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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

Inaugural lecture focuses on spinal surgery
2005-07-25

  
 
Prof John Shipley, from the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of the Free State (UFS), will deliver his inaugural lecture on Wednesday 27 July 2005 at 19:00 in the CR Swart Auditorium on campus.  

The topic of the lecture is The intervertebral disc:  Past, present and future. 

Prof Shipley studied medicine at the University of Cape Town.  He specialised in Orthopaedic Surgery at the UFS, qualifying in 1981.  He remained in the Department as a Consultant and was appointed Associate Professor in 1992.  Following a period of private practice in Bloemfontein, he was appointed Head of the Department of Orthopaedics in 2004.

He has specialised in spinal surgery and was chairman of the SA Spine Society in 1993 and 1998.  He serves on the Executive Committee of the SA Orthopaedic Association and the College of Surgeons of SA.  He was the South African ABC Traveling Fellow to North America in 1986 and has been the main author of two international and eight local publications and two textbook chapters.  He has delivered 28 presentations at congresses.

For any enquiries, please contact Ms Joan Nel at (051) 401-9301.

Media release

Issued by:  Lacea Loader
   Media Representative
   Tel:  (051) 401-2584
   Cell:  083 645 2454
   E-mail:  loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za

25 July 2005
 

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