MUT scientist joins world experts on BBC to discuss Covid-19 pandemic

Dr Jordaan

June 23, 2020! This day will go down in history as a day that one of the University staff members made history! Dr Maryam Jordaan, NRF Administrator, joined scientists from around the world on BBC to explore and inspire innovation worldwide to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.  “During the meeting we had the opportunity to make comments and ask questions directly with an expert panel of four world-class engineers involved in COVID-19 response.  BBC presenter Kevin Fong hosted this exciting global conversation to explore and inspire innovation worldwide,” said Dr Jordaan. Dr Jordaan was part of the audience from six continents.

Dr Jordaan believes a world effort is required to deal with Covid-19. “In order to combat the Coronavirus, a combined global effort is needed; the BBC World Service and the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 created a special online forum which took place on 23 June 2020,” said Dr Jordaan.

Dr Jordaan and her colleagues at the University, Dr Oluwakemi Ebenezer, Dr Nkululeko Damoyi and Dr Michael Shapi have already written a paper on Covid-19. The paper: Virtual screening, physicochemical properties and molecular docking study of FDA approved compounds similar to ARV efavirenz, targeting COVID-19 was accepted by Heliyon, an open access journal. The team has furthermore submitted another paper for review. The preprint for this paper is available at

Dr Jordaan is one of the University’s annual Research Award winners. The participation of Dr Jordaan in the discussion was highly applauded by the Research Directorate, under which Dr Jordaan works. “Everybody in the Research Office is filled with excitement.  We cannot be more proud of Dr Jordaan,” said Dr Anette Mienie, Director, Research.