Prof Monique Zaahl was a recipient of a Commonwealth Split-site scholarship (2001) and completed part of her PhD degree at Oxford University, UK. She obtained her PhD degree in Human Genetics from Stellenbosch University in 2003, became senior lecturer in 2006 and was promoted to associate professor in 2009.
She has been involved in various research projects investigating the possible underlying genetic cause of diseases and is currently investigating genes involved in iron homeostasis/metabolism in hereditary haemochromatosis, primary iron overload and oesophageal cancer. These are common illnesses which impact heavily on general health and health resources.
She has published 20 research articles in international peer-reviewed journals (8 first author publications and 9 co-author publications), one book chapter and a review article in the field of human genetics and has trained numerous postgraduate students (18 HonsBSc, 10 MSc and 4 PhD).
Prof Zaahl was also the recipient of the 2006 South African National Research Foundation “Women in Science” award, in the category “Best emerging young scientist”, the South African representative at the International Council of Science (ICSU) meeting in April 2007, awarded the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) awards, category: Young Black Researcher, in 2009, winner of the National Order: Order of Mapungumbwe: Bronze (awarded by the president of South Africa, President Jacob Zuma) in 2010; and International Golden Key Honorary Member award in August 2010
Prof Zaahl is a very active member of the human genetics research community locally and abroad and is a frequent participant at national and international conferences and workshops.