School of Chemistry & Physics

Dr Matshawandile Tukulula

Senior Lecturer

Dr Tukulula obtained his BSc, BSc (Hons) and MSc degrees from Rhodes University (2003-2009), and his PhD from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2012. He was then appointed by the CSIR, as a Researcher (2013-2014) and Senior Researcher (2015-2016), to work on TB drug delivery project and various industrial projects. Thereafter, he joined the CIPC-DTI in 2016 as Patent Searcher/Examiner, followed by the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) as a Senior Lecturer in 2017 to 2018. At the beginning of 2019, he joined UKZN as Senior Lecturer in Organic Chemistry.

Research interests

  • Utilization of Organic Synthesis in Drug Discovery and Design for infectious diseases.
  • Pharmaceuticals, this includes polymer- and lipid-based based drug delivery system for infectious diseases.

Research profiles

Research overview

Dr Matshawandile’s  research broadly encompass the design and synthesis of new chemical entities (NCEs) for infectious diseases, specifically Malaria, TB and neglected tropical diseases. In addition, Dr Matshawandile’s is also geared towards drug delivery research projects (nanomedicine), using polymer and lipid nanoparticles, for malaria and TB.

Current projects

Dr Matshawandile’s currently working on an NRF funded project that looks at the design, synthesis and biological evaluation of bioactive compounds.


  • Dr Alejandro Speck-Planche (Universidad Tecnológica Metropolitana, Chile)
  • Prof Digby Warner
  • Prof Grace Mugumbate (Chinhoyi State University – Zimbabwe)
  • Prof Heinrich Hoppe and Prof David Khanye (Both at Rhodes)
  • Prof Jerry Shai (Both at TUT)
  • Dr Jeremiah Gathirwa (KenyaMedical Research Council – Kenya
  • Dr Lubbe Wiesner(Bothat UCT)
  • Dr Mohammed Balogun (CSIR)
  • Dr Mabuatsela Mamphoru
  • Dr Sergio Witling (Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute -Switzerland)