School of Life Sciences

Prof Hafizah Chenia

Associate Professor

Prof Hafizah Chenia is an Associate Professor in the discipline of Microbiology. Many bacteria have evolved innovative means of ensuring their survival, including making a biofilm lifestyle choice, using bacterial communication systems and horizontal transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes.  This has implications on antimicrobial usage in both clinical and veterinary medicine.  The research focus of my group is on understanding biofilm formation and bacterial quorum sensing of clinical and aquaculture pathogens and identifying novel anti-virulence strategies to control them. This has led to increased research on drug discovery from marine- and plant endophyte-associated bacteria, as well as investigating the mechanisms of action of indigenous South African medicinal plants.

Research interests

  • Bacterial quorum sensing
  • Bacterial biofilms
  • Bacterial endophytes from medicinal plants and their potential for drug discovery
  • Inhibition of quorum sensing and biofilm formation for drug discovery using marine microorganisms
  • Fish pathogens and aquaculture
  • Antimicrobial resistance genes and efflux pumps

Research profiles

Current projects

Many bacteria have evolved innovative means of ensuring their survival, including making a biofilm lifestyle choice, using bacterial communication systems and horizontal transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes.  This has implications on antimicrobial usage in both clinical and veterinary medicine.  The research focus of my group is on understanding biofilm formation and bacterial quorum sensing of clinical, marine and/or aquaculture pathogens and identifying novel anti-virulence strategies to control them. This has led to increased research on drug discovery from marine- and plant endophyte-associated bacteria, as well as investigating the mechanisms of action of indigenous South African medicinal plants. We are also focused on the biosynthesis of nanoparticles using bacteria and assessing their potential bioactivity. Other areas of research include assessing antimicrobial resistance of bacteria from clinical and environmental compartments and using genome sequencing to obtain greater insight into their resistomes and virulomes.

Many bacteria have evolved innovative means of ensuring their survival, including making a biofilm lifestyle choice, using bacterial communication systems and horizontal transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes.  This has implications on antimicrobial usage in both clinical and veterinary medicine.  The research focus of my group is on understanding biofilm formation and bacterial quorum sensing of clinical, marine and/or aquaculture pathogens and identifying novel anti-virulence strategies to control them. This has led to increased research on drug discovery from marine- and plant endophyte-associated bacteria, as well as investigating the mechanisms of action of indigenous South African medicinal plants. We are also focused on the biosynthesis of nanoparticles using bacteria and assessing their potential bioactivity. Other areas of research include assessing antimicrobial resistance of bacteria from clinical and environmental compartments and using genome sequencing to obtain greater insight into their resistomes and virulomes.

Affiliations

  • Biofilms and Quorum-Sensing Inhibition Group