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Faculty with a focus in Natural Products Chemistry

Natural Products Chemistry and Pharmacognosy are fields focused on the discovery of new compounds with biological activities which may be of medical importance and which are produced by plants, animals or other organisms. Leads for new biologically active compounds come from knowledge of use of an organism in traditional medicine (ethnobotany), folkloric reputation of use, or from random screens. Extracts are tested against biological and biochemical assays and the active fractions purified to find the active compound(s). Structural characterization of the compounds by spectroscopy and related analytical methods completes the preliminary investigations which may lead to new therapeutic drugs. Major research emphasis by the faculty includes tissue, cell and organ culture as routes to compound production, understanding of nutraceuticals (compounds in foods as medicinal substances), and compounds with psychoactive or immunoactive effects.

Faculty with a focus in Natural Products Chemistry include the following (explanation of the symbols, *, §, ‡ are listed below):

Ara DerMarderosian, Ph.D. (Emeritus) 

  • Pharmacognosy
  • Medicinal chemistry
  • Nutraceuticals

Guillermo Moyna, Ph.D.

  • Biomolecular NMR spectroscopy
  • Computational chemistry
  • Computer-assisted rational drug design

John R. Porter, Ph.D. *

  • Natural products chemistry
  • Cell biology
  • Plant-microbe interactions

Research Advising Ability

§ May serve as a research advisor for undergraduate students
* Research Professors from other departments who may serve as research advisors for graduate students in their appropriate area of expertise
May serve as a research advisor for both undergraduate and graduate students
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