Bioanalytical Metrology is an emerging science and the possibility of traceable reference measurements and materials is still being investigated with significant advances in absolute quantification of DNA and purified proteins through amino acid analysis.
To date the focus of the bio-analysis division has been protein analysis. More specifically to develop the capability to quantify purified proteins. The DST has invested generously into the research and production of biopharmaceuticals. To realize the final goal of these investments, the necessary expertise and infrastructure for the complex quality control of these products needs to be established. These preliminary protein measurements are a stepping stone to achieving this goal. In the future the NMISA hopes to develop a Bio- facility including measurements related to proteins, cells measurements and DNA/Microbiology as deemed most relevant to South Africa's measurement needs.
PhD Malaria Research Project
Malaria epidemic is recognised as major threat to human life by the World Health Organization. Plasmodium falciparum is the most virulent Plasmodium species with over 3 million deaths annually, 80% of the cases are reported in sub-Saharan Africa. The complex intra-erythrocytic cycle of the parasite cause its virulence, and P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) has been identified as the key virulence factor and a potential target for antimalarial intervention. However, the molecule's biology is not yet completely understood. The aim of the project is to apply mass spectrometry-based proteomics to characterise members of this transient antigenic ligand. Proteomic characterisation of PfEMP1 will improve our understanding of the parasite biology with an objective of studying its expression profile, and correlation between severe forms of malaria and PfEMP1 variants