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Endocrinology & Metabolism Research Laboratory


The Receptor Biology Group studies the mechanisms of action of G protein-coupled receptors that are important in reproductive health. The crucial role of this family of receptors in HIV infection is of particular interest, because understanding the interaction of the virus with human receptors is important for developing strategies to treat and prevent infection. The Group uses a range of molecular techniques to study the mechanisms by which HIV infects human cells.


 There are three main areas of research interest in this laboratory.

  • The in vitro characterization/screening of indigenous trees (seed, leaves and stem bark) for nutrients, oils and phytochemicals with medicinal properties.
  • Evaluation of non-conventional feed resources for improved livestock production and their (non-conventional feed resources) effects on animal physiology and animal product quality.
  • In vivo testing of phytochemicals for their effects on developmental programming of metabolism and nutritional physiology

Upcoming Projects


Associate Professor Kennedy Erlwanger: Use of phytochemicals in the developmental programming for good health using animal models of diet induced metabolic dysfunction.


Associate Professor Eliton Chivandi: The evaluation of the potential plant-derived crude ethnomedicine extracts to protect and to programme for protection in diet-induced models mimicking growing children fed unhealthy diets and the search and development of non-conventional livestock feed resources remain top priority. 


Dr Colleen A. Flanagan: Roles of conserved residues in the CCR5 chemokine receptor structure and activation of different signaling pathways. Roles of the Tyr6.51(283) and Phe7.39(309) residues in GnRH receptor ligand binding and activation. How congenital hypogonadotropic hypogonadism-associated mutations affect GnRH receptor function.


Dr Michael Madziva: Understanding receptor signalling and applying the research to treating diseases affected by aberrant receptor function.


Dr Janine Donaldson: Prevention and treatment of diet-induced metabolic dysfunction.


Dr Busisani Lembede: The potential of orally administered zingerone to programme for protection against high-fructose high-cholesterol diet-induced metabolic derangements in rats.