Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Academic awarded CSUR grant

RECOGNITION: Dr Stanton Hector RECOGNITION: Dr Stanton Hector

Growing up Dr Stanton Hector showed a passion for science and loved growing plants from seeds.

His inquisitive nature led him to pursue his undergraduate studies in biochemistry and microbiology at UWC before moving to Stellenbosch University where he completed his Honours and Master’s degrees and eventually a PhD in biotechnology.

His passion has now landed him a National Research Foundation Competitive Support for Unrated Researchers grant.

Hector said the grant was awarded for research he’s been working on in CPUT’s Biomedical Sciences department, in conjunction with Prof Tandi Matsha, and was mainly focused on diabetes.

He explained that for many newly diagnosed diabetics the first line of treatment was the medication Metformin.

“Different people react differently to medications because of their genetics. Some metabolise certain medications faster than others and this is reliant on genetic factors. A lot of work has been done on specific mutations in the genes that are responsible for the way Metformin is metabolised. What we wanted to look at is what happens at epigenetic level, said Hector.

“We know than Metformin, in addition to being able to treat diabetes, has effects on the levels of methylation of DNA. So we are looking at the specific DNA methylation changes in the genes that transport Metformin and how the levels of methylation effect on the switching on and switching off of those genes.”

Hector is a senior lecturer in the Biomedical Sciences Department.

Written by Ilse Fredericks

Email: Frederickskennediji@cput.ac.za

Provides coverage for the Health and Wellness Sciences and Informatics and Design Faculties.