Pioneering Study Explores the Protective Effects of Metformin in the Brain and Kidneys

Dr Taskeen Fathima Docrat graduated with a PhD in Medical Biochemistry for her study on the protective effects of Metformin in the brain and kidney. Her research revealed that the drug overcomes the alterations induced by diabetes in these organs at the molecular level.

The first of its kind, the study focused on the mechanisms of Metformin and how it contributes to the alleviation of diabetic neuropathy.

‘Completing a PhD is an arduous journey, and is one that has humbled me on so many levels. The sacrifices I made during this passage of my life were all worth it. My aspirations include pursuing a career as a researcher in neurosciences,’ said Docrat.

Docrat pursued Medical Biochemistry as a field of study because of her fascination with molecular mechanisms, disease and the crosslinking of fundamental biology and chemistry.

She comes from a large family with six siblings. Her father passed away when she was 12. ‘My mum remains my rock, source of strength and the reason I hold a PhD today,’ she said.

Docrat overcame the struggles she faced by maintaining a positive mindset. She expressed her thanks to her supervisor, Professor Anil Chuturgoon and co-supervisor Dr Savania Nagiah who always nudged her in the right direction. Her husband, Dr Sheik, gave her much needed support by providing a loving home throughout her PhD journey.

‘My experience at UKZN has been a pleasant one. This is attributed to the excellent services and high calibre of research provided by the fraternity’, she said.

She is currently seeking a postdoctoral/ research position in Cape Town.

Words: Lihle Sosibo

Photograph: Supplied