny, and they have two sons and a daughter. His nonacademic pursuits include bonsai and painting in watercolours.