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

Alumnus presents 27th Sophia Gray Memorial Lecture
2015-09-07

 
Anton Roodt
Photo: iFlair

In a packed Civic Theatre in Bloemfontein, Anton Roodt, an alumnus from the UFS Department of Architecture, presented the 27th Sophia Gray Memorial Lecture.
 
Roodt received numerous awards for his work during his career. He also completed three masters degrees at the UFS, all of them cum laude.

The theme for his lecture was: Big dreams in a small city. Places of memory¦Spaces of imagination.
 
In his presentation, he focused mainly on President Brand Street, one of the most beautiful streets in South Africa – a gem waiting to be rediscovered, as well as Waaihoek, where many projects are planned for the future.
 
During his career, Roodt has been involved in various projects in these areas, including the Fourth Raadsaal, for which he received a FSIA Award in 2011. The Mapikela House in Batho is another project he was involved in.
 
He believes universities are small cities with a good deal of ambition. A number of infrastructure projects on the campuses of the UFS were designed by Roodt Architects. On the Bloemfontein Campus, this includes the Student Centre on the Thakaneng Bridge, the Main Gate, the Financial Planning Law Building, and the Computer Centre, as well work done on the Albert Wessels Auditorium. They also designed the dining room and the Main Entrance on the Qwaqwa Campus.
 
Roodt was introduced to the audience by the familiar singer and his university friend, Coenie de Villiers, with the question: “Why architecture?” He replied: “It is one of the best professions to take you to places most people will never be able to visit – sometimes literally to the feet of kings.”
 
Roodt believes that architects are sellers of dreams. “Dreams are the purest form of imagination. Architects dream of places as if people matter,” he said.
 
The Women in Architecture initiative was also launched by the South African Council for the Architectural Profession at the event. Of more than 8 800 professional architects, only 21% are women.

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