UKZN Students attend Joint Genetics and Bioinformatics ConferenceGeneral

At the congress are (from left) Mr Mongezi Mkonyeni, Ms Bongekile Ngobese, Ms Farzeen Kader and Dr Meenu Ghai.At the congress are (from left) Mr Mongezi Mkonyeni, Ms Bongekile Ngobese, Ms Farzeen Kader and Dr Meenu Ghai.

Three students in the Genetics Department in the School of Life Sciences on the Westville campus attended the 2016 joint conference of the South African Genetics Society (SAGS) and South African Society for Bioinformatics (SASBi) held on UKZN’s Medical School campus.

The biennial SASBi and SAGS congresses are the premier national scientific meetings uniting scientists working in the overlapping disciplines of bioinformatics and genetics in South Africa.

SASBI-SAGS-2016 provided an exciting opportunity for participants to learn about cutting-edge research in both disciplines, and to network with members of the societies and with leading international scientists.

PhD student Ms Farzeen Kader presented her masters research titled: “Methylation Profiling of Saliva from the Diverse South African Population using tDMR-Based Markers”.  Her presentation outlined that the significant difference in DNA Methylation levels could potentially assist forensic analyses in future, not only to accurately identify saliva but also to narrow down the search for sample donors.

Kader’s supervisor, Dr Meenu Ghai, who is a Lecturer in the Genetics Department on the Westville campus, chaired a session under the theme: “Functional Genomics”.

Also at the congress were Mr Mongezi Mkonyeni, who is an Executive member of SAGS and a third year BSc Genetics and Chemistry Student at UKZN. Mkonyeni was part of the planning committee for this Congress.

Another UKZN student there was Ms Bongekile Ngobese, a local SRC member on the Westville campus and a third year BSc student majoring in Genetics and Biochemistry.

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