MBChB (Cape Town), PhD (Geneva), MD (Geneva), Privat Docent (Geneva)
Michael Pepper is Director of the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Director of the SAMRC Extramural Unit for Stem Cell Research and Therapy and a research professor in the Department of Immunology in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Pretoria. He is also professeur associé in the Department of Genetic Medicine and Development in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. He obtained his MBChB in 1982 from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Cape Town, and moved to Geneva in 1986, where he obtained his PhD in 1990 and MD in 1992. In 1997 he obtained his Privat Docent. He returned to South Africa in July 2004.
Michael has worked extensively in the field of clinically-oriented (translational) molecular cell biology, and his interests include stem cells and the human genome, as well as the ethical, legal and social implications of work in these areas. He was chairperson of a consensus study on the ethical, legal and social issues related to human genomics/genetics which was conducted for the Academy of Science of South Africa, and which was launched in December 2018. Michael is President and Chairman of the Board of the South African Tissue Bank Association. He is part of a team which assists the National Department of Health with legislation concerning human tissues and in particular cell- and gene-based therapies. Michael was previously a member of the National Advisory Committee on Innovation which advises the Minister of Science and Technology.
Michael has > 280 medical and scientific publications with an H-index of 71/80 (Scopus/Google Scholar) and has received a number of awards for his research. He has been extensively involved in teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and is frequently solicited as a speaker at local and international meetings. Michael is on several editorial boards. He interacts regularly with the media and writes for the lay press on medical and scientific matters.