Partner NKUA-PHARM (Section of Pharmacognosy and Chemistry of Natural Products, Department of Pharmacy, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens) is involved in the in-depth phytochemical analyses of marine and terrestrial organisms, as well as in metabolomic analyses for fast dereplication and bioprospecting for the isolation of new bioactive natural products.
The senior members of the research team Assist. Professor Efstathia Ioannou and Professor Vassilios Roussis have extensive experience in the isolation and structure elucidation of secondary metabolites, as well as the qualitative and quantitative analysis of compounds of interest, using mainly chromatographic and spectroscopic methods, as well as tandem analytical techniques.
The research interests of partner NKUA-PHARM include:
- Isolation and structure elucidation of secondary metabolites from marine or terrestrial macro- and microorganisms focusing on new natural products
- Metabolomic analysis for the fast dereplication of known compounds, the detection of metabolites of interest (targeted approach) and the identification of new natural products (untargeted approach)
- Chemical ecology studies and investigation of ecological relationships – elucidation of the ecological roles of secondary metabolites
- Analysis of the chemical profiles of distinct taxa for the detection of biomarkers for chemotaxonomic studies
- Evaluation of the biological activity of extracts and / or secondary metabolites
- Chemical interconversions of secondary metabolites aiming at the production of semisynthetic analogues for their biological activity evaluation and structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies
- Bioconversions of bioactive secondary metabolites by microorganisms aiming at the production of analogues and their biological activity evaluation thereof
- Isolation of marine biopolymers (eg. polysaccharides, collagen)
- Design and development of micro- and nanostructures for the controlled release of bioactive molecules
Partner NKUA-PHARM has successfully implemented a large number of national and European research projects that focus on the investigation of terrestrial and marine organisms of the Mediterranean aiming to valorize them.
The scientific infrastructure available at NKUA-PHARM includes all necessary instruments for chemical analysis and structure elucidation of secondary metabolites, such as HPLC, MPLC and GC systems, GC-MS and LC-MS-MS systems, multinuclear NMR spectrometers, FT-IR and UV-Vis spectrophotometers, polarimeters, etc. Additionally, NKUA-PHARM has several microscopes, including a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), appropriate facilities for the production of micro-/nanofibers using electrospinning, appropriate facilities for the characterization of biopolymers and biomaterials (TGA, DSC, etc), appropriate facilities for bioassays and microbiological work (eg. plate reader, lyophilizers, laminar flow hoods, orbital shakers), equipment for field work and bioassays (vessel equipped with remote operated video cameras and vehicle, hydraulic winches and sediment corers, etc).