Boitumelo Setlhare completed a degree of B.Sc. Microbiology at the University of The Free State (UFS) majored in Microbiology, Biochemistry, and Biotechnology. She got an opportunity through National Research Foundation (NRF) as a Microbiology intern and was based at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in the Biosciences (Bioprocessing unit) at Pretoria. Exposure to industry increased her interest in science, she then furthered her studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal by doing B.Sc. (Honours) Microbiology and M.Sc. in Microbiology. Her interest in Traditional Medicine stems from witnessing these medicines being administered to people who had different ailments when she was still growing up, this led to her curiosity and to undertake Doctoral studies in this field.  Her project focuses on the evaluation of in vitro effects of Product Nkabinde on immune response and HIV replication capacity. She is also evaluating the effects of traditional medicine on the coinfection of HIV and Chlamydia Trochomatis.


Dr. Mlungisi Ngcobo, Traditional Medicine, School of Nursing & Public Health, UKZN

Dr. Sinaye Ngcapu, Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa

Prof Nceba Gqaleni, African Health Research Institute, Durban, South Africa


Kekeletso Jane Khati obtained her Bachelor of Arts majoring in Public Administration and Political Science at the National University of Lesotho; she proceeded with her studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal where she obtained her Bachelor of Social Science Honours in Policy and Development Studies, Bachelor of Honours in Public Policy and Master of Social Science in Public Policy. While in Lesotho, she witnessed her grandmother who had suffered a vascular ulcer on her foot due to diabetes get healed after consultations with a local herbalist; her passion for traditional medicine was born. Kekeletso is currently a PhD candidate at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Medical Science in the discipline of Traditional Medicine, her thesis is titled: The use of indigenous herbs to manage chronic diseases in Lesotho: Towards a public policy integration. She wishes to combine both policy and traditional medicine and hopes to become a health policy researcher and an advocate for traditional medicine in the future.  


Sphamandla Hlatshwayo is currently doing his Masters degree. He holds two degrees from the University of Kwa Zulu – Natal, an undergraduate degree (B. Medical Sciences, majoring in Anatomy and Physiology) and an postgraduate degree (B. Med Sciences Honours in Human Physiology). Currently he is pursuing his Masters degree where he is researching African traditional medicines that are used for the management and/or treatment  of diabetes.




Khanyisile Mngomezulu holds a Master of Medical Science in Medical Microbiology, BSc Honours degree in Medical Microbiology and BSc degree in Microbiology and Genetics from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in the Discipline of Traditional Medicine. Her research project focuses on finding traditional medicinal plants with the ability to reactivate latent HIV using laboratory models. This research has the potential to resolve one of the last stumbling blocks to treatment of HIV, which is the inability of highly active antiretroviral therapy to clear HIV copies in latently infected immune cells.

Nokukhanya  Thembane is a certified Medical Technologist, specializing in Clinical Pathology. She has since transitioned to academia. Her research interests are in the indigenous knowledge systems of South Africa, specifically medicinal plants and plant derived products; the biochemistry, safety validation, potential efficacy, and subsequent application in disease prevention and management.




Prudy Mashika Seepe is currently a PhD candidate at the Traditional Medicine laboratories based at the University of KwaZulu Natal. She obtained her BSc (Biochemistry) at the University of the Free State.  She completed her Hons and MSc (Medical Biochemistry) at the Centre of Excellence for Biomedical TB research at the University of Stellenbosch. Her current projects encompasses mentoring Honours and masters students, project coordinating, carrying out logistics and planning of scientific voyages and laboratory management. Her research project under Dr Mlungisi Ngcobo, involves profiling natural product biosynthetic genes (NRPS/PKS) from South African Biomes. Her contributions to soil microbial ecology focuses on mining of new bioactive natural products from South African soil microbial communities


Global biogeographic sampling of bacterial secondary metabolism. 01-2015. Charlop-Powers Z, Owen JG, Reddy BVB, Ternei MA, Guimarães DO, de Frias UA,Pupo MT, Seepe P, Feng Z, Brady SF. eLIFE.