banner - 8th BCNP/ XXXIV RESEM

Nature-based Drug Discovery - Past, Present, And Future


Invited Lecture (IL)


Molecular Modelling



Date and time:

13:00 to 13:40 on 11/11/2021

Sciences at the interface of chemistry and biology have led to increased opportunities for the identifying of lead molecules against various therapeutic targets. For centuries, natural products have served as key sources of therapeutic agents, and still many of current drugs are derived from medicinal plants. However, synthesis of natural products is still a challenging task due to various reasons, including structural and stereochemical complexities. These problems can circumvent with the help of biocatalysis and combinatorial biosynthesis, as enzymes have high selectivity and specificity and they can work under mild conditions in both organic and aqueous media.

During last four decades, our research has been focused on the discovery of chemical constituents from medicinal plants used in traditional medicines, as well as designing new biotransformed products with therapeutic potential. This has resulted in the identification of several novel drug leads against various therapeutic targets. Emphasis has been on the discovery of natural products and their analogs against chronic disorders, including cardiovascular, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's diseases.

Novel analogues of existing drugs such as tibolones (postmenopausal osteoporosis), exemestane (anti-cancer drug), medrysone (anti-inflammatory agent) and many others were synthesized using biotransformation tools. Thus, potent anti-inflammatory, and cytotoxic agents were identified as lead molecules against breast cancer cell lines. Furthermore, inhibitors of key enzymes related to several diseases were also discovered.


During this presentation, some recent examples of our studies highlighting the translational potential of bioactive natural products, and biotransformation against non-communicable chronic diseases will be presented




University of Karachi

Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary is Director and Professor of Bioorganic and Natural Product Chemistry at the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (H. E. J. Research Institute of Chemistry and Dr. Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research) and Coordinator General COMSTECH (Organization of Islamic Cooperation Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation). Prof. Choudhary has, since 1990, been among the world leaders in the field of natural product chemistry, and has made pioneering contributions in the discovery of novel natural products. He has discovered many potent anti-epileptic and anti-leishmanial compounds from indigenous medicinal plants that are under clinical trials. His contributions to reverse bacterial resistance to antibiotics represent seminal contributions in this important field. He leads the developing world's finest research center of natural product chemistry (H. E. J. Research Institute of Chemistry) since 2002, and has trained hundreds of young researchers, especially women, from across the Afro-Asian region in natural product chemistry.  He has established several research centers in Pakistan, and helped to setup research units in Africa, and South and Central Asia. His scientific, and capacity building contributions have been recognized by prestigious national and international awards and honors, and fellowships of several academies of science. Prof. Choudhary has 1,154 publications (Citations 29,850, h index 70) in the fields of organic and bioorganic chemistry, along with 74 international patents (56 US Patents), 87 books and 40 chapters in books, published by major U.S. and European presses. On the basis of his researches, 98 students have been awarded Ph.D. degrees in various areas of natural product and bioorganic chemistry.