Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2019 2020
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

Kovsie students selected for prestigious study travel programme
2013-05-15

 

Golden Key International Honour Society members, Michael van Niekerk, Siobhan Canavan, Mpoi Makhetha and Cebolenkosi Sokhela, will travel to the USA and China, meeting the best in their career fields.
Photo: Hannes Pieterse
15 May 2013


They are amongst the top 15 percent of academic achievers at the university, and have been afforded the opportunity to travel abroad and meet with leading people in their fields of study.

Kovsie students Michael van Niekerk, Siobhan Canavan, Mpoi Makhetha and Cebolenkosi Sokhela, all members of the Golden Key International Honour Society, will travel to the USA and China. This trip is part of the International Scholar Laureate Program (ISLP) to learn how their career fields are practiced in another part of the world. The students are part of a select group of outstanding university students from across the world who will be given access to people, places and global perspectives in fields such as business, engineering, medicine, nursing, diplomacy and international relations.

Michael, a fourth-year MBChB student and SRC member of our Bloemfontein Campus, and Cebolenkosi, a third-year BSc Microbiology student will visit Washington, Philadelphia and New York in the USA. As part of the medicine delegation of the programme, they will visit clinics and hospitals to see how their study fields are practiced. Michael’s trip includes a visit to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he will meet representatives of the National Institute of Health, the largest source of funding for medical research in the world. He will also visit Harvard University in Massachusetts.

Mpoi, a third-year BSc Human Molecular Biology student, also forms part of the medicine delegation but will travel to China. "We will be exploring the ancient ways of healing versus the modern medical practices, exploring the medical systems of the country and meeting doctors and professors, visiting the rural areas, and of course, touring the best parts of China,” she said.

Siobhan, a third-year Media Studies and Journalism student, is part of the diplomacy and international relations delegation who will visit Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai in China. "To me it's such an honour to be part of this programme,” she said. “It will give me the platform to not only represent who I am, but also my university and the values that the university has instilled in me. It allows me to be a part of something great that will benefit me in the end."

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