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28 - 30 APRIL 2024 

Gordons Bay
Beyond the Genome logo


The first ever IMPC "Spring" Meeting to be held in Africa aims to convene leading international experts to deliver overview lectures that provide a global perspective on our topic: "Beyond the Genome". Advances in nucleic acid-based therapies, based on the conventional coding genome, but also on noncoding gene sequences, as well as epigenetic programming, continue to reshape healthcare worldwide, creating opportunities for us to deliver personalized medicine, innovative treatments for rare and previously incurable diseases, and the potential for more affordable therapies for all. Our meeting topics are specifically directed towards the noncoding genome and the impact of epigenetics on phenotype and disease therapy.  This is an opportunity to network with fellow experts, academics and trainees in this field of expertise. Registration and functions for this event is free of charge. Delegates just need to cover their own travel and accommodation costs.


The International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC) is an international initiative to identify the function of every protein-coding gene and is generating a knock-out mutation for every single gene in the mouse genome, followed by comprehensive phenotyping of each mutant line, thus linking each gene to disease traits. So far, the IMPC has already generated roughly 10,500 mutant lines and phenotyped nearly

9 500, representing almost half of the orthologous genome. While the brunt of research of the IMPC focuses on the orthologous genome, and the relationship of gene function and disease, some of the members have initiated research into the role of epigenetics in disease, using IMPC-generated mouse models. The IMPC comprises 25 Institutional members, with the Preclinical Drug Development Platform (PCDDP) at the North-West University (NWU) in South Africa, being the only African member since 2017.  Each year one of the members get a chance to host the Annual Spring Meeting, which this year happens in "Autumn" as it is hosted in the Southern Hemisphere, and for the first time on the African Continent. The DSI/NWU PCDDP and the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) act as co-hosts for this event. 


The DSI/NWU PCDDP functions as a national preclinical testing platform for qualitative and quantitative preclinical studies for research institutions and companies by:

  • Performing  pharmacokinetic, selected toxicology and safety pharmacology studies for new compounds and/or formulations.

  • Performing potency & safety batch release assays of biologically-based products.

  • Developing, establishing and maintaining models as it relates to infectious diseases, chronic conditions, neurobiology and treatment of a variety of disorders.

  • Establishing the infrastructure and skills set required for performing the various in vitro and in vivo studies during the preclinical phase of drug development.

  • Creating an enabling environment to attract both local and international customers to use of the facility.

  • Creating an infrastructure that could enable South Africa to play a significant role in the production of pharmaceutical drugs and phyto-medicines.


The SAMRC was established in 1969 and is dedicated to improving the health of people in South Africa, through research, innovation, development, and technology transfer. The scope of research includes laboratory investigations, clinical research, and public health studies.

They conduct research on South Africa’s quadruple burden of disease: maternal, newborn and child health, HIV/AIDS and TB, non-communicable diseases, and interpersonal violence. Our work is to acquire evidence-based information to inform health policy and practice and improve the quality and health status of people in South Africa.

The SAMRC is the largest local funder of health research, medical diagnostics, medical devices, and therapeutics, and are pioneers in cutting edge medical innovations focusing on genomic research, the development of novel treatment regimens, vaccine development, diagnostic tools, and developing new drugs and devices.


Rose Hayeshi

Prof Rose Hayeshi

Director | NWU/PCDDP

With a PhD in Biochemistry, Rose focuses on humanized mouse models for drug development. She is a South Africa Young Academy of Sciences member, AfOx Health Innovation and Entrepreneur-ship Scheme fellow, and Africa Science Leadership Programme fellow.

IMPC Programme Manager

Dr Popi Kostelidou

Programme Manager | IMPC

Kalliopi (Popi) has a background in Biological Sciences/ Biochemistry with extensive research experience in prokaryotic gene regulation, biotechnology, and synthetic biology. She acts as a reviewer for the Greek Secretariat of Research and Innovation and the ERASMUS+ programs.

Programme Manager - IMPC

Anne Grobler

Prof Anne Grobler


With a PhD in Pharmaceutics and MSc in Medical Biochemistry, Anne specializes in nano-medicines and bio-agricultural delivery systems. She worked at the NWU, Stellenbosh University, SAMRC, and in the private sector. Anne currently leads the Pheroid Cluster, one of the spin-off companies she founded. With 139 ISI publications, she holds 9 granted or under-examination patents.

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