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2019
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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

Main Entrance at our Bloemfontein Campus now officially open
2011-08-12

 

Kovsies architectural student, Michael Cronjé, at the Main Entrance of our university. Cronjé came up with the design for the Main Entrance.
Photo: Rian Horn

Vice-Chancellor and Rector of our university, Prof. Jonathan Jansen, said the new Main Entrance is a proud legacy to the university.

This colourful Main Entrance was officially opened by the Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof. Jonathan Jansen,  on 8 August 2011 after construction had started earlier this year.

Prof. Jansen told the small group of people who attended the event that the gate symbolised a university where things were happening, a university which was transforming academically. It also symbolises the brand of the university that was launched earlier this year.

Prof. Jansen praised Kovsies architectural student, Michael Cronjé, who proposed the design for the Main Entrance. He told the fourth-year student that his children would be proud of his legacy to the university one day.

Cronjé designed the Main Entrance in his third year of study as part of a class competition. The architectural student’s design was developed further by The Roodt Partnership architectural firm. Cronjé says that his design with seven colourful columns symbolises the seven faculties of the university.

 

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