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Collet DandaraQualifications

PhD Medical Biochemistry (Pharmacogenetics)
BSc (Hons) Biochemistry

Current Organisation

University of Cape Town

Current Job Title

Associate Professor, Division of Human Genetics, Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences


Over 10 years' experience in human genetics, with a primary interest in pharmacogenetics/pharmacogenomics. One of the leading researchers in pharmacogenetics in African populations. Currently involved in the pharmacogenetics of antiretroviral drug response with an emphasis on efavirenz, stavudine, lopinavir and tenofovir as well as diabetes and schizophrenia pharmacogenetics. Also interested and has contributed to evaluating human genetic variation that is associated with differential risk to esophageal and cervical cancer. Published over 30 original research papers in international peer reviewed journals and 2 book chapters.

Knowledgeable in molecular biology techniques especially to do with sample collection, handling, DNA extraction, storage, use and quality control

Career Brief

Completed PhD in 2003 after having done the bulk of the work at Huddinge hospital, Karolinska University. Took up a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Cape Town from 2003 until the third quarter of 2007. Joined the School of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Witwatersrand as a lecturer in September 2007. Left University of Witwatersrand February 2009 to join the University of Cape Town as a Senior lecturer. Was promoted to Associate Professor at the end of 2012. Currently a Young Affiliate with the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) until 2017, a recent former committee member of the Southern African Society for Human Genetics (2011-2013) and a member of the African Society for Human Genetics.

Major Achievements

  • Elucidated one of the NAT2 haplotypes associated with slow acetylation
  • Assisted in the registration of an MSc course in Forensic Science as well as a BSs(Hons) stream in Forensic Genetics
  • Publications and research on pharmacogenetics/genomics
  • Training of postgraduate students in genetics
  • I have trained more than 15 postgraduate students in pharmacogenetics.