The focus of the bioinorganic research group at the University of Cape Town is to understand how the malaria parasite deals with the large influx of haem associated with ingestion and degradation of haemoglobin in its digestive vacuole and the effects of antimalarials such as chloroquine, which inhibit this process. In pursuit of this goal, we have various facets to our research endeavours, which include:
- Biomimetic investigations of β-haematin (synthetic haemozoin/malaria pigment) formation.
- Speciation and behaviour of free Fe(III) haem in aqueous solution.
- Interaction of Fe(III) haem with antimalarials and effects on haem in cultured parasites.
- Synthesis and structure-activity relationship studies on β-haematin inhibiting compounds.
My philosophy is to foster communication and collaboration within my group. This promotes interaction among group members and helps to achieve results. This collaborative spirit has engendered an esprit de corps among my graduate students (who have dubbed us the Haem Team). As a consequence, the Team is also active in many aspects of the life of the Department. I invite you to see more about the scientific and extracurricular activities of our group on this site.