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Scientific Methods & Projects

Innovative Methodology for Natural Products Analysis

  • Active Principle Analysis: Development of new approaches to determine/analyze active principles
  • Purity & Bioactivity: Establishment of purity assays for mass-limited bioactive natural products; purity-activity relationships (PARs); assessment of static and residual complexity
  • New Separation Methodology: development and application of countercurrent and partition chromatography (CCC); predictive methods for CCC performance, solvent system mapping, G.U.E.S.S. methodology, ReS plotting; development of automation in CCC
  • New Spectroscopic Methodology: NMR spectroscopy, including cryoprobe and microprobe technology; 1D and 2D quantitative NMR (qNMR); mass spectrometry (LC/MS); stereochemical analysis
  • HiFSA Fingerprinting: Structural Analysis and Dereplication by NMR using 1H iterative Full Spin Analysis (HiFSA); analysis of 1H NMR fingerprints and generation of HiFSA profiles; combination of HiFSA with qHNMR
  • Structural Dereplication: identification of natural products using computational models
  • Development of innovative separation regimens for the analysis of complex natural products and secondary metabolomes
  • Validated libraries of natural product reference materials
  • Modern Pharmacognosy: Innovative (phyto)chemical analysis paired with biological evaluation of natural products and "small" molecules

Secondary Metabolomes & Dietary Supplements Research

  • Identification of bioactive principles in secondary metabolomes of plants, fungi, bryophytes, and microbes; spectroscopic analysis (nD and selective NMR, qNMR, LC-/GC-MS)
  • Development of metabolomic standardization methodology for the standardization of dietary supplements
  • Assessment of botanical synergy
  • Development of biochemomentrics for the analysis of complex bioactive natural products such as botanicals and ethnobotanicals
  • Dietary Supplements Research in the UIC/NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research in Women's Health, a multidisciplinary and collaborative program aimed at addressing standardization, quality, safety, and efficacy of botanical dietary supplements; phase I and II clinical trials with natural products intervention materials
  • Analysis of the active principles of botanicals used in women's health for their estrogenic, serotonergic or chemopreventive properties, and biomodifiers of dentin
  • Natural Hormones: medullipin/angiolysin family of endogenous antihypertensive factors; naturally occurring hormonal steroids from plants; pregnanes and related steroids

Tuberculosis Research: Drug Discovery & Metabolomics

  • In collaboration with the Institute for Tuberculosis Research at UIC
  • Anti-TB Drug Discovery: Purification and characterization of anti–TB secondary metabolites from actinomycetes and fungi, and their structure activity–relationships
  • Anti-TB Bioassays: In vitro bioassay Methods for anti-TB drug discovery and activity profiling; biological testing in vitro (e.g., susceptibility assays for non-replicating persistence) and in vivo (e.g., metabolomic biomarkers by GC-MS/MS to shorten animal experiments) of crude and purified natural products; automation of biological data analysis
  • TB Metabolomics: Research on the metabolome of non-replicating Mycobacterium tuberculosis in; identification of low molecular weight compounds in non-replicating persistence (NRP) cultures of M. tuberculosis under low oxygen conditions, as a model for dormant TB, as tool and for mechanistic insights for drug discovery
  • Ethnobotanicals for the discovery of new anti-TB lead structures
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