Working Group Participant

Soraya Bardien, PhD

Stellenbosch University

Soraya obtained a PhD degree in human molecular genetics at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. As part of her PhD and postdoctoral studies, she identified a new gene for the eye disorder, retinitis pigmentosa in a South African family. During her studies she spent short research visits at the Institute of Ophthalmology in London, UK; the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, USA; and Baylor College of Medicine, USA. Later, she took up postdoctoral research fellowship positions at the University of the Western Cape, the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University, all in South Africa, where she worked on the molecular causes of various inherited disorders. Currently, she heads the Parkinson’s disease research group at Stellenbosch University. Her research interest is to investigate the genetic etiology of PD using various approaches in the unique South African population. Her group also uses cellular models to study the functional effect of putative mutations identified, focusing on mitochondrial function. Soraya has served as the Chairperson of the Southern African Society for Human Genetics, was a member of the Steering Committee of the Southern African Human Genome Program, has participated in the World Health Organization’s Expert Meeting on Genomics and Genetics Disorders, and currently serves on the executive committee of the African Society of Human Genetics.