International Year of Chemistry, 2011

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Harnessing Nature's Chemical Diversity for Drug Discovery

Activity by Ruth Meaney   |   added on Apr 05, 2011   |   Australia Official_iyc_logo

Sponsor(s): The Royal Austrlian Chemical Insititue and Logan Libraries

More than one third of the top-selling drugs in the world are natural products or their derivatives. Dr Rohan Davis, Group Leader of the Natural Products Chemistry team at the Eskitis Institute, Griffith University will present a brief history on natural product drug discovery & detail current research.

Dr. Rohan Davis - April 2011 Seminar, Beenleigh Public Library

Biosketch: Dr. Davis obtained his Bachelor of Science (Honours) from the University of Melbourne in 1992, with co-majors in organic chemistry and biochemistry.

Rohan performed his doctoral studies at Griffith University in the area of marine organic chemistry, and was awarded his PhD degree in 2001. His thesis dissertation was entitled "Chemical Investigations of Great Barrier Reef Ascidians - Natural Product and Synthetic Studies". After 2 years post-doctoral experience at the University of Utah studying the anti-tumour activity of small molecules derived from marine invertebrates, Rohan was recruited back to Griffith University, and is currently group leader of the Natural Products Chemistry team at the Eskitis Institute. Dr. Davis has 64 publications in international chemistry journals, and currently holds one patent. His most significant research contributions have been in the field of natural products and medicinal chemistry. Dr. Davis has both industrial and academic research experience that has resulted in the isolation and structure elucidation of over 1000 natural products from either plant, marine or microbial sources. For the past 7 years his research has focused on the identification and synthesis of compounds that display promising biological activity in therapeutic areas such as cancer, infection and inflammation.

Presentation title: Harnessing Nature’s Chemical Diversity for Drug Discovery

Abstract: Nature has continuously provided the human race with a chemically diverse arsenal of pharmacologically active compounds that have been effectively utilised in the treatment of numerous diseases. More that one third of the top-selling drugs in the world are natural products or their derivatives. Well known examples include tacrolimus (immunosuppressant), erythromycin (antibiotic), paclitaxel (breast/ovarian/lung cancer), lovastatin (cholesterol lowering) and galantamine (anti-Alzheimer’s). Due to the developing resistance of many cancer-types, microbes and parasites, and the minimal safety and efficacy associated with certain drugs on the market today, there is still a high demand for the discovery and development of new therapeutics. This presentation will include a brief history on natural product drug discovery, and will detail current research being undertaken at the Eskitis Institute, Griffith University.


Topic: sustainable and green chemistry, seminars, celebrating chemistry, chemistry education, science fair Audience: students, general public, educators, teachers, secondary school students, high schools, school children, secondary schools
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