The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

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This paper was originally presented as the first in the Sol Plaatjie Lecture Series on Africa, jointly hosted by the Ministry of Education and the African Human Genome Initiative in November 2002. The author Himla Soodyall addresses the contribution towards the generation of knowledge concerning the evolutionary history of mankind made by genetic approaches to anthropological questions. She examines the use and relevance of genetic data as another 'tool' in the reconstruction of our history.

Open Access

Product information

Format : 170mm x 230mm (Soft Cover)
Pages : 28
ISBN 10 : 0-7969-2021-4
ISBN 13 : 978-07969-2021-8
Publish Year : 2003
Rights : World Rights

Professor Himla Soodyall obtained a B.Sc (Hons) degree at the University of Durban-Westville and an M.Sc (Biotechnology) and PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Professor Soodyall joined the SAIMR in 1987 as a medical scientist and worked with Professor Trefor Jenkins in the department of Human Genetics. She spent three years (1993-1996) conducting postdoctoral research with Professor Mark Stoneking (one of the first researchers who advanced the Out of Africa hypothesis concerning human origins) at Penn State University (USA) under the auspices of a Fogarty International Fellowship from the National Institutes of Health (USA).
Professor Soodyall returned to the SAIMR in 1996 and started her own laboratory focusing on population and evolutionary genetics research within the department of Human Genetics. In 1999 she received the President's Award from the NRF and the Vice-Chancellors Award for Research from Wits. In 2001 the MRC established the Human Genomic Diversity and Disease Research Unit (HGDDRU) in partnership with the NHLS and Wits under her directorship. In 2005 she received the Order of Mapangubwe (Bronze) from President Thabo Mbeki in recognition of her exceptional contribution to science and medicine.
She is currently a Principal Medical Scientist at the NHLS and holds a joint appointment as Associate Professor at Wits. Professor Soodyall has been invited by the National Geographic Society to participate in the global Genographic Project, as the sub-Saharan African PI, which was launched on 13 April 2005.

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