Research : Department of Pharmacognosy & Phytochemistry

Department is involved in research in the area of discovery and development of herbal drugs, phytopharmaceuticals and microbial products; quality control and analysis of principal component/markers and fingerprinting; enhanced in-vitro production of secondary metabolites using plant tissue culture and fermentation technologies; studies on herbal cosmetics, immunomodulatory, anti-obesity and antidiabetic medicinal plants as well as screening of new drug molecules, standardized herbal drugs/extracts for their bioactivities. Now-a-days there is significant demand of reference standards from medicinal plants. This being the extension of the work we are already involved, we will be upgrading our department with respect to equipments needed for this venture. Preparatory extraction and isolation facility will be setup to establish a natural product repository in future.

The departmental research activities are concentrated in the following areas:

1. Discovery of new chemical entities (NCEs) from natural products of terrestrial, microbial and marine origin in the following therapeutic areas:

  1. Discovery of anti-HIV, antimycobacterial and antiprotozoal mainly anti-leishmanial agents. Discovery and development of anti-diabetics, antioxidants and immunomodulating agents, adaptogens, anti-inflammatory agents, gynaecology and endocrine dysfunction studies and anticancer agents with apoptotic molecular basis.

  2. Development of in vitro testing models for screening of natural products, in the above mentioned therapeutic areas.

2. Traditional Medicine development programmes: Standardization and quality control of herbal drugs and products.

  1. The overall objective and aim of this traditional medicine programme shall be to meet the demand of cost effective medications and biological agents from sustainable medicinal plant resources with the following steps:-

    • To lay down standards and effective quality controls on the Herbal Medicinal Products

    • To create databases for identification and authentication of materials with well defined botanical and phytochemical characteristics

    • To create libraries of marker/characterizing constituents for positive chemical identification of materials through chemoprofiling

    • To create quantitative standards for extracts and their formulations through chemo- and bio-profilings

    • To create standard protocols for establishing purity of materials, identification of adulterants, substitutes, pathogenic bacteria & fungi, heavy metals and pesticide residues

    • To develop dosage forms of the herbal products and their stability studies

    • To develop bioavailability protocols for herbal medicinal products with the help of biomarkers

    • Finally, to conduct clinical trials of the scientifically developed formulation and validate the traditional claims 

  2. Understanding synergy between components of a medicinal plant, that have been described at a molecular level giving credence to the biomarker concepts apart from well understood chemical marker concepts