Research Interests

Research Interests

Natural Products Pharmacology

Our research focuses on bioactivity testing of medicinal plants and natural products. 

With a diverse repertoire of methods from cell and molecular biology, protein biochemistry, microscopy and investigations on isolated organs, we concentrate on the interaction of natural substances and pathophysiological targets of multifactorial diseases.

In this regard, our research is oriented towards pharmacological aspects of natural products research with the aim to:

  • elucidate modes of action of naturally derived substances,
  • identify and tackle new therapeutic target structures and
  • provide/design/develop innovative biological test set-ups for the investigation of new active substances.

In order to determine new active priciples, we place particular emphasis on the recapitulation and systematic investigation of traditional healing approaches from Europe and West Africa in the field of natural medicine.

Natural Products Research Utilizing Cell and Tissue Culture Models

In drug research, cell and tissue culture models are useful tools to investigate pharmacological and pharmacokinetic properties of drugs without the need for laboratory animals. They offer the advantage of modelling specific pathophysiological conditions and generate reproducible results in a simplified microenvironment which allows to examine detailed mechanisms of action.

In order to investigate pharmacological agents for the treatment of inflammatory diseases, more-dimensional cell culture models which involve epithelial cell lines as well as immune effector cells can be utilized. Thus, the influence of the drug on immune response (cytokine-/chemokine signaling) and barrier function (intestinal permeability, mucus production, epithelial cell growth etc.) can be monitored.

Furthermore, cellular uptake and metabolism studies using HPLC/LC-MS techniques allow critical interpretation of the obtained in vitro data on pharmacological properties.

Traditional Natural Medicine of Western Africa

All human cultures throughout time have utilized plants and natural remedies as a source of medicine and healing strategies. The African continent features areas with extremely high biodiversity and high levels of endemism, indicating that many of the continent’s plant resources are uniquely African. Traditional medicine in Africa is therefore based on a broad ethnomedicinal knowledge and represents a major socio-cultural heritage, which has accumulated during the last millennials and features valuable and unique ethnomedicinal information. Today, modern biochemical and molecular biological methods allow systematic investigation of these medicinal healing strategies based on naturally occurring remedies (such as plants or insects). Research aims focus on the rationalization of traditional natural medicines of Western Africa by documentation and systematic phytochemical and pharmacological investigation.

letzte Änderung: 09.10.2019