Natural Products Pharmacology

Section Lead: Dr Amos Fatokun


This section assesses the biological effects of natural products and the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the observed effects, in order to develop novel drug leads for a range of disease conditions (cancer, neurodegeneration, diabetes, neglected tropical diseases, etc.) and clarify the scientific basis for the ethnopharmacological uses of natural products. It uses a wide range of assays, biological models and technological platforms.

It develops drug screening assays (phenotypic, target-based, etc.) and uses them to screen natural products and their derivatives for desired biological activities. It also characterises hits, conducts structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies and assesses the drug-likeness of molecules. It has capacity for the development, optimisation and validation of novel screening and characterisation assays relevant to a given drug discovery context.

Methods, techniques, models and technology platforms employed include those in pharmacology (e.g., drug screening assays, including high-throughput screening (HTS) assays, whether phenotypic or target-based); cell and molecular biology (cell culture of primary and secondary cells, ELISAs, immunoblotting, RT-PCR, flow cytometry); and imaging (e.g., fluorescence imaging).