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

UFS academic appointed to prestigious academy (ASSAf)
2014-10-07

Another academic of the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof Jeanet Conradie, professor in Chemistry, was invited as newly elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf).Science and research, by which new concepts are discovered, is her great passion.

Her PhD degree in Chemistry, together with also a strong background in Physics, Computer Science, Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, influenced Prof Conradie’s choice of research interest and expertise to develop gradually in the direction of computational chemistry, which is a beautiful combination of chemistry and physics.

Computational chemistry uses quantum physical principles and mathematical methods to solve chemistry problems via high-performance computerised calculations. Results obtained can be used to predict and understand the behaviour of atoms and molecules in the real world. Chemical reactions and phenomena that are impossible or too dangerous to study experimentally, can also be studied by computational chemistry. Her research team also does experimental laboratory work to combine and compare with the computational analysis. Based on these results, new materials with specific properties are developed.

The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) aspires to be the apex organisation for science and scholarship in South Africa, recognised and connected both nationally and internationally. Through its membership which represents the collective voice of the most active scholars in all fields of scholarly enquiry, ASSAf aims to generate evidence-based solutions to national problems.

Prof Corli Witthuhn: Vice-Rector: Research at the UFS said: “The UFS is very proud of Prof Conradie, who is also the first female professor in the Department of Chemistry.  Jeanet is a highly productive researcher publishing in high-impact journals.  She has extensive international networks and collaborations, increasing the impact of her work even more.  We are currently awaiting the outcome of her application for NRF rating and believe that she will receive an excellent rating.”


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