Dr Janine Scholefield, scientist, CSIR, and honorary lecturer, Department of Human Biology, UCT

The landscape of molecular biology has been rocked by the discovery of a novel tool that can modify our genomic DNA with ease. In addition to the almost boundless applications in the laboratory where scientists can now awaken, silence or tweak specific parts of the genome, correcting mutated genes for several incurable diseases can now be envisaged. These ‘molecular scissors’, combined with advances in stem cell research, provide hitherto unknown possibilities in addressing health issues.

This two-lecture course will discuss genome engineering and stem cells, and then combine the two to evaluate the numerous applications of these technologies, specifically addressing disease. These therapeutic approaches range from early stage laboratory strategies through to the most advanced clinical trials and FDA approved drugs. How these tools are being positively exploited in South Africa will also be discussed.



1. Genome engineering and stem cells: global therapeutic applications

2. Genome engineering and stem cells: relevance to Africa


Recommended reading

Cox D.B., Platt R.J., Zhang F. ‘Therapeutic genome editing: prospects and challenges.

Cyranoski, D. ‘The cells that sparked a revolution’. Nature. 2018 March 22;555(7697):42–430.

Scudellari, M. ‘How iPS cells changed the world’. Nature. 2016 Jun 16;534(7607):310–12.



Date: Monday 7 – Tuesday 8 January 
Time: 5.00 pm
COURSE FEES Full: R220,00  Staff and Students R110,00
Venue: LT2 Kramer Law Building UCT