The Onderstepoort Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, Onderstepoort was formerly known as the Blood Typing Laboratory and changed to DNA typing in 2001. The laboratory is a service-driven and self-funding unit and is run on current and general business principles. It fulfils various roles including an academic support role for postgraduate students interested in applied veterinary genetics, research of genetic diseases in various animals and development of tests and protocols that can be applied in the service division.
The service division consists mainly of a DNA profiling and parentage testing component, forensic DNA testing in animals, testing of specific genetic diseases and traits in animals, genotyping for population analysis and some pathogen testing of equines via the laboratories association with the Equine Research Centre.
The Vision and Mission of the OPVGL:
To provide a DNA typing service that exceeds the requirements of the customer in terms of efficiency and quality, based on veterinary principles and considering the animal and its environment holistically.
To maintain an annual growth rate in terms of services rendered and technical competency that reflects the international developments in the field of veterinary genomic and diagnostic genetics.
To support and promote the welfare and wellbeing of animals by providing a forensic testing service and by research in the area of genetic disease, pathogen detection and population analysis.
To provide an environment in which staff and selected students can develop and use various skills to contribute to the overall objectives of the laboratory and promote the University of Pretoria locally and internationally in the field of applied veterinary genetics .
To contribute to the training of veterinarians in the rapidly expanding science of molecular genetics and provide an up-to-date DNA testing service to the Veterinary Faculty and practicing veterinarians.
UP awarded status as MRC collaborative centre for malaria research - 30/10/2014
The Medical Research Council (MRC) invited higher education institutions, science councils and registered non-profit research organisations in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique to submit applications to become part of their new initiative, MRC Collaborating Centres for Malaria Research. The University of Pretoria’s Centre for Sustainable Malaria Control (UP CSMC) recently received word that their application has been successful. The network of MRC collaborating centres for malaria research will collectively provide a multidisciplinary approach to malaria research; synergise efforts on malaria research to achieve common goals; and facilitate scientific collaboration among malaria researchers in Southern Africa.
Breast cancer is not a death sentence - 29/10/2014
In South Africa, one in 29 women is diagnosed with breast cancer each year. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many do not take the necessary steps to detect the disease in its early stages and to encourage others to do the same. Most of us dread ever hearing the words, “You have cancer”, because this disease is sure to have a significant impact on all areas of a person’s life. Ms Jonita van Wyk, who graduated earlier this year with a master’s degree in Social Work (Health Care) in the Department of Social Work and Criminology at the University of Pretoria (UP), conducted research on the social functioning of women with breast cancer, under the supervision of Dr Charlene Carbonatto.
UP’s Exceptional Young Researcher of 2014 delivers findings to an international audience - 23/10/2014
Prof Darryn Knobel is providing great insight into the control and foreseeable elimination of rabies. He recently presented his work at the 39th World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Congress held in Cape Town. Prof Knobel leads UP’s Faculty of Veterinary Science’s research group on dog population ecology and rabies epidemiology, which studies the ecology of owned, free-roaming dog populations in resource-constrained communities, particularly at wildlife interfaces. The group's aim is to better understand the interactions between dog population dynamics and rabies control, as well as other aspects of dog health and welfare.