Michael Pepper

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South Africa, like many other developing countries, stands to benefit from novel diagnostics and drugs developed by pharmacogenomics guidance due to high prevalence of disease burden in the region. This includes both communicable (e.g., HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis) and non-communicable (e.g., diabetes and cardiovascular) diseases. For example, although only(More)
The lymphatic system is the primary pathway of metastasis for most human cancers. Recent research efforts in studying lymphangiogenesis have suggested the existence of a relationship between lymphatic vessel density and patient survival. However, current methodology of lymphangiogenesis quantification is still characterised by high intra- and interobserver(More)
Adverse drug reactions and lack of therapeutic efficacy associated with currently prescribed pharmacotherapeutics may be attributed, in part, to inter-individual variability in drug metabolism. Studies on the pharmacogenetics of Cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes offer insight into this variability. The objective of this study was to compare the AmpliChip CYP450(More)
The emergence of genetic engineering at the beginning of the 1970's opened the era of biomedical technologies, which aims to improve human health using genetic manipulation techniques in a clinical context. Gene therapy represents an innovating and appealing strategy for treatment of human diseases, which utilizes vehicles or vectors for delivering(More)
The establishment of a cell therapy programme in South Africa has the potential to contribute to the alleviation of the country’s high disease burden and also to contribute to economic growth. South Africa has various positive attributes that favour the establishment of such a high-profile venture; however, there are also significant obstacles which need to(More)
Adipose derived mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (ASCs) are a heterogeneous population characterized by (a) their ability to adhere to plastic; (b) immunophenotypic expression of certain cell surface markers, while lacking others; and (c) the capacity to differentiate into lineages of mesodermal origin including osteocytes, chondrocytes and adipocytes. The(More)
The tumour microenvironment plays a crucial role in tumour progression and comprises tumour stroma which is made up of different cell types and the extracellular matrix (ECM). Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are part of the tumour stroma and may have conflicting effects on tumour growth. In this study we investigated the effect of Wharton's Jelly-derived(More)
The ability of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) to differentiate into adipocytes provides a cellular model of human origin to study adipogenesis in vitro. One of the major challenges in studying adipogenesis is the lack of tools to identify and monitor the differentiation of various subpopulations within the heterogeneous pool of MSCs. Cluster of(More)
BACKGROUND Contradictory information exists regarding the influence of CYP2D6 polymorphisms on adverse drug reactions (ADRs) (extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS) and weight gain) related to risperidone treatment. This prompted us to evaluate the influence of CYP2D6 genetic variation in a cohort of South African patients who presented with marked movement(More)
There is a large unmet need in South Africa for bone marrow transplantation. Umbilical cord blood (UCB) is an important source of stem cells for the treatment of haematological and non-haematological diseases. Access to the two existing private umbilical cord blood stem cell banks (UCB SCBs) in South Africa is limited to individuals that can afford it,(More)