Rob obtained a PhD degree in Biochemistry from the University of Cape Town in 1995 and subsequently joined the Department of Medical Biochemistry, Stellenbosch University (SU). He was appointed as Professor in the Division of Molecular Biology in 2015 and subsequently a distinguished Professor. Under his guidance the study of the molecular epidemiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in a high incidence setting (Cape Town, South Africa) was brought to the forefront of international tuberculosis research. This study now represents the largest molecular epidemiological data set in the developing world and has been referred to as a national heritage. Much of this work has provided new understanding, which has allowed long standing dogmas to be challenged. He has published more than 230 papers in international peer reviewed journals in the fields of molecular epidemiology, drug resistance and bacterial evolution since 1996. These studies have given me excellent experience in managing grant-related outputs and established infrastructure for conduct of ongoing research. In January 2017, He was appointed at the Unit director for the South African Medical Research flagship Centre for Tuberculosis which is housed within the Division.
His current research focuses on:
- the disease dynamics of drug sensitive and M(X)DR-TB in the Western Cape,
- the development of novel diagnostics which are applicable to the developing world,
- discovery of the mechanisms whereby drug resistance develops,
- speciation of mycobacteria causing disease in humans and animals,
- application of novel methods to improve the speed of diagnosing smear positive disease,
- host-pathogen compatibility,
- identification of highly pathogenic strains of M. tuberculosis,
- pathogen evolution and
- mycobacterial epigenetics.
He co-developed a whole genome sequence analysis group with the aim to enhance the resolution of molecular epidemiological interpretation to impact on treatment and policy.
Prof. Robin Warren
Stellenbosch University, South Africa