Ambroise Wonkam

Ambroise Wonkam, M.D., D.Med.Sci, Ph.D.

Professor of Medical Genetics, Director of GeneMAP and Deputy Dean of ResearchUniversity of Cape Town

Professor Ambroise Wonkam is a Professor of medical genetics, Director of GeneMAP (Genetic Medicine of African Populations), and Deputy Dean Research at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa.

After a MD training from the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaoundé I (Cameroon), he completed a thesis in Cell Biology in the department of Morphology, University of Geneva (Switzerland) and a PhD in Human Genetics (University of Cape Town, South Africa).  Other salient aspects of Prof Wonkam’s background include his education as a medical geneticist at a highly reputable genetics department in Geneva (Switzerland). He subsequently practices medical genetics in both European and African contexts.

His research interests are reflected in more than 130 peer-reviewed publications, which are in molecular, clinical, educational and ethical aspects of medical and human genetics. His research focuses on 1) Psychosocial Burden and Genomics modifiers of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD); 2) Genetics of hearing loss, and 3) Ethical and educational Issues in human genetics in Africa.

Prof Wonkam has let successfully over the past 5 years an NIH/NHGRI funded SCD project, and as Co-applicant, a Wellcome Trust - DELTAS grant to develop capacity in human Genetic on the African continent. He has recently been granted from NIH/NHLBI 3.7m USD, to establish a Sickle Africa Data Coordinating Centre (SADaCC), to develop various studies in Tanzania, Nigeria and Ghana. In addition under the new round of the H3Africa Consortium, he was Awarded 3 grants to support the Hearing impairment Genetic Studies in Africa (HI Genes Africa) from the NIH/NHGRI (1.25mUSD) and the AESA/Wellcome Trust (2.07mUSD); and another collaborative center grant from the NIH/NHGRI (2.5mUSD) to support the study of Incidental Findings in Genetic Research in Africa (IFGENERA).

He was awarded the 2003 Denber-Pinard Prize for the best thesis from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Switzerland, and won the very competitive Clinical Genetics Society International Award for 2014, from the British Society of Genetic Medicine.

Professor Wonkam is associate Editor of both the American Journal of Medical Genetics, the Journal of Community Genetics, and Academic Editor of Plos One.

Professor Wonkam is president of the African Society of Human Genetics, member of the steering committee of H3Africa consortium, Board member of the International Federation of Human Genetics Societies, council member of Human Genome Organization, steering committee’s member of the Global Genetic Medicine Collaborative (G2MC).