Masevhe, N (PhD)

Nndivhaleni Masevhe obtained BSc(Hons) at the University of Venda in 1999 while working as a teacher at Robert Mbulungeni Secondary School. He obtained a Master of Science degree in Botany at the University of Venda in 2002 and has been employed as a lecturer in the Department of Botany at the same university since 2004. His interest in ethnobotany led him to enroll for a PhD in the Phytomedicine Programme at the Department of Paraclinical Sciences, University of Pretoria.

In his thesis, Isolation and characterization of antifungal compounds from Clerodendrum glabrum var glabrum (Verbenaceae) used traditionally to treat candidiasis in Venda, South Africa, the promovendus conducted an extensive ethnobotanical investigation of plants used to manage candidiasis and related infections in the Venda area. He investigated the bioactivity of fourteen different plant species used in ethnomedicine to combat candidiasis, subsequently focusing on C. glabrum for more in-depth study using in vitro methods. Based on the encouraging antifungal activity of the fractions, one new compound, clerodendrumic acid, was isolated from the hexane fraction of C. glabrum along with the known compound heptadecanoic acid. The compound clerodendrumic acid has not been found in nature previously. This thesis has resulted in the acceptance of one scientific publication and four more are in preparation. The candidate has also presented his research findings at one international and two national conferences.

Thesis title:

Isolation and characterization of antifungal compounds from Clerodendrum glabrum var glabrum (Verbenaceae) used traditionally to treat candidiasis in Venda, South Africa.

Supervisor: Prof JN Eloff
Co-supervisor: Dr LJ McGaw
External examiner: Prof E Elisabetsky (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil)
External examiner: Prof JM Pezzuto (University of Hawaii at Hilo, USA)
External examiner: Prof MSJ Simmonds (Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, UK)

Graduate Information