Professor Collet Dandara



Division of Human Genetics, Department of Pathology & Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM), University of Cape Town, Observatory, Cape Town, South Africa

Dandara Bio-Sketch

Collet Dandara is a Professor of Human Genetics, Principal Investigator of the Pharmacogenomics and Drug Metabolism Research Group at the University of Cape Town.  From the early days of his career, Professor Dandara’s research and publications focused on foundational studies in pharmacogenetics, and later pharmacogenomics, characterising genomes of African populations to identify genomic clues on differential drug responses observed in patients. His work has laid a firm basis on understanding the profile of genetic variants of pharmacogenomics importance in African populations, leading to novel discoveries as well as providing mechanistic understanding of the functional significance of such genetic variants and the networks they are involved in.  The work by the Pharmacogenomics & Drug Metabolism Group has contributed to the understanding of the diversity of the genomes of African populations. Lately, cognisant of the wide use of traditional medicine, the group has started research on the pharmacogenomics of herbal medicines. Through his research, professor Dandara was nominated the Vice-Chair of the African Consortium of Pharmacogenomics (APC) in 2018; is a member of the African Society of Human Genetics (AfSHG); serves as a committee member of International Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC) for the Human the Human Variome Project (HVP); is a member of the Global Genomic Medicine Collaboration (G2MC) Initiative and is on the working group of the Global Pharmacogenomics Network. Professor Dandara has authored more 140 publications in international journals and an H-index of 26 and an i10-index of 60.  Professor Dandara serves on Editorial Boards of several international journals.

Professor Dandara is a recipient of the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) Young Affiliate Award in 2012 and now sits on the Executive of TWAS Young Affiliate Network (TYAN). In 2014 Professor Dandara was a finalist in the South Africa National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) Awards in the category of “Human Capacity Development”. He has supervised to graduation several MSc/PhD students. Professor Dandara serves in several University of Cape Town Committees including the Faculty of Health Sciences Transformation Committee of which he previously served as its Chairperson. He serves on the selection committee for the South African Young Academy of Sciences (SAYAS).

Recent publications

Implementing Artificial Intelligence and Digital Health in Resource-Limited Settings? Top 10 Lessons We Learned in Congenital Heart Defects and Cardiology. Thomford NE, Bope CD, Agamah FE, Dzobo K, Owusu Ateko R, Chimusa E, Mazandu GK, Ntumba SB, Dandara C, Wonkam A. OMICS. 2019 Oct 8. doi: 10.1089/omi.2019.0142.


MicroRNA Mediated Changes in Drug Metabolism and Target Gene Expression by Efavirenz and Rifampicin In Vitro: Clinical Implications. Swart M, Dandara C. OMICS. 2019 Oct;23(10):496-507. doi: 10.1089/omi.2019.0122. Epub 2019 Sep 16.


Seroprevalence of Cytomegalovirus Infection Among HIV-Infected and HIV-Uninfected Pregnant Women Attending Antenatal Clinic in Harare, Zimbabwe. Mhandire D, Duri K, Kaba M, Mhandire K, Musarurwa C, Chimusa E, Munjoma P, Mazengera L, Stray-Pedersen B, Dandara C. Viral Immunol. 2019 Sep;32(7):289-295. doi: 10.1089/vim.2019.0024. Epub 2019 Jul 26.


Herbal Remedies: Throwing Off Phenotype Prediction-A Culprit for Pharmacogenomic-Guided Drug Therapy and Drug Safety. Dandara C, Thomford NE, Bapiro TE.

Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2019 Aug;106(2):302-304. doi: 10.1002/cpt.1509. Epub 2019 Jun 27.


NextGen Voices: Science-inspired sustainable behavior. Kumar B, Jensen MM, Strielkowski W, Johnston JT, Sharma V, Dandara C, Shehata MM, Struett MM, Nikolaou A, Szymanski DW, Abdul-Ghani R, Cao B, Varzinczak LH, Kerman BE, Arthur PK, Oda FS, Bohon W, Ellwanger JH, Tyner S, Jordan EJ, Murphy C. Science. 2019 May 31;364(6443):822-824. doi: 10.1126/science.aax8945.


The Genetics of Warfarin Dose-Response Variability in Africans: An Expert Perspective on Past, Present, and Future. Ndadza A, Thomford NE, Mukanganyama S, Wonkam A, Ntsekhe M, Dandara C. OMICS. 2019 Mar;23(3):152-166. doi: 10.1089/omi.2019.0018.


KIR and HLA-C Genetic Polymorphisms Influence Plasma IP-10 Concentration in Antiretroviral Therapy-Naive HIV-Infected Adult Zimbabweans. Mhandire K, Zijenah LS, Tshabalala M, Yindom LM, Mlambo T, Mhandire DZ, Musarurwa C, Duri K, Rowland-Jones S, Dandara C, Stray-Pedersen B. OMICS. 2019 Feb;23(2):111-118. doi: 10.1089/omi.2018.0147. Epub 2019 Jan 7.


Warfarin Dose and CYP2C Gene Cluster: An African Ancestral-Specific Variant Is a Strong Predictor of Dose in Black South African Patients. Ndadza A, Cindi Z, Makambwa E, Chimusa E, Wonkam A, Kengne AP, Ntsekhe M, Dandara C. OMICS. 2019 Jan;23(1):36-44. doi: 10.1089/omi.2018.0174. Epub 2018 Dec 19.


Rosuvastatin pharmacogenetics in African populations. Soko ND, Masimirembwa C, Dandara C. Pharmacogenomics. 2018 Dec;19(18):1373-1375. doi: 10.2217/pgs-2018-0168. Epub 2018 Nov 6.


The Role of Tumor Microenvironment in Chemoresistance: 3D Extracellular Matrices as Accomplices. Senthebane DA, Jonker T, Rowe A, Thomford NE, Munro D, Dandara C, Wonkam A, Govender D, Calder B, Soares NC, Blackburn JM, Parker MI, Dzobo K.

Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Sep 20;19(10). pii: E2861. doi: 10.3390/ijms19102861.


Pharmacogenetics of Antiretroviral Drug Response and Pharmacokinetic Variations in Indigenous South African Populations. O'Connell KS, Swart M, McGregor NW, Dandara C, Warnich L. OMICS. 2018 Sep;22(9):589-597. doi: 10.1089/omi.2018.0117.


Advances in Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering: Innovation and Transformation of Medicine. Dzobo K, Thomford NE, Senthebane DA, Shipanga H, Rowe A, Dandara C, Pillay M, Motaung KSCM. Stem Cells Int. 2018 Jul 30;2018:2495848. doi: 10.1155/2018/2495848. eCollection 2018.


An African-specific profile of pharmacogene variants for rosuvastatin plasma variability: limited role for SLCO1B1 c.521T>C and ABCG2 c.421A>C. Soko ND, Chimusa E, Masimirembwa C, Dandara C. Pharmacogenomics J. 2019 Jun;19(3):240-248. doi: 10.1038/s41397-018-0035-3. Epub 2018 Aug 13.

Genetic Susceptibility for Cervical Cancer in African Populations: What Are the Host Genetic Drivers? Kuguyo O, Tsikai N, Thomford NE, Magwali T, Madziyire MG, Nhachi CFB, Matimba A, Dandara C. OMICS. 2018 Jul;22(7):468-483. doi: 10.1089/omi.2018.0075.


Personalized Herbal Medicine? A Roadmap for Convergence of Herbal and Precision Medicine Biomarker Innovations. Thomford NE, Dzobo K, Chimusa E, Andrae-Marobela K, Chirikure S, Wonkam A, Dandara C. OMICS. 2018 Jun;22(6):375-391. doi: 10.1089/omi.2018.0074.


A cost effective RFLP method to genotype Solute carrier organic anion 1B1 (SLCO1B1) c.1929A>C (p.Leu643Phe, rs34671512); a variant with potential effect on rosuvastatin pharmacokinetics. Soko ND, Masimirembwa C, Dandara C. BMC Res Notes. 2018 Jun 14;11(1):384. doi: 10.1186/s13104-018-3469-4.


Beta-globin gene haplotypes and selected Malaria-associated variants among black Southern African populations. Pule GD, Chimusa ER, Mnika K, Mhandire K, Kampira E, Dandara C, Wonkam A. Glob Health Epidemiol Genom. 2017 Nov 27;2:e17. doi: 10.1017/gheg.2017.14. eCollection 2017.


Genomics and Epigenomics of Congenital Heart Defects: Expert Review and Lessons Learned in Africa. Thomford NE, Dzobo K, Yao NA, Chimusa E, Evans J, Okai E, Kruszka P, Muenke M, Awandare G, Wonkam A, Dandara C. OMICS. 2018 May;22(5):301-321. doi: 10.1089/omi.2018.0033. Review.


Post genome-wide association analysis: dissecting computational pathway/network-based approaches. Chimusa ER, Dalvie S, Dandara C, Wonkam A, Mazandu GK. Brief Bioinform. 2019 Mar 25;20(2):690-700. doi: 10.1093/bib/bby035.


Chemoresistance to Cancer Treatment: Benzo-α-Pyrene as Friend or Foe? Dzobo K, Hassen N, Senthebane DA, Thomford NE, Rowe A, Shipanga H, Wonkam A, Parker MI, Mowla S, Dandara C. Molecules. 2018 Apr 17;23(4). pii: E930. doi: 10.3390/molecules23040930.


Truvada (emtricitabine/tenofovir) pre-exposure prophylaxis roll-out among South African university students: Lots of positives, but let us keep an eye on possible surprises. Montjane K, Dlamini S, Dandara C. S Afr Med J. 2018 Feb 1;108(2):79-81. doi: 10.7196/SAMJ.2017.v108i2.13035.


Not Everyone Fits the Mold: Intratumor and Intertumor Heterogeneity and Innovative Cancer Drug Design and Development. Dzobo K, Senthebane DA, Thomford NE, Rowe A, Dandara C, Parker MI. OMICS. 2018 Jan;22(1):17-34. doi: 10.1089/omi.2017.0174. Review.


Clinical and genetic factors are associated with pain and hospitalisation rates in sickle cell anaemia in Cameroon. Wonkam A, Mnika K, Ngo Bitoungui VJ, Chetcha Chemegni B, Chimusa ER, Dandara C, Kengne AP. Br J Haematol. 2018 Jan;180(1):134-146. doi: 10.1111/bjh.15011. Epub 2017 Dec 3.


Genomic Medicine Without Borders: Which Strategies Should Developing Countries Employ to Invest in Precision Medicine? A New "Fast-Second Winner" Strategy. Mitropoulos K, Cooper DN, Mitropoulou C, Agathos S, Reichardt JKV, Al-Maskari F, Chantratita W, Wonkam A, Dandara C, Katsila T, Lopez-Correa C, Ali BR, Patrinos GP.

OMICS. 2017 Nov;21(11):647-657. doi: 10.1089/omi.2017.0141.


Stop the Spam! Conference Ethics and Decoding the Subtext in Post-Truth Science. What Would Denis Diderot Say? Özdemir V, Dandara C, Hekim N, Birch K, Springer S, Kunej T, Endrenyi L. OMICS. 2017 Nov;21(11):658-664. doi: 10.1089/omi.2017.0150. Epub 2017 Oct 30.


Cervical cancer in Zimbabwe: a situation analysis. Kuguyo O, Matimba A, Tsikai N, Magwali T, Madziyire M, Gidiri M, Dandara C, Nhachi C. Pan Afr Med J. 2017 Jul 21;27:215. doi: 10.11604/pamj.2017.27.215.12994. eCollection 2017.


Bush mint (Hyptis suaveolens) and spreading hogweed (Boerhavia diffusa) medicinal plant extracts differentially affect activities of CYP1A2, CYP2D6 and CYP3A4 enzymes. Ekow Thomford N, Dzobo K, Adu F, Chirikure S, Wonkam A, Dandara C. J Ethnopharmacol. 2018 Jan 30;211:58-69. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2017.09.023. Epub 2017 Sep 21.


South African student protests, 2015 - 2016: The aftermath viewed through Medical Science Honours students at the University of Cape Town. Dandara C, Chimusa ER, Wonkam A.

S Afr Med J. 2017 Aug 25;107(9):12062. doi: 10.7196/SAMJ.2017.v107i9.12714. No abstract available.


CYP2B6 Haplotype Predicts Efavirenz Plasma Concentration in Black South African HIV-1-Infected Children: A Longitudinal Pediatric Pharmacogenomic Study. Reay R, Dandara C, Viljoen M, Rheeders M. OMICS. 2017 Aug;21(8):465-473. doi: 10.1089/omi.2017.0078.


The Role of Tumor Microenvironment in Chemoresistance: To Survive, Keep Your Enemies Closer. Senthebane DA, Rowe A, Thomford NE, Shipanga H, Munro D, Mazeedi MAMA, Almazyadi HAM, Kallmeyer K, Dandara C, Pepper MS, Parker MI, Dzobo K. Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Jul 21;18(7). pii: E1586. doi: 10.3390/ijms18071586. Review.


What was the population of Great Zimbabwe (CE1000 - 1800)? Chirikure S, Moultrie T, Bandama F, Dandara C, Manyanga M. PLoS One. 2017 Jun 14;12(6):e0178335. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0178335. eCollection 2017.


Use of Proviral DNA to Investigate Virus Resistance Mutations in HIV-infected Zimbabweans. Musingwini TV, Zhou DT, Mhandire D, Duri K, Gomo E, Oktedalen O, Chimukangara B, Shamu T, Shawarira-Bote S, Dandara C, Stray-Pedersen B.

Open Microbiol J. 2017 Apr 28;11:45-52. doi: 10.2174/1874285801711010045. eCollection 2017.


Association Between Telomere Length, Chronic Kidney Disease, and Renal Traits: A Systematic Review. Ameh OI, Okpechi IG, Dandara C, Kengne AP. OMICS. 2017 Mar;21(3):143-155. doi: 10.1089/omi.2016.0180. Review.


Disease burden and the role of pharmacogenomics in African populations. Mpye KL, Matimba A, Dzobo K, Chirikure S, Wonkam A, Dandara C. Glob Health Epidemiol Genom. 2017 Feb 3;2:e1. doi: 10.1017/gheg.2016.21. eCollection 2017. Review.


A Genomic and Protein-Protein Interaction Analyses of Nonsyndromic Hearing Impairment in Cameroon Using Targeted Genomic Enrichment and Massively Parallel Sequencing. Lebeko K, Manyisa N, Chimusa ER, Mulder N, Dandara C, Wonkam A. OMICS. 2017 Feb;21(2):90-99. doi: 10.1089/omi.2016.0171. Epub 2017 Jan 11.


Genome-wide association study of nevirapine hypersensitivity in a sub-Saharan African HIV-infected population. Carr DF, Bourgeois S, Chaponda M, Takeshita LY, Morris AP, Castro EM, Alfirevic A, Jones AR, Rigden DJ, Haldenby S, Khoo S, Lalloo DG, Heyderman RS, Dandara C, Kampira E, van Oosterhout JJ, Ssali F, Munderi P, Novelli G, Borgiani P, Nelson MR, Holden A, Deloukas P, Pirmohamed M. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2017 Apr 1;72(4):1152-1162. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkw545.


Cancer Stem Cell Hypothesis for Therapeutic Innovation in Clinical Oncology? Taking the Root Out, Not Chopping the Leaf. Dzobo K, Senthebane DA, Rowe A, Thomford NE, Mwapagha LM, Al-Awwad N, Dandara C, Parker MI. OMICS. 2016 Dec;20(12):681-691.


KIR Gene Content Diversity in a Zimbabwean Population: Does KIR2DL2 Have a Role in Protection Against Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection? Mhandire K, Zijenah LS, Yindom LM, Duri K, Mlambo T, Tshabalala M, Mazengera LR, Mhandire DZ, Musarurwa C, Dandara C, Rowland-Jones S, Matarira HT, Stray-Pedersen B.

OMICS. 2016 Dec;20(12):727-735.


Practical Approach to Biobanking in Zimbabwe: Establishment of an Inclusive Stakeholder Framework. Matimba A, Tybring G, Chitereka J, Zinyama-Gutsire R, Dandara C, Bürén E, Dhoro M, Masimirembwa C. Biopreserv Biobank. 2016 Oct;14(5):440-446. Epub 2016 Apr 15.


Precision Medicine 2.0: The Next Wave of Science. Dandara C, Özdemir V. OMICS. 2016 Oct;20(10):555-556. No abstract available.


Harnessing Knowledge on Very Important Pharmacogenes CYP2C9 and CYP2C19 Variation for Precision Medicine in Resource-Limited Global Conflict Zones. Barlas Ä°Ö, Sezgin O, Dandara C, Türköz G, Yengel E, Cindi Z, Ankaralı H, Şardaş S. OMICS. 2016 Oct;20(10):604-609.


An Expert Review of Pharmacogenomics of Sickle Cell Disease Therapeutics: Not Yet Ready for Global Precision Medicine. Mnika K, Pule GD, Dandara C, Wonkam A. OMICS. 2016 Oct;20(10):565-574. Epub 2016 Sep 16. Review.


African Lettuce (Launaea taraxacifolia) Displays Possible Anticancer Effects and Herb-Drug Interaction Potential by CYP1A2, CYP2C9, and CYP2C19 Inhibition. Thomford NE, Mkhize B, Dzobo K, Mpye K, Rowe A, Parker MI, Wonkam A, Skelton M, September AV, Dandara C. OMICS. 2016 Sep;20(9):528-37. doi: 10.1089/omi.2016.0117.


Pharmacogenomics of Rosuvastatin: A Glocal (Global+Local) African Perspective and Expert Review on a Statin Drug. Soko ND, Masimirembwa C, Dandara C. OMICS. 2016 Sep;20(9):498-509. doi: 10.1089/omi.2016.0114. Review.


Conference Report: First Pharmacogenetics and Precision Medicine Conference in Africa (April 7-9, 2016, Cape Town, South Africa). Dandara C, Suarez-Kurtz G, Aklillu E. OMICS. 2016 Sep;20(9):496-7. doi: 10.1089/omi.2016.0128.


Precision Medicine 2.0: The Rise of Glocal Innovation, Superconnectors, and Design Thinking. Dandara C, Endrenyi L, Kolker E, Hekim N, Steuten LM, Güngör K, Aklillu E, Özdemir V. OMICS. 2016 Sep;20(9):493-5. doi: 10.1089/omi.2016.0129.


Rolling out Efavirenz for HIV Precision Medicine in Africa: Are We Ready for Pharmacovigilance and Tackling Neuropsychiatric Adverse Effects? Masimirembwa C, Dandara C, Leutscher PD. OMICS. 2016 Oct;20(10):575-580. Epub 2016 Sep 14. Review.


Fibroblast-Derived Extracellular Matrix Induces Chondrogenic Differentiation in Human Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal/Stem Cells in Vitro. Dzobo K, Turnley T, Wishart A, Rowe A, Kallmeyer K, van Vollenstee FA, Thomford NE, Dandara C, Chopera D, Pepper MS, Parker MI. Int J Mol Sci. 2016 Aug 3;17(8). pii: E1259. doi: 10.3390/ijms17081259.


In Vitro Reversible and Time-Dependent CYP450 Inhibition Profiles of Medicinal Herbal Plant Extracts Newbouldia laevis and Cassia abbreviata: Implications for Herb-Drug Interactions. Thomford NE, Dzobo K, Chopera D, Wonkam A, Maroyi A, Blackhurst D, Dandara C. Molecules. 2016 Jul 7;21(7). pii: E891. doi: 10.3390/molecules21070891.


Targeted genomic enrichment and massively parallel sequencing identifies novel nonsyndromic hearing impairment pathogenic variants in Cameroonian families.

Lebeko K, Sloan-Heggen CM, Noubiap JJ, Dandara C, Kolbe DL, Ephraim SS, Booth KT, Azaiez H, Santos-Cortez RL, Leal SM, Smith RJ, Wonkam A. Clin Genet. 2016 Sep;90(3):288-90. doi: 10.1111/cge.12799. Epub 2016 Jun 1.