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Molecular Biosciences Research Thrust: Health for Africa


The Thrust aims to stimulate research and other academic activities in the broad area of health-related molecular biosciences and to create a vibrant atmosphere in which scientists and students within both the Faculties of Science and Health Sciences can realise their full research potential.

Groups of researchers and postgraduate students who share common research interests have the opportunity to identify suitable collaborations and collaborators within the University and partner institutions, a hallmark of effective modern science. The research focus of the Thrust is encapsulated in the molecular understanding of common diseases and the health of sub-Saharan African populations. At present the primary element binding participants of the Thrust is the use of common technologies and equipment to address research questions but the vision is that it will foster clusters of researchers working on different aspects of the same theme. In this way bigger research questions can be tackled and more research funding can be leveraged for the successful completion of research projects.

The University has strengths in many different areas including different aspects of infectious disease, multifactorial diseases, population studies and drug design, providing a wealth of meaningful research opportunities.  A seminar series, a combined MSc degree by course work and research report and research workshops aim to foster interdisciplinary research and collaborations.

This Thrust is championed by Professor Chrissie Rey (School of Molecular and Cell Biology, Wits Faculty of Science) and Professor Michele Ramsay (Division of Human Genetics, NHLS & Wits Faculty of Health Sciences; Wits Bioinformatics).  The Thrust is administered by the Sydney Brenner Institute for Molecular Bioscience (SBIMB).