Get to know some of the researchers at the University of the Free State whose work is inspiring excellence and transforming lives globally.

In addition to the experts listed below, the UFS also boasts a unique research centre: The International Studies Group (ISG), which comprises  a wide network of postgraduate researchers each with their own specialist field.

To arrange an interview with any of our experts, please contact our media office at

Prof Motlalepula Matsabisa
Area of expertise: Indigenous Knowledge Systems
Faculty/Department: Health Sciences

Prof Motlalepula Matsabisa holds a PhD in Pharmacology (UCT) and his areas of specialisation are in Pharmacology and Pharmacology of Traditional Medicines, in Drug Discovery and Development, the formulation research of traditional medicinal products to proprietary finished final products. The research encompasses all value chains of new drug research, basic science research, discovery, development, pharmaceutical research to clinical trials.
The focus of his research work is on discovery and development of new drugs and medicines based on traditional and herbal African medicines. The research entails looking at the safety, efficacy and quality of traditional medicines for select diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer, malaria and neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer disease.  The research entails working fairly and meaningfully with communities on their use of herbal medicines for self-medication and self-treatment on certain diseases and in their research conduct controlled scientific research to confirm or dispute the anecdotal claims made on these traditional medicines.  The research is to inform the public on the potential benefits and risks of use and consumption of traditional medicines and economic potential of Indigenous knowledge Systems (IKS) for health.

Prof Matsabisa says their research contributes to current government policies and initiatives and working very closely with National department of Health (DoH), Science and Technology (DST) and Environmental Affairs (DEA) and contribute to statutory bodies such as South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) in medicines regulation and the South African Traditional Health Practitioners Council (iTHPCSA).  

Prof Matsabisa’s research addresses societal, policy to industry needs and impacts. The research is needs driven and societal impact focussed.  They research include commercialization of the research findings and technologies developed.  The research addresses local and continental issues and problems while maintaining global perspectives.
Prof Matsabisa has a passion for science research teaching and training of students, scientists and community development.  His research aims to develop local talent, develop best practice research and science research contribution to formal economies through business development around drug discovery and development.

Contact Details:
Telephone:  +27 51 401 7452


Find an expert

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.