Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products Research
The Medicinal Chemistry research team has a broad range of research interests spanning the synthesis, analysis and reactivity of organic molecules, emphasising their biological, medicinal, pharmaceutical and environmental importance.
Dr. Simon Brandt
Characterisation of psychoactive substances and properties of "designer drugs" are investigated as tools in neuropharmacology and molecular psychiatry. Collaborations in the areas of (psycho)pharmacology, psychiatry, forensic sciences and public health.
Dr. James Downing
Expression of Nitric Oxide Synthase within the thymus. Identification of genetic and pharmacological factors capable of contributing to autoimmune susceptibility through disturbance of central (thymic) immunological tolerance. Neural control of immune function. Development of assays for gastric injury of nonsteroidal-antiinflammatory and gastroprotective activities of nitric oxide congeners.
Dr. Fyaz Ismail
Heme as a drug receptor. Mass spectrometry of covalent and non-covalent drug receptor complexes. Mechanochemical and microwave chemistry. Xenobiotic metabolism of antimalarials. Drug design, molecular modelling (DFT) and structure-activity relationships of 4-amino-mono and bis-quinolines: Correlation of spectral, molecular modelling with antimalarial activity of trioxanes related to artemisinin. Photochemistry of arene-ethene cycloadditions. Synthesis of hypertension modulating steroids.
Dr. Lutfun Nahar
Application of organic synthetic methodologies in different areas of chemistry; Design and synthesis of novel anticancer, antimalarial, antibacterial and antioxidant agents; Design and synthesis of 'nanoparticles' and 'molecular umbrella' for drug delivery and other application; Synthesis of biologically active macrocyclic polyamines, steroid monomers and dimers; Synthesis of bioactive natural products and pharmaceutically important small molecules; Isolation and structure determination of bioactive phytochemicals; Rational drug design and combinatorial synthesis; Computer assisted design of bioactive molecules (molecular modeling) and structure activity relationships (SAR) of bioactive compounds .
Dr. Phil Riby
Development of methods for toxic metal analysis. Current research is looking into toxic metal in pharmaceutical products with relation to the current regulation USP 232 and USP 233. Additionally we are involved in analysis of toxic metals in the environment looking at land remediation. The work also includes collaborative studies with the University of Salford which centres on the speciation of Mn and Fe in drinking water. We also develop microwave preparation techniques for these studies. We provide analytical consultancy services and advice on metals analysis, NMR and MS to local pharmaceutical and industrial companies.
Phytochemistry of medicinal plants from the Asteraceae family (namely Tanacetum spp. and Matricaria spp.). Development and application of chromatographic fingerprinting in the quality control of phytomedicines and Herbal Medicinal Products, based on HPLC and LC-MS. Botanical authentication work.
Professor Satya Sarker
Drug discovery from natural products. Drug design: novel indane derivatives as analgesic compounds. Drug design: dimeric steroids. Synthesis of bioactive natural products. Metabolomics of medicinal plants. Production of compound libraries of dereplicated natural products for high throughput screening (HTS). Toxicological evaluation and quality control of herbal medicine. Development of bioassays for screening plant extracts and isolated compounds. Application of 1D and 2D NMR techniques in drug discovery and design. Chemotaxonomy. PharmInformatics.
Prof. Mark Wainwright
Photoantimicrobial drugs. Design, synthesis and initial testing of drugs to combat pathogenic microbes, especially conventional drug-resistant bacteria, such as MRSA, VRE etc. Lead molecules for the research are normally based on the phenothiazinium chromophore, thus there is a considerable element of heterocyclic synthesis. Photoactivated candidates are currently aimed at topical or local disinfection of wound or diseased sites. Wider interests in infection control.
Natural Products Research
The Natural Products Research team offers contract research, education and training to companies, groups and individuals involved in any aspect of nutraceuticals and dietary supplements, including sales and marketing.
This group currently consists of four academic staff, Dr Khalid Rahman, Dr Gordon Lowe , Professor Satya Sarker and Dr Lutfun Nahar (from the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences at Liverpool John Moores University) and Professor Andrew Young (Director of Research at LJMU), who between them have vast experience of nutraceutical research.< DIV>