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Biochemistry and Biotechnology Research Areas



Research Area

Research Focus

Dr Sechene Stanley Gololo: 


Tel: 012 521 4372


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: 


Tel: 012 521 5887

Cancer biology

There are several limitations concerning chemotherapeutic agents. They kill cells that divide rapidly and bring about high adverse effects. In light of these limitations, targeted anticancer agents have been developed to find safe cancer treatments in recent years. Our principal objectives:

 (i) To study the anticancer properties of selected medicinal plants.

(ii) To isolate and identify bioactive compounds that can inhibit the activity or downregulate the expression of selected protein kinases from crude extracts of selected medicinal plants.

Mrs Sebolaishi Makhubela:


Tel: 012 521 4676

Protein chemistry

Using cell culture models, we investigate:

1. how environmental pollutants contribute to the development of metabolic disorders.

2. the effect of non-enzymatic glycation  as well as medicinal plant extracts on enzymes involved in certain metabolic pathways.

Dr Hodi Ananias Kgopa:


Tel: 012 521 5614

Gene Expression

1. Molecular and cellular biology with the investigation of conventional pharmacological diabetic agents exerting blood glucose lowering effects (diabetes mellitus) versus traditional medicines via a variety of gene expression systems. Our study offer evidence-based and safe use of non-expensive medications from plants extracts against the growing diabetic epidemic in glucose metabolizing cells such as pancreatic beta cells, skeletal muscle cells, hepatic cells and adipose tissue cells. 

2. DNA barcodes such as MatK, ITS, rbcL genes are used to assess seasonal variation in herbivores food selection by feaces on their reproduction status. 3. Gene polymorphism in diabetic patients.

Dr Vuyisile Samuel Thibane


Tel: 012 521 3382

Biotechnology and health care innovation research

The vast South African plant biodiversity has proven to be a reliable source of natural organic phytochemical compounds with potential for application in a wide range of industries. Our research unit mainly focus on medicinal plants and natural product research of South African indigenous plants for their medicinal, nutraceutical and cosmeceutical potential. Our research interest is interdisciplinary as it cuts across the different fields of plant sciences, ethnopharmacology, biotechnology, biochemistry, and bio-entrepreneurship.