Francois H van der Westhuizen

Van der Westhuizen
Professor of Biochemistry and Deputy Director: School of Physical and Chemical Sciences
Prof Francois H van der Westhuizen

After starting my research career in 1993 on the enzymology of inherited metabolic diseases, my focus narrowed after completion of a PhD to mitochondrial disease. After completed a postdoctoral fellowship in 2001 at the Nijmegen Centre for Mitochondrial Disorders in The Netherlands, I established - along with Prof Roan Louw - the Mitochondria Research Laboratory in 2002. The laboratory has developed into a recognized research and diagnostic facility to study mitochondrial function and disease. The current focus of the group is on metabolomics, molecular genetics and cell biology using various in vitro and in vivo disease models. In these studies we apply both basic and cutting-edge technologies to investigate mitochondrial disease in a developing world context. We are also investigating the involvement of mitochondrial dysfunction and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation in several non-communicable diseases. The group’s research has benefitted greatly from several long-standing national and international collaborations, notably with recent participation in the International Centre for Genomic Medicine in Neuromuscular Disease – a global research network between the UK, South Africa, Brazil, India, Turkey and Zambia; and as a member of the Diagnostics Scientific Committee of the International Rare Diseases Research Consortium (IRDiRC).     

Physical Address

Potchefstroom campus, building G6, Room 112.

Telephone Number
018 299 2318
Cellphone Number
079 8878034