Dr Mariamawit Yeshak

Dr Mariamawit  Yeshak


Addis Ababa University

School of Pharmacy

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Work and Research

I am a pharmacognosist; meaning, exploring bioactive substances from nature is the basis for my research. Currently, I lead a research group called BaSIL (Bioactive Secondary Metabolites for Improving Life). The main objective of the group is to study Ethiopian medicinal plants with potential antimalarial activity. A particular class of rarely distributed plant peptides known as cyclotides is also of great research interest of BaSIL. Hence, I try to find cyclotides in Ethiopian plants and test their potential activity against malaria. In addition, another research goal in my work is to employ the cyclotides as drug delivering scaffolds by the virtue of their exceptional stability against any enzymatic, acid or microbial attack.

Fields Of Expertise

Natural Bioactive Substances

Research Profiles

My contribution to science and its impact on society

I strongly believe that a society would not benefit much from a scientific work that cannot be translated to popular science. Due to this I urge my students to write summaries of their findings in a way that could be understood by a general audience. To set an example, I have written a summary of my PhD thesis in Amharic, Ethiopia's official language, even if the study regulation me to do so only in English. Also, as my passion for exploring nature started at my primary school years, it gave me a good reason to believe that the ideal time to instill scientific thinking in one's life is the early years of childhood. Hence, I volunteer in teaching school children about the exploration and conservation of nature, particularly plants. By doing so, I have seen very young plant scientists who are keen about nature coming up.