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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

The Department of Music: A free lunch hour concert with Brian Hogg
2009-07-31

The Department of Music invites you to a free lunch hour concert with international jazz saxophone star, Brian Hogg on Thursday, 6 August 2009 at 13:00 in the Odeion Amphitheatre.

For the past two weeks Brian has been giving master classes to the students as well as the UFS Big Band at the Department of Music.

Brian is associate professor in Jazz at the North Kentucky University, Carolina. He is an inspiring and dynamic world class Jazz musician who gives between 200 and 300 concerts a year and who has already performed and recorded with several renowned Jazz musicians. Brian will perform with, amongst others, Noël Stockton, the rhythm section of the UFS Big Band as well as with the complete UFS Big Band. It will be an unbelievable experience to see a concert with one of the top international Jazz musicians for free!

Admission is free. Contact Ms Ninette Pretorius or Mr Paul Loeb van Zuilenburg at x2504 or 084 208 6724 for enquiries.
 

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