Prof Edith Antunes joined the Chemistry Department at the University of the Western Cape, in South Africa, in 2014 as the NMR Specialist (Senior Researcher). Prior to this, she was at Rhodes University where she completed her undergraduate studies in Chemistry and Geology through to a PhD in Marine Natural Products Chemistry.
Prof Antunes also has a deep interest in instrumental techniques and their application to solving a variety of problems and research questions due to her varied experience in research fields over the years; her PhD and two Postdoctoral stints (2003–2006) in Marine Natural Products Chemistry – one at Oregon State University, US, under Prof William Gerwick, and a third Postdoctoral opportunity in a Neuroscience Laboratory (2006) in the analyses of various neurotransmitters from rat brains (under Prof Santy Daya).
She then served as a Postdoc (2007) to a large group (about 30 postgraduate students) under Prof Tebello Nyokong, eventually becoming the Manager of the Nanotechnology Innovation Centre-Sensors (NIC) at Rhodes University (2010–2013).
In addition to Prof Antunes’ interest in Marine Natural Products Chemistry, over the last 10 years, her Research interests have drawn on the development of a variety of porphyrin and phthalocyanine macrocycles and nanomaterials such as noble metal, magnetic and upconversion nanoparticles for improved diagnosis and treatment of cancer and infectious diseases through application in photodynamic therapy and photodynamic antimicrobial therapy, as well as catalysis.
She is a Member of the American Society of Pharmacognosy (ASP), the Society of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines (SPP), the South African Chemical Institute (SACI) and the Phycological Society of South Africa (PSSA).
Prof Antunes obtained her NRF rating in 2012 and currently Reviews Journal Articles for Nanoscale, RSC Advances, Dyes and Pigments, Journal of Molecular Catalysis A, Phytotherapy Research, Biomaterials, etc. and received various NRF grants.