Dr Mbara Kingsley Chimaeze was awarded a PhD in Pharmacology.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow Receives PhD in Pharmacology

Postdoctoral research fellow in the Drug Delivery Research Proto-Unit at UKZN, Dr Mbara Kingsley Chimaeze was awarded a PhD in Pharmacology.

Supervised by Professors Peter Owira and Manimbulu Nlooto, his study focused on the management of diabetes mellitus, a global public health problem, using a hybrid plant species that is widely distributed in KwaZulu-Natal.

‘My thesis was entitled In vivo Study on Pharmacological Effects of Psidium x durbanensis Baijnath & Ramcharun ined. (Myrtaceae) Hydro-Methanolic Leaf Extracts on Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetes in Rats. I investigated the pharmacological effects of Psidium x durbanensis Baijnath & Ramcharun leaves, commonly known as Durban guava and a congener of Psidium guajava L., on diabetic animal model following the folkloric use of Psidium guajava leaves by the indigenous people,’ explained Chimaeze.

The study found that leaf extracts of Psidium x durbanensis Baijnath & Ramcharun ined. have antidiabetic effects by enhancing glucose uptake in gastrocnemius muscle through an insulin-independent mechanism.

‘My research addresses Goal 3 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals which aims to achieve universal health coverage and provide access to safe and affordable medicines and vaccines for all. It is also very relevant to Africa that has a high prevalence of diabetes mellitus and where the majority of the population relies on herbal medicine,’ said Chimaeze.

‘Obtaining a PhD was my childhood dream, and I’m passionate about acquiring knowledge at the highest level,’ he said. Although he encountered financial and other challenges, ‘through my determination to succeed, patience, and perseverance, I overcame them.’

Chimaeze described his study experience at UKZN as awesome! ‘UKZN is a good place to be with a stimulating study environment. It is full of friendly people, great minds, and thinkers.’

Words: Nombuso Dlamini

Photograph: Rajesh Jantilal