Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2019
Previous Archive
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

UFS supports SAASTA in science initiative
2010-08-27

Romeo Motsie, Michelle Baadjies, Puleng Phalole and Thato Ntsebeng from the winning school, Unicom Primary School (Tweespruit) with Susan Usher, their teacher.

The National Astronomy Quiz for Grade 7 learners was recently hosted at the Boyden Science Centre, which is managed by the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Department of Physics. It was also Boyden and the UFS’s Department of Physics that coordinated the Free State leg of the competition. The Free State Department of Education was also on board to ensure smooth arrangements for the preliminary, as well as the first two official rounds of the competition.

The competition is hosted by the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA), an agency of the National Research Foundation (NRF).

Ninety schools from all over the Free State took part in the first official round. Eighteen schools qualified for the second round, once again with a balanced geographic coverage of the province.

During the second round, eight schools made it to the third round. Two of these schools were from Bloemfontein and the other six from other towns and rural areas in the Free State.

The third round and provincial finals took place at the Boyden Science Centre. The schools qualifying for the final round were Hennenman Primary School, Unicom Primary School (Tweespruit), Voorwaarts Primary School (Kroonstad) and Fichardt Park Primary School (Bloemfontein).

As a pleasant surprise, Unicom Primary School, a less well-known school from a smaller town, won the Free State finals. It was the first time this had happened since the inception of the competition.
 

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.

Accept