The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) and the Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) are cementing their partnership to establish the African continent’s first genomic sequencing facility. Based in South Africa, the centre will act as the home ground for cutting-edge genomic research and secure South Africa a space among the limited, but growing, group of countries pioneering this type of innovation.
Located at the SAMRC head office in Cape Town, The African Genomics Centre recently began construction. Its operations are anticipated to begin in winter this year.
The centre will be a vital national asset, able to contribute to the better understanding of factors that impact on South Africans’ health and inform strategies to improve the response to diseases. By increasing South Africa’s capacity for DNA sequencing, the centre will enable researchers to harness the promise of the latest advances in personalised, precision medicine to treat conditions such as hypertension, stroke, heart disease, diabetes and cancer, which constitute such a heavy burden of disease in South Africa.