Natural Products Synthesis

Section Lead: Dr Fyaz Ismail


This section focuses on total or partial synthesis of natural products, mainly small molecules, but also incorporates larger molecules like natural peptides (e.g., snake venoms) and natural polymers. It focuses on six main areas:

  • Synthesis of known and novel natural products, which has shown beneficial activity against human and animal diseases
  • Semi-synthesis of natural products (artemisinin (Qinghaosu), yingzhaosu A-C; quinine, berberine and cryptolepine)
  • Synthesis of analogues for medicinal chemistry, especially using microwave, electro- and photochemistry
  • Developing new methodologies, including reagents and catalysts for 1-3 above
  • Porphyrins, natural and synthetic, for antimalarial and photodynamic therapy
  • NMR and MS Methodology for natural product isolation, synthesis and identification

The types of molecules principally consist of:

(a) heterocycles, trioxanes, quinolones, quinolines, steroids (especially associated with treatments of hypertension, cancer and envenomation (scorpions, toads)

(b) peptide natural products (automated synthesis)

(c) porphyrins.