Prof Olihile Sebolai
Microbiology and Biochemistry
IB 61
Microbiology & Biochemistry

Short CV

I obtained my PhD degree in Microbiology from the University of the Free State. The PhD focused on bioprospecting for the presence of 3-hydroxy fatty acids in the yeast genus Cryptococcus and was done with Professor Lodewyk Kock.

In 2010, I was appointed as a lecturer and principal investigator in the department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology, University of the Free State. Recognising my potential, I was selected as a Vice-Chancellors’ Prestige Scholar, an opportunity that allowed me to undertake a research visit to the laboratory of Robin May at the University of Birmingham, UK. I also secured funding from the Fulbright programme to undertake another research visit to the laboratory of Alex Idnurm at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (now at the University of Melbourne).

I lead a research laboratory in the department where I host and supervise honours, masters, doctoral and postdoctoral students.



Updated publication list at 

Publications (Short List)


L.U. Madu, O.M. Sebolai (2019). Complementary Use of Microscopic Techniques and Fluorescence Reading in Studying Cryptococcus-Amoeba Interactions. Journal of Visualized Experiments, In press. Corresponding author. IF = 1.3. 

A.O. Ogundeji, B.F. Porotloane, C.H. Pohl, P.S. Kendrekar, O.M. Sebolai (2018). Copper acyl salicylate has potential as an anti-Cryptococcus anti-fungal agent. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 62, e02345-17. Corresponding author. IF = 4.6.

L.M. Du Plooy, J. Albertyn, C.H. Pohl, O.M. Sebolai (2018). Functional characterization of cryptococcal genes: then and now. Frontiers      in Microbiology 9, Article no. 2263. Co-author. IF = 4.2.

U.L. Madu, A.O. Ogundeji, C.H. Pohl, J. Albertyn, O.M. Sebolai (2017). Elucidation of the role of 3-hydroxy fatty acids in Cryptococcus-amoeba interactions. Frontiers in Microbiology 8, Article no. 765. Corresponding author. IF = 4.2.

A.O. Ogundeji, C.H. Pohl, O.M. Sebolai (2017). The repurposing of anti-psychotic drugs, quetiapine and olanzapine, as anti-Cryptococcus drugs. Frontiers in Microbiology 8, Article no. 815. Corresponding author. IF = 4.2.

R. Fourie, R. Ells, G. Kemp, O.M. Sebolai, J. Albertyn, C.H. Pohl (2017). Pseudomonas aeruginosa produces aspirin insensitive eicosanoids and contributes to the eicosanoid profile of polymicrobial biofilms with Candida albicans. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids 117, 36-46. Co-author. IF = 3.1.


Books and chapters:

O.M. Sebolai, A.O. Ogundeji (2015). New antifungal discovery from existing chemical compound collections. In: Antifungals: from genomics to resistance and the development of novel agents, A. Coste and P. Vandeputte, eds. Horizon Scientific Press: United Kingdom, pp. 143-158. ISBN: 978-1-910190-01-2.



Area(s) of Interest

My research centres on human microbial infections, with a special interest in the role of microbial lipids in pathogenesis and microbial growth control strategies via identifying novel drug targets, including the re-purposing or re-positioning of medicines that are typically used to treat non-infectious conditions as antimicrobial drugs.

I am always interested in hearing from potential students who may wish to join the laboratory.

Courses Presented

Undergraduate level:

1. Third-year microbiology module, i.e., MCBE3714; Microbial ecology and environmental microbiology


Postgraduate level:

1. A component of Hons techniques module, i.e., BOCT 6804 / MCBT 6804; Microscopy section

2. Hons microbiology module, i.e., MCBP6804; Applied microbial physiology



Elfrieda van den Berg (Marketing Manager)
T: +27 51 401 2531


Dilahlwane Mohono (Faculty Officer)
T: +27 58 718 5284

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