Prof Henk Huismans obtained his Honours and Masters Degree at the University of Stellenbosch. He later received his PhD at the University of Pretoria. He is currently a senior research fellow in the department of Genetics at the University of Pretoria.
He is interested in the molecular biology of double stranded RNA viruses and more specifically African horse sickness virus. His research is focused on determining the role that the different proteins play in the structure and replication of the virus and include:
- The identification of the major immunological determinants of the protein on the surface of the virus particle.
- The development of the major core protein of the virus as an epitope display vehicle.
- Investigation of the function and possible epidemiological role of the non-structural proteins of the virus.
- Enzymatic function of some of the minor viral proteins. These proteins are involved in the synthesis and modification of viral messenger RNAs and they play a very important role in viral replication. One of these proteins binds both double and single stranded RNA.