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A Walk in the Garden of Eden

A Walk in the Garden of Eden

Genetic trails into our African past 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 to the generation of knowledge concerning mankind's evolutionary history made by genetic approaches to anthropological questions. She examines the use and relevance of genetic data as another 'tool' in reconstructing our history.

Africa Open Access

  • Product Information
  • Format: 170mm x 230mm (Soft Cover)
  • Pages: 28
  • ISBN 13: 978-07969-2021-8
  • Rights: World Rights

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Genetic trails into our African past 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 to the generation of knowledge concerning mankind's evolutionary history made by genetic approaches to anthropological questions. She examines the use and relevance of genetic data as another 'tool' in reconstructing our history.

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 a Principal Medical Scientist at the NHLS and holds a joint appointment as an Associate Professor at Wits. The National Geographic Society has invited Professor Soodyall to participate in the global Genographic Project as the sub-Saharan African PI, which was launched on 13 April 2005.

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