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Dr. Gerda Fouche has been involved in natural product research for the last fourteen years as Organic Chemist in Biosciences, CSIR. Experience includes management and collaboration of projects with multi-disciplinary research teams at international and national research institutes, universities, government departments and private companies. The research projects are aimed at the discovery and development of drug/herbal leads from the biodiversity of South Africa. These projects involve scientific validation of medicinal plants, through interactions with owners of indigenous knowledge and purification, isolation and structure elucidation of active constituents from these plants in various therapeutic areas such as asthma, cancer, inflammation, benign prostatic hyperplasia, erectile dysfunction, oxidative stress, Alzheimer etc. Gerda is presently a Principal Scientist and Science Innovation Leader of the Natural Product Chemistry group within Biosciences. She has presented at national and international conferences and workshops and co-supervised six MSc and two PhD students at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, Free State and South Africa. She has been appointed as Associate Professor at the University of the Free State for a second term. She has published 22 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has 4 international patents to her credit. She has also received Biosciences and CSIR awards for a project aimed at Socio-economic development in South Africa (2006). She is a member of the South African Chemical Institute and is registered as a Professional Scientist at the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions.
Natural product chemistry, Synthetic organic chemistry, Drug discovery, Herbal medicines, Traditional medicines, Medicinal plants and Biodiversity applications.
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