Centre for Proteomic & Genomic Research: World Class Biotech Made in Africa


Reinhard Hiller and Judit Kumuthini

Institute for Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health Science, UCT

Anzio Road, Observatory, South Africa

The Centre for Proteomic and Genomic Research (CPGR) was created in 2006 as part of a government initiative to provide scientists in South Africa with state-of-the-art analytical services, technical expertise, project support and collaborative research capabilities in the genomics and proteomics arena. The organization has a particular interest in translational research and advancing scientific findings from the bench to the market, including a focus on tackling pressing health needs in Africa as well as on improving crops and livestock. The integrated core technology facility was founded as a not-for-profit organization through a grant provided by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) by way of its investment vehicles the Cape Biotech Trust (CBT) and PlantBio (PB).

The CPGR started operations in October 2006 with a vision of establishing a modern, world-class research facility that serves the needs of the scientific community in South Africa by providing state-of-the-art services, technical expertise and collaborative research capabilities in the high throughput genomics and proteomics sectors. More specifically, the CPGR’s mission is:

  • To facilitate high quality science in the fields of genomics and proteomics in South Africa through collaborative research initiatives with academia & industry;
  • To enable growth of existing southern African biotech companies into new areas of commercial opportunity through provision of high-quality value-adding services;
  • To stimulate new biotech activity through conversion of cutting-edge research into novel intellectual property and new products;
  • To create new commercial ventures by translating available opportunity, expertise and activity into spin-offs or stand-alone companies in the areas of molecular diagnostics, biomarker discovery, bio-prospecting, animal health and plant genetics, amongst others; and
  • To increase the knowledge-base and the number of suitably trained graduate, postgraduate and postdoctoral scientists in the biotech sector.

Becoming an associated node partnership status at EMBnet falls neatly under our mandate as a platform that provides specialist support and services to the academic community in (South) Africa. With the recent addition of a strong Bioinformatics unit to our state-of-the-art Genomics & Proteomics organization, we have created a leading one-stop-shop core facility that has the capacity to support numerous scientific projects and partners, locally and internationally.


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