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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

Avant-garde filmmaker. Renowned feminist scholar. Revolutionary Prof Laura Mulvey.
2014-06-27

Prof Laura Mulvey – currently a professor at Film and Media Studies at Birkbeck, University of London, is about to visit the Bloemfontein Campus. As a tribute to her achievements, the UFS is bestowing an Honorary Doctorate on her during our Winter Graduation Ceremony. In addition, two events are scheduled during which the public can get to know Prof Mulvey and her films better.

Prof Mulvey is a hugely influential figure in the international arena of film and visual media. She is globally recognised as an eminent feminist film scholar and worked at the British Film Institute for many years. During the 1970s and ‘80s she exploded onto the scene as a prominent avant-garde filmmaker.

During her visit, she will discuss a film with Prof Annie van den Oever (University of Groningen) and some of her most renowned film material will also be screened.

Under the Skin of the City (Iran, 2001), directed by Rakhshan Bani-E'temad, will be screened in full on Thursday 3 July 2014. The film centres on the trials and tribulations faced by an Iranian family. This award-winning film will resonate with a South African audience because of the social issues it addresses. Prof Mulvey and Prof Van den Oever will also discuss the film afterwards.

On Saturday 5 July 2014, Prof Van den Oever and Prof Mulvey will have another discussion and the audience will be treated to snippets from her prominent films.

The details of these events are:

Date: Thursday 3 July 2014
Time: 16:00 – 18:15
Venue: CR Swart Auditorium, Bloemfontein Campus
RSVP: Elouise Johnsen, JohnsenE@ufs.ac.za, +27(0)51 401 2315 (mornings).
Refreshments will be served.

Date: Saturday 5 July 2014
Time: 17:30 – 19:30
Venue: CR Swart Auditorium, Bloemfontein Campus
RSVP: Elouise Johnsen, JohnsenE@ufs.ac.za, 27(0)51 401 2315 (mornings).
Refreshments will be served.

 

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