Biochemistry
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Van Niekerk Group

​​​​​​​GROUP LEADER: Dr Dawie van Niekerk

Position: Lecturer

Office:      A116 JC Smuts Building

Phone:    +27-(0)21-808-5842

Fax:        +27-(0)21-808-5863

Email:     ddvniekerk@sun.ac.za

Educational and Professional Background​

PhD, Theoretical Nuclear Physics, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, 2010

Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Biochemistry, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, 2011-2012

Lecturer, Department of Biochemistry, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, 2013-

Research Emphasis

Mathematical and Computational Systems Biology, Dynamical Systems, Pharmacometrics

Research Summary

Successful treatment of malaria and HIV/AIDS, and combatting side effects of the relevant drugs are of major importance to the African continent. Increasingly, mathematical modelling is used to identify drug targets in molecular pathways, analyse drug effects on the level of the patient physiology and treatment interventions on the level of populations. Traditional modelling approaches have been disjointed with approximations used for the missing detail. This has limited achievements at every level since the description of the disease, its epidemiology and how it responds to drugs has been incomplete.

Our work focusses on constructing unified frameworks for analyses of pharmacological effects of drugs and disease response in patients and populations. This is accomplished by combining detailed mechanistic mathematical models of metabolism and signal transduction with statistical and phenomenological models of disease, pharmacology and epidemiology. As such it involves combining work from a variety of fields in health and life sciences and applying mathematical, computational and experimental techniques to construct the formalism, to code, simulate and analyse the models, and to do additional biochemical characterisation of the relevant metabolic pathways.

​Publications

​​Google Scholar publications list​