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Biochemistry Research Areas

  Prof Alfred Mogale: Protein chemistry

The research group involves two different areas:

  1.  Advanced glycation end products research: Effect of non-enzymatic glycation on protein structure and function; as well as the search of highly effective anti-glycation agents from  natural products.
  2. Cytokines and chemokines as well as their receptors in the pathogenesis and treatment of both cancer and HIV/AIDS.
  Dr Sechene Stanley Gololo: Phytochemistry

  1. Isolation and chemical structural characterization of bioactive compounds from medicinal plant extracts.
  2. Determination of the effect of environmental factors on the phytochemical compositions of selected medicinal plant parts.
  3. Tapping into the Indigenous Knowledge Systems and coupling with evidence-based scientific analysis in the quest to enhance food security.
  Ms Emelinah Mathe: Cancer biology

There are several limitations with regard to traditional cytotoxic anticancer drugs, they kill cells that divide rapidly and bring about high incidence of adverse effects, e.g myelo-suppression and immunosuppression. In light of these limitations, targeted anticancer agents are being developed in recent years in orde to find safe treatment for cancer drug therapy. Our principal aims:

  1. to isolate, purify and identify cytotoxic anticancer and natural agents with the ability to target and modify selected cancer related targets from selected indigenous medicinal plants with proven cytotoxic effects
  2. to investigate the anticancer mechanisms of both crude extracts and natural products isolated and purified from plant extracts.
  Mrs Sebolaishi Makhubela: Protein chemistry

Proteins are an integral part of all cells, from microorganisms to plants and animals. Their roles are diverse and include: transportation of molecules, catalysis of reactions, structural proteins, they form part of the defense system, they are receptors for ligands and they act as hormones. Our research focuses on the purification and characterization of proteins from various sources. We purify proteins using different fractionation and chromatographic methods, followed by their characterization. Knowledge of the characteristics of these proteins assists us in understanding their structures as well and their functions.

  Mr Hodi Ananias Kgopa: Gene expression

Our research laboratory investigates markers using molecular techniques; RT-PCR, gene expression, sequencing in two different areas:

  1. Molecular investigation of conventional pharmacological diabetic agents exerting blood glucose lowering effects via a variety of expression system. Such studies are of enormous public health interest offering evidence-based and safe use of non-expensive conventional medications against the growing diabetic epidemic, particularly for low income and developing countries, including South Africa.
  2. This research identifies plant species consumed by herbivores by analysis of their faeces. DNA barcodes MatK, ITS and rbcL used for seasonal variation in food selection in terms of their reproduction status.