Michael Pepper is Director of the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Director the SAMRC Extramural Unit for Stem Cell Research and Therapy as well as a Research Professor in the Department of Immunology in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Pretoria. He is professeur associé in the Department of Genetic Medicine and Development in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. He obtained his MBChB in 1982 from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Cape Town, and moved to Geneva in 1986, where he obtained his PhD in 1990 and MD in 1992. In 1997 he obtained his Privat Docent conferred on him in Geneva. He returned to South Africa in July 2004.
Michael has worked extensively in the field of clinically-oriented (translational) molecular cell biology, and his current interests include stem cells and the human genome and the ethical, legal and social implications of work in thee fields. He is co-responsible for the Southern African Human Genome Programme which was launched in January 2011. Michael leads a team which assists the National Department of Health with legislation concerning human tissues. He previously chaired a consensus study for the Academy of Science of South Africa on the ethical, legal and social implications of genetics and genomics in South Africa, and is currently the chair of a similar study on gene therapy, including gene editing. Michael is president and chairman of the board of the South African Tissue Bank Association. He was previously a member of the National Advisory Committee on Innovation which advises the Minister of Science and Technology.
Michael has > 280 medical and scientific publications with an H-index of 71/80 (Scopus/Google Scholar), and has received a number of awards for his research. He has been extensively involved in teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and is frequently solicited as a speaker at local and international meetings. He interacts regularly with the media and writes for the lay press on medical and scientific matters.
Academy of Science of South Africa