Study Examines the Toxic Effect of Fusaric Acid on Human and Animal Health

Changes in epigenetic mechanisms are the initiating factors for several underlying diseases. It is hence important to understand the changes induced by food-borne toxins such as Fusaric Acid.

Dr Terisha Ghazi was awarded a PhD in Medical Biochemistry for her study that showed that Fusaric Acid induces changes in DNA methylation, histone methylation, RNA methylation and microRNA expression, leading to liver toxicity

According to Ghazi, ‘To date, the majority of studies have focused on the effect of food-borne toxins on human and animal health; however, few have examined how these toxins cause adverse health effects.’

She said, ‘I am extremely happy and proud of myself for achieving this milestone. This would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of both my family and supervisor, Professor Anil Chuturgoon.’

The 27-year-old researcher is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Discipline of Medical Biochemistry at UKZN and hopes that this fellowship will enable her to gain experience that will open doors for her future employment as a senior lecturer at the University. Prior to this, she worked at UKZN as a student lecturer, tutor and teaching assistant.

‘Like all lab-based studies, one encounters many highs and lows; however, with hard work, perseverance and self-belief there is no limit to what you can achieve. Studying at UKZN has been a pleasant experience that has provided me with endless opportunities to showcase my talent both in the lab as well as in research symposiums and conferences. It also gave me the opportunity to learn under the guidance of individuals such as my supervisor who are at the top of the research field,’ she said.

Words: Lihle Sosibo

Photograph: Supplied