Prof. Judith Rollinger, University of Vienna
Prof. Rebecca Goss, University of St. Andrews
Dr. David J. Newman, Retired Chief, Natural Products Branch, NIH/NCI
Prof. Gabriele Costantino, University of Parma
Dr. Quoc-Tuan Do, GreenPharma S.A.S.
Dr. Olga Genilloud, Fundación MEDINA
Prof. Moses K. Langat, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
Prof. Birger Lindberg Møller, University of Copenhagen
Prof. Hanna Mazur-Marzec, University of Gdańsk
Dr. Dashnie Naidoo-Maharaj, University of Pretoria
Prof. Jean-Luc Wolfender, University of Geneva
Professor of Pharmacognosy/Pharmaceutical Biology at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Life Science, University of Vienna, Austria.
President of the “Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research” (GA)
After her PhD in Pharmacognosy (University of Innsbruck/Austria), Judith Rollinger extended her studies to the fields of phytochemistry, ethnopharmacology, and molecular modelling, she implemented computational approaches in natural product science (habilitation in 2007). She was appointed full Professor at her present institution in 2014 leading the ‘Phytochemistry and Biodiscovery’ research group. Prof. Rollinger is senator of the University of Vienna and project leader in various national and international projects.
Since 2020 she is president of the largest European learned society, focusing on research on natural products, nature-based drug discovery, medicinal plant research and quality control of herbal medicines – the “Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research” (Home - Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research (GA) (ga-online.org)). In her role, she leads this global society’s efforts to foster research in these important areas, improve networking and communication globally and to support especially younger researchers.
In her research she focuses on the interdisciplinary field of integrating big data analysis (chemoinformatics, chemometry) in pharmacognostic research as strategy for the discovery of natural lead structures for treating viral infections, metabolic syndrome and inflammation. Publications resulting from her research have appeared in highly ranked international journals (~120), and as book contributions and patents.
Professorship in Biomolecular/Organic Chemistry
School of Chemistry, Biomedical Sciences Research Complex, University of St. Andrews, United Kingdom
The Goss Group are active in the area of elucidating and engineering biosynthesis of natural products, at the chemical and genetic level, and in blending synthetic biology and synthetic chemistry to make new to nature natural products. Specifically, our research focuses on natural products with important medicinal properties, particularly anti-infectives, and in understanding how biosynthetically intriguing motifs within these compounds are assembled. From this vantage point we harness individual enzymes as convenient tools for organic synthesis, and engineer a combination of synthetic chemistry and synthetic biology to harness entire biosynthetic pathways in order to enable expeditious access to libraries of medicinally relevant compounds. These libraries may be used to gain a greater understanding as to how the drug acts at the molecular level within the cell. The Goss group also have active programmes in the complementary areas of natural product and biocatalyst discovery and development. In team with scientists in Chemical Engineering the Goss group have pioneered an Engineered E. coli plug and play platform for biocatalysis.
Goss has established a national and international reputation presenting ~120 invited, plenary and keynote lectures including: ASTAR Singapore 2018, MSD Boston 2018, GRC Natural Products 2018Yale 2013, Gordon Research Conference Biocatalysis 2014, RSC Synthesis 2015, Biotrans 2015, GRC Natural Products 2012, ETH Zurich 2012, ICIQ Tarragona Spain 2012, Brazil CIFARP 2013, Japan Chemical Biology 2012. She has received several awards and honours, such as Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship 2003, Thieme Chemistry Journal Award 2011, and ERC Consolidator grant 2014. Goss is strongly involved in service to the Scientific Community and has significant additional administrative experience from involvement in various RSC committees including the RSC Chemical Biology Interface Forum (to which she was elected), as Secretary to the BioOrganic Group (to which she was invited) and as an Executive Member of RSC Organic Division ( to which she was invited). She has published >70 publications in highly ranked international journals, such as Nat. Chem., Nat. Comm. and JACS.
David Newman retired as Chief of the Natural Products Branch (NPB) in the Developmental Therapeutics Program at the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Maryland in January 2015 having spent almost 24 years with the branch, the last 10 as Chief. Between 1956 and 1968 he spent 8 years in the UK agrichemical and photographic industries as a technician and then a graduate scientist, (ARIC by examination in 1960), interspersed with two two-year “sojourns” as a graduate student. M.Sc. organic chemistry University of Liverpool (1961-63); D.Phil. in microbial chemistry from the University of Sussex (1966-68).
Moved to the USA in 1968 as a post-doc in the Biochemistry Department at the Univ.Georgia. In 1970, joined SK&F (biological chemist working mainly on anti-infective agents). 1977 MLS info. Sci. (Drexel University). SK&F then closed their antibiotic program in 1985. Following work in marine and microbial discovery programs at various companies for the next 6 years, joined the NCI’s NPB in 1991 responsible for marine and microbial collection programs, and their development as antitumor agents. Following Gordon Cragg’s retirement from the position of chief in Dec 2004, he was acting chief (2005) until appointed chief in 2006.
Research interests are in natural product structures as drugs and leads thereto, together with their development as drugs, predominately in antimicrobial and antitumor areas. Author or coauthor of currently 239 publications mainly related to natural products and close chemical relatives, and holds 21 patents (UK, WIPO and USA) mainly on microbial products.
He is a Chartered Chemist (CChem), Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), a Chartered Biologist (CBiol) and Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB) in the UK, and was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Pharmacognosy in 2014.
Gabriele Costantino graduated in Chemistry at University of Perugia (Italy) in 1992. In 1994 he was appointed as research assistant at the Dipartimento di Chimica e Tecnologia del Farmaco of the University of Perugia. In 1998 Gabriele became associate professor of medicinal chemistry at the same Institution. Since January 2007 he is full professor of Medicinal Chemistry at University of Parma. During his career, Gabriele has been visiting scientist at Searle R&D (Skokie, IL, USA) and at the Departmento de Quimica Organica of University of Barcelona (Spain). Gabriele has been visiting professor at the Institute of Organic Chemistry of Goethe University of Frankfurt AM (Germany). Gabriele has been awarded in 2003 with the Farmaindustria/SCI prize as best young researcher in medicinal chemistry, and with the XVI Friederich Merz Fellowship for his research on molecular modeling of glutamate receptors. In 2022 Gabriele received the Medal ‘G. Musajo’ from the Italian Chemical Society, and is Honorary Fellow of the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry.
In his career, Gabriele has investigated the role of glutamate receptors in neuroprotection and strokeand the role of nuclear receptors in metabolic diseases, an effort which ended up with obeticholic acid (Ocaliva®), a marketed drug against primary biliary cyrrosis. More recently, Gabriele’s interest is focusing towards the design and synthesis of novel antibacterial agents and antibacterial adjuvants, and towards the characterization of active ingredients in African plants. Gabriele he’s responsible of a research project on biodiversity with the INES University at Musanze (Rwanda) and co-principal investigator of a project on Covid-19 funded by the National Science and Technology Committee of the Rwandan Government. Gabriele has been the coordinator of INTEGRATE, a Marie Sklodowska-Curie ETN project, funded under the H2020 framework, finalized at the design and synthesis of chemical probes for new antibacterial targets. Author of more than 180 scientific papers, Gabriele has been coordinator of the PhD program in medicinal chemistry at University of Parma from 2007 to 2011.
Gabriele is the Director of the Department of Food and Drugs (100 faculty members and more than 5000 students) at University of Parma, which received the Seal of Excellence from the Italian Ministry of University. He is Past-President of the Division of Medicinal Chemistry of the Italian Chemical Society and he has been member of the Executive Committee of the EFMC. Gabriele is the Italian National Coordinator of the Conference of the Deans of the Faculty of Pharmacy and he is involved in the curriculum revision of the master degree in Pharmacy and Industrial Pharmacy.
Quoc-Tuan obtained his Master in Chemistry and his diploma of “ingénieur chimiste” at l’Ecole National Supérieure de Chimie de Mulhouse (France) in 1996. Then, he got his PhD in chemoinformatics at the Institut de Chimie Organique et Analytique (France). He started his career in the biophysics department of HMR at Strasbourg, in protein structure elucidation by NMR, where he familiarised with NMR & molecular modelling methodologies. In 1997, he joined Tripos as a support scientist to complete his expertise in molecular modelling and acquired unique expertise in cutting edge molecular modelling tools and a large overview of pharmaceutical research problems and needs. By 2001, he joined Greenpharma to develop internal knowledge database system and Selnergy, a Greenpharma proprietary tool. QT is also the contact person for international collaborations.
Olga Genilloud is Scientific Director at Fundación MEDINA, and Head of the Microbiology Department. She has a PhD in Chemistry and more than 30 years’ experience in microbial natural products drug discovery, in the academic and clinical environments (Hospital Ramón y Cajal, 1984-1988; Harvard Medical School, Boston 1987) as well as in the pharma sector with former positions at Merck Research Labs where she contributed to the discovery of key novel antibiotics (Basic Research Center, MSD, Spain, 1989-2008). Her main research interests are focused on the biosynthesis and production of novel microbial natural products, the exploration of novel microbial diversity to deliver novel chemistry, and the development of molecular and chemical tools to support natural products drug discovery and potential new therapeutics. She manages the discovery programs and international collaborations with academic and industrial partners developed at Fundación MEDINA to identify novel drugs and high value biotechnological products. She has more than 190 publications and book chapters, and 18 international patents
Prof. Moses K Langat is currently a Research Leader for Natural Products Chemistry at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (United Kingdom), and a Professor of Chemistry at the Pen Resource University (Nigeria), and a visiting Lecturer at the University of Surrey (UK) and Royal Holloway University of London (UK). In addition, Moses is a Research Supervisor for PhD and MSc students registered at Kingston University (UK), Thswane University of Technology (South Africa), University of Douala (Cameroon), Mahidol University (Thailand) and Egerton University (Kenya). He obtained his PhD in Natural Products Chemistry at the University of Surrey (UK) in 2009 and was a Post Doctoral Fellow (2009-2012) on a European Commission funded project, FORESTSPECS. Moses holds an MSc of Egerton University in Chemistry and has been a visiting researcher at the University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa (2005) and North Carolina State University (2011).
His research includes the identification of biochemicals from plants and fungi and establishing their structures, and the development of the biochemicals into commercially valuable products for pharmaceuticals, agricultural, cosmetics, and other applications. He is involved in the development of a plant-derived product for the treatment of downy mildew on grapes. The product, Larixyne®, based on a diterpenoid, has undergone large-scale field trials in three European countries. Its efficacy has been proven, and the product has been patented and is being registered and licensed. He is also improving pyrethrum-based formulations for crop pests’ management, by incorporating sustainable and eco-friendly additives including synergists, excipients, and stabilisers. He is also involved in development of new Croton based products for use in pest management, livestock feeds, the biofuel sector and as drug leads. He was also recently involved in developing a natural product for treating avian viral diseases in conjunction with the Pirbright Institute.
He has published over 120 papers in high impact factor, peer-reviewed journals, and his research has been funded by Kew, UKRI, EC, AMS/GCRF, and the Royal Society. Moses was conferred the Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear, EBS (2022) award by the President of the Republic of Kenya for his distinguished and outstanding service to Kenya.
Birger Lindberg Møller is Professor of Plant Biochemistry at the University of Copenhagen (Email: email@example.com, Phone: +45 2043 3411) and Distinguished Professor at the Carlsberg Laboratory. H-index: 72 and 402 publications registered in Web of Science. He is the Director of the Center for Synthetic Biology. His research focuses on the role of bio-active natural products in plant growth and development, resistance to abiotic and biotic stresses using key crop and medicinal plants as the experimental systems. Results from field studies e.g. of the Eremophila genus across the Australian continent are combined with studies at the single molecule level of the enzyme complexes involved. Key classes of natural products studied are cyanogenic glucosides and diterpenoids with focus on their synthesis, turn-over, storage, and role in plant insect and plant microbe interactions. In synthetic biology, his research group is focussed on the direct channeling of photosynthetic electron flow into light-driven synthesis of high-value products by engineering the assembly of all required enzymes in the chloroplast. Target molecules are structurally complex diterpenoids with interesting medicinal properties like forskolin, triptonide, ingenol-3-angelate, ginkgolides, serrulatanes and dimers of branched chain fatty acids. Pathways for biosynthesis and industrial production of vanillin and carmine in yeast have been developed.
Birger Lindberg Møller is actively involved in collaboration with and mentoring of do-it-yourself communities and participates in debates on the opportunities, risks and ethics of synthetic biology in the written and electronic media. He is an elected member of the Royal Danish Academy of Science and Letters and member of the International Human Rights Network of Academic and Scholarly Societies, Washington. In 2007, he was awarded the VILLUM Kann Rasmussen Research Prize, the largest Danish research award (350.000 Euro). In 2013, he was awarded an ERC Advanced Grant and in 2015 an ERC PoC grant. His current research group is funded by grants from the Novo Nordisk Foundation and from the Carlsberg Foundation.
Professor Hanna Mazur-Marzec is a chemist. She works at the University of Gdańsk where she holds the position of the head of the Department of Marine Biology and Biotechnology. Throughout her university career, her interest has been focused on the natural products of aquatic microorganisms, including toxins and compounds with potential biotechnological application. In her studies, she extensively uses mass spectrometry in the analysis of specific environmental biomarkers and metabolite profiling, as well as for the isolation and structure elucidation of new bioactive natural products. With over 100 discovered cyanopeptides, she contributed to the establishment and development of CyanoMetDB database. Her recent scientific interests and projects focus on cyanopeptides with anticancer and antiviral activities. Prof. Mazur-Marzec is a member of the Polish Academy of Sciences.
Dr Dashnie Naidoo-Maharaj is a Senior Scientist at the Agricultural Research Council and Extraordinary Lecturer at the University of Pretoria. She has experience in industry, research and academia, with 20 years’ experience in drug discovery based on natural products, 14 years’ experience in bioprospecting, and 10 years’ experience in product development and business development. Dr Naidoo-Maharaj has lead multidisciplinary research teams in identifying and developing new natural ingredients for the health, cosmetic and food industries, while contributing to human capacity development by supervising students and mentoring researchers in bioprospecting. Her research has been presented at international conferences and her outputs include patents and publications in peer reviewed scientific journals. Products have been commercialised from her research and development projects, which focus on social and economic benefits to the African continent through job creation.
Jean‐Luc Wolfender is a chemist, who completed a PhD in pharmacognosy with Prof. Kurt Hostettmann (University of Lausanne, Switzerland, 1993). After being responsible of the analytical services of this laboratory, he performed his postdoc with Prof. Al Burlingame on Conus venom profiling (UCSF, San Francisco). He is now full Professor at the Phytochemistry and Bioactive Natural Product research unit of the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the University of Geneva (Switzerland), where he was the president of the School and is presently vicedean of the Faculty of Sciences. He has been strongly involved in the 90s in the introduction of LC‐MS and LC‐ NMR for the profiling of crude plants extracts for dereplication purposes in natural product based drug discovery research programs. He is currently developing innovative MS‐ and NMR‐ based metabolomics strategies in the frame of projects related to phytochemistry, microbial interactions and phytotherapy. He is specialised in the de novo structure identification of biomarkers at the microgram scale and is using a miniaturised approach that combines activity‐based HPLC profiling and high content information bioassays such as those involving zebrafish. His main research interests are focused on the search of novel inducible bioactive natural products in response to various biotic and abiotic stimuli as well for the study of the mode of action of phytopharmaceuticals from a systems biology perspective. He has many collaborations with South America and Asia mainly in relation with bioactivity guided isolation studies for the discovery of novel natural products of therapeutic interest and his involved in the organisation of workshops for the promoting metabolomics with the natural product community.