Department of Genetics
What is Genetics?
Genetics deals with the molecular structure and function of genes, gene behaviour in the context of a cell or organism (e.g. dominance and epigenetics), patterns of inheritance from parent to offspring, and gene distribution, variation and change in populations, such as through Genome-Wide Association Studies. Given that genes are universal to living organisms, genetics can be applied to the study of all living systems, from viruses and bacteria, through plants and domestic animals, to humans.
The history of the Department of Genetics can be traced back to 1898, when the Stellenbosch College of Agriculture was founded on the outskirts of the village of Stellenbosch, but officially it originated in 1925 from the Department of Agricultural Botany in the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences. Today the Department represents an interdisciplinary group of researchers and postgraduate students who focus on research opportunities in plant, animal and human genetics.
The mission of the Department is to cultivate an environment in which Genetics as core science can serve as basis for the creative development of human resources to benefit the individual, the broader society, as well as the environment as a whole. To achieve this, the Department aims to deliver quality research, creative teaching and outstanding and responsible service delivery to the community and environment.