Ambroise Wonkam, Professor and Deputy Dean of Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town

The Human Genome Project (HGP) aimed to determine the sequence of nucleotide base pairs that make up human DNA . It is anticipated that detailed knowledge of the human genome will provide avenues for advances in medicine and biotechnology . However, ethical, legal and social concerns have been raised . The first lecture will discuss the practical implications of the HGP on genomic medicine today and what it means for society.

Epigenetics can be defined as functionally relevant changes to the genome that do not involve a change in the nucleotide sequence . It has the potential to explain mechanisms of aging, human development and the origins of cancer, heart disease, mental illness and several other conditions . This lecture will discuss how epigenetics may turn out to have an equal or greater role in disease than genetics.



  1. The Human Genome Project: implications for medicine and society
  2. Beyond genetics: epigenetics and diseases



Date: Monday 6–Tuesday 7 January
Time: 3.00 pm
COURSE FEES: Full R236 Staff & Students R118
Venue: LT2 Kramer Law Building UCT