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14 May 2019 | Story Thabo Kessah | Photo Tsepo Moeketsi
Prof Ashafa
Prof Ashafa’s research documents plants used by the Basotho in the management of different ailments.

The Phytomedicine and Phytopharmacology Research Programme (PPRP) in the Department of Plant Sciences on the Qwaqwa Campus researches the biological effects of medicinal plants used in the folkloric medicine of the Eastern Free State, particularly to explore the values and contribution of indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) towards broader scientific research. This is according to the programme’s principal investigator and researcher, NRF C2-rated researcher, Professor Anofi Ashafa. 

 “Our research is mainly aimed at documenting plants used by the Basotho in the management of different ailments and to further discover, isolate, and purify active phytoconstituents that are responsible for disease curation or amelioration, thereby assisting in the global promotion of accessible and affordable medication in developing countries,” said Prof Ashafa. 

Since 2012, the PPRP has worked extensively on Basotho medicinal plants (BMP) used as antimicrobials, antioxidants, antidiabetics, antitubercular, anticancer, anthelmintic, and antidiarrheal agents, starting from biological activities up to the  evaluation of the toxicity of these plants for the kidney, liver, and heart functions in order to establish safe dosage parameters. These activities have led to the discovery of four potent antidiabetic biomolecules that are awaiting the processes of patency and commercialisation. Additional outputs include 104 published peer-reviewed articles , 7 postdoctoral fellows, 6 PhDs, 9 master’s, and 16 honours graduates. 

“Our research informs teaching and the development of expertise in ethnobotany, 
phytomedicine, and phytopharmacology in order to contribute to the National Development Plan (NDP) through human capacity development, skills, and knowledge transfer.

The group is also investigating some medicinal plants on the endangered red list of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), through micropropagation and field trials as well as proposing conservation strategies to preserve these valuable species.

The PPRP consists of postdoctoral fellows, PhD, master’s, and honours students and research is done in collaboration with several local and international universities as well as the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa. 


News Archive

Prof Lis Lange appointed as Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning at UCT
2017-12-11


 Description: Prof Lis Lange appointed as Deputy Vice-Chancellor UCT Tags: Prof Lis Lange appointed as Deputy Vice-Chancellor UCT 

Prof Lis Lange, Vice-Rector: Academic at the UFS. 
Photo: Stephen Collet 

Prof Lis Lange, Vice-Rector: Academic at the University of the Free State (UFS), has been appointed as Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning at the University of Cape Town (UCT) as from 1 February 2018.

Significant contribution at the UFS 

"Prof Lange has played a significant role in developing and transforming the academic profile of the university. She has done outstanding work, inter alia, in developing a robust framework for academic planning; assisting with developing the Integrated Transformation Plan (ITP) which was recently approved by the UFS Council, as well as the newly approved Strategic Plan of the UFS for 2018-2023; driving the work of some of the Vice-Chancellor’s Task Teams; and various other strategic projects," says Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS.

Portfolio at UCT

"On behalf of the executive management, I wish her all success in the new portfolio. She brings to her new portfolio at UCT a wealth of experience in the higher-education sector. Prof Lange is a well-known specialist in South African higher education and has made an important contribution to the study of systemic and institutional transformation, academic freedom, and curriculum," says Prof Petersen.

Prof Lange's portfolio at UCT will entail developing, implementing, and monitoring programmes and progress towards the teaching and learning goals of UCT's strategic plan; promoting the use of technology in education and the advancement of online learning; oversight of academic planning, quality assurance, and quality promotion through the Department of Institutional Planning, as well as having oversight over the six faculties at UCT.

Prof Hendri Kroukamp, Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, will be acting Vice-Rector: Academic as from 1 February 2018 until a suitable appointment is made.

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