n South African Medical Journal - A true mentor and pioneer in medical genetics : legacy

Supplement 1
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



I still remember very vividly the first lecture that I ever heard from Prof. Peter Beighton. This was shortly after he arrived in Cape Town in 1972. Were it not for Peter, I do not think that I would ever have entered the field of human genetics. With his enthusiasm and brilliant presentation, and the capability of evoking excitement and dreams, Peter Beighton inspired me. Shortly after I had heard that lecture, I presented myself at the Department of Human Genetics, which was newly established and the first in Africa. I asked him whether I could participate in any research projects. I was particularly drawn to his research projects, as it appeared that they opened up new possibilities for understanding biology in different populations, which might have relevance for the general population. Peter's stories of his hiking through the Sahara Desert with the Tuareg, and his stories from different populations in Africa, inspired me and elucidated for me for the first time the power of studying rare families and their ability to inform general rules of biology.

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