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Genomics of Brain Disorders

The Genomics of Brain Disorders Research Unit is an Extramural Unit of the SAMRC based at Stellenbosch University. The unit aims to identify genomic biomarkers, using a systems biology approach, for a host of brain disorders (e.g. posttraumatic stress disorder, HIV associated neurocognitive disorders, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, schizophrenia and psychosis spectrum disorders, and Parkinson’s Disease) across the lifespans.

Key focus areas

  • To apply multimodal genome and imaging technologies, together with a range of computational and statistical methods to facilitate more precise molecular signatures and characterisation of genetically complex brain disorders, that will aid in guiding and tailoring their clinical management.
  • To establish a biorepository comprising a wide range of biological samples (e.g. DNA, RNA, skin, hair) collected through an ensemble of projects.
  • To create disease-specific neuronal cell lines in order to elucidate molecular and cellular processes related to the biology of brain disorders.
  • To use the unit’s expertise and critical mass to train a new generation of clinician and basic neuroscientists versed in genomic, other ‘omic’, and neuroimaging techniques.

For more information, visit the Department of Psychiatry's website

Prof Soraya Seedat
Unit Director
  • +27 11 386 6362