Phytochemistry of medicinal plants
Dr. Mthokozisi Simelane
My research activities focus on the phytochemical studies of indigenous medicinal plants with the main objectives of isolating and characterizing bioactive natural products as "lead compounds" for developing new ethnopharmaceutical drugs for malaria and other neglected diseases. We have successfully isolated some of the potent compounds that can be developed into antimalarial agents. Currently, we are targeting the Plasmodium purine salvage enzyme, hypoxanthine guanine xanthine phosphoribosyl transferase (HGXPRT). The human malarial parasite does not have a de novo pathway for synthesis of nucleotides and the purine salvage pathway enzyme hypoxanthine guanine xanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (HGXPRT) is critical for survival.