Prof. Michèle Ramsay

Professor, Division of Human Genetics at the National Health Laboratory Service, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)


Michèle Ramsay, Ph.D., is a professor in the Division of Human Genetics at the National Health Laboratory Service and University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg. Her research interests include the genetic basis and molecular epidemiology of single gene disorders in South African populations and the role of genetic and epigenetic variation in the molecular aetiology of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and other diseases exacerbated by adverse lifestyle choices. The FASD research includes the use of a mouse model to investigate alcohol induced epigenetic remodelling as a mechanism of teratogenesis.

Dr. Ramsay’s current research collaborations include studies on obesity, hypertension, bone development, HIV related kidney disease and glaucoma in South African populations. She is interim director of the Sydney Brenner Institute for Molecular Bioscience (Wits University), which focuses on a molecular understanding of non-communicable diseases in African populations; joint PI for a National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded training project entitled “Wits Non-Communicable Disease Research Leadership Program”; joint PI of the first phase of the “Southern African Human Genome Programme”; chair of the Southern African Society for Human Genetics; chair of the Wits Bioinformatics Steering Group; joint champion of a cross-faculty Research Thrust, “Molecular Biosciences: Health for Africa”; and joint editor and author of a textbook, “Molecular Medicine for Clinicians” (Wits University Press, 2009).

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