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

Our Abe Bailey scholars are packing for the UK
2011-08-16

 

Nida Jooste and Ryan Lamb
Photo: Earl Coetzee

Academic excellence and strong leadership has become synonymous with our university, as our two Rhodes scholars for 2011, and the recent announcement of our two Abe Bailey scholars from the UFS have shown.

Nida Jooste and Ryan Lamb are two of the proud recipients of Abe Bailey Travel Bursaries and will be heading off to the United Kingdom on 26 August 2011, to visit several universities in England and Scotland. These two were chosen from hundreds of UFS applicants and will join Abe Bailey bursary holders from the rest of the country.

Both students are academic achievers, but also excel in other fields. This is what set them apart from the rest of the applicants for the bursaries.

Ryan (23), a Medical Physics honours student at our Faculty of Health Sciences, received the Senate Medal for the best bachelor’s degree student at the UFS. He was one of a hundred students at the Brightest Young Minds Summit this year and was one of the 2008 delegates to the World Youth Forum, hosted by the International Association for Poetry and Solidarity in Italy.

This young man is the founder of a group called Poets Anonymous, which provides a platform where poets, artists and dancers in Bloemfontein can express themselves.

Nida (21) is a very familiar face on our Bloemfontein Campus, as she served as the Deputy Chairperson of the Interim Student Council for the past year.

This fourth-year LL.B. student says she has known about the Abe Bailey bursary since her first year, but had to wait to apply, since the scholarship is only open to final-year students and junior lecturers. She applied last year, but did not even make it to the short list for candidates.

“I realise now that I was not involved enough then. Luckily I became much more involved in campus activities during the past year and also improved my academic performance greatly,” she says.

Nida and Ryan both hope to use the opportunity to learn new approaches to solving problems. Ryan says he is looking forward to the opportunity to network with other bursary holders and to share experiences with them, before returning to the UFS to implement what he had learned.

Nida says she also hopes to see how universities in First-World Countries operate, in order to apply that knowledge when she returns to the UFS.

 

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful, to better understand how they are used and to tailor advertising. You can read more and make your cookie choices here. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept