University of Greenwich, UK
Title: New anti-inflammatory compounds from old medicines: The science and art of Pharmacognosy research in the 21st Century
Biography: Solomon Habtemariam
For thousands of years, mankind has used nature as a source of medicine. Despite the tremendous advances in medicinal chemistry and/or drug discovery areas over the years, our modern pharmacy even today employs a significant number of drugs that trace their origin back to natural products. Inflammatory diseases, especially chronic disorders such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, sepsis, etc., continue to be a burden to large number of people and national health services throughout the world. With the severe limitations of the existing anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. cost, side effects and efficacy) for such diseases, the appetite for novel drugs is as great as ever. During the past three decades, our researches have been mainly focusing on the identification of novel pharmacologically active compounds from medicinal plants. By using the bioassay-guided isolation approach, we have identified numerous compounds that showed potential in the various experimental models. In this communication, case examples are presented where the anti-inflammatory potential of crude and purified natural products have been validated through cell-free, cell-based and animal models of inflammation.