Role of medicinal plants to fight signs of ageing being probed with success
Daphne Fibrich is on course to be the hero of millions of South Africans over 50. Fibrich is working on research which, if successful, will assist those who want to stay young. Her research is on the use of medicinal plants to fight the signs of ageing, and the implementation of modern techniques to increase the sustainability of medicinal plants in cosmeceuticals. Fibrich hopes this will encourage women to pursue careers in science and her research will highlight the importance of medicinal plants.
By combining nature with biotechnology and chemistry approaches, the frugality, as well as the sustainability of medicinal plants, are placed into an area where it can comfortably foster new waves of innovation while meeting the necessary demands. Through this project, Fibrich hopes to empower communities and stimulate employment opportunities through the commercialization of SA plants that can make a global impression. As such this project deals not only with the scientific and economic aspects of research but the social aspects too.
Fibrich got all her degrees from the University of Pretoria. She obtained her BSc. in Microbiology in 2014, a BSc. Hons in 2015 and MSc in 2017 in medicinal plant science cum laude and with Honorary Academic Colours. Fibrich was conferred the best master’s student award at the 2018 annual congress for the South African Association of Botanists as well as Best Young Scientist. She has published seven papers in renowned peer-reviewed journals such as Frontiers in Pharmacology, and has presented her research at the Society for Cosmetic Chemists; and at the Spa and Wellness Association of Africa where she also participated in panel discussions for the advancement of Africans, especially women in science and business.