Background to the Research

With the background and expertise of the division of Biochemistry in inherited metabolic diseases and metabolism, the research topics of the group are structured around the involvement of the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) system in human diseases. Defects in the mitochondrial energy metabolism is not only the largest group of inherited metabolic disorders in humans, it also contributes to the pathology of various other major diseases causing death, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer and infectious diseases. This type of research is particularly relevant in South Africa because of its socio-economic and genetic diversity in the population and the very rapid rise in the prevalence of these diseases in African populations.