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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

Prof. Jonathan Jansen to receive lifetime achievement award
2012-03-23

 

Prof. Jonathan Jansen
23 March 2012



The University of the Free State (UFS) is proud to announce the nomination of its Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Jonathan Jansen, for a Lifetime Achievement Award for Africa. The nomination by Education Africa is for his work, vision and achievements in higher education.
 
The past awardees are Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Sir Bob Geldof, Sir Richard Branson and David Dinkins, former mayor of New York City.
 
Education Africa is a non-profit organisation which assists disadvantaged South Africans to obtain a quality, relevant education. Prof. Jansen will receive the award during a Gala Awards dinner in New York, USA, in October this year.
 
Following on his successful book "We need to talk", Prof. Jansen also recently released a new book entitled "Letters to my children: Tweets to make you think". 
 
The royalties of "We need to talk", to the value of R100 000 will be handed over to the No Student Hungry Campaign of the UFS during a Dinner Launch of the campaign in Bloemfontein tonight.  
 
Prof. Jansen also recently received the Paul Harris Award from the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International for “tangible and significant assistance for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world.”

Media Release
23 March 2012
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: +27(0)51 401 2584
Cell: +27(0)83 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za

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