Department of Chemistry Seminar
Rohan Davis, Eskitis Institute for Cell and Molecular Therapies, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia
"Natural Product Drug Discovery @ Eskitis"
Place: Lilla hörsalen, KB3A9
Host: Mikael Elofsson
Abstract: Nature has continuously provided the human race with a broad and structurally diverse arsenal of pharmacologically active compounds that have been effectively utilised in the treatment of numerous diseases. More than 50% of all marketed drugs in the world are natural products or their derivatives. Well-known examples of valuable natural products used as medicines today include tacrolimus (immunosuppressant), erythromycin (antibiotic), paclitaxel (breast/ovarian/lung cancer), lovastatin (cholesterol lowering) and galantamine (anti-Alzheimer). Due to the developing resistance of many cancer-types, microbes and parasites, and the minimal safety and efficacy associated with certain drugs on the market today, there is still a high demand for the discovery and development of new therapeutics. This talk will detail current biodiscovery efforts being undertaken by the Davis research group at the Eskitis Institute, Griffith University.
Biosketch: Dr. Rohan Davis obtained his Bachelor of Science (Hons) from the University of Melbourne in 1992, with co-majors in organic chemistry and biochemistry. Rohan worked as a research assistant on the AstraZeneca/Griffith University Biodiscovery Program (1994–1996) before undertaking his doctoral studies (1997–2000) at Griffith University in the area of marine organic chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Ron Quinn and Prof. Tony Carroll, A post-doctoral stint at the University of Utah with Prof. Chris Ireland was undertaken (2001–2003) before returning to Griffith to set up his research group, which currently focuses on the identification and synthesis of bioactive natural products from plants, fungi and marine invertebrates. This research has resulted in the discovery of many new compounds, some of which have been shown to display potent anti-cancer, anti-bacterial and/or anti-malarial activity. Dr. Davis has authored 91 publications in international chemistry/biology journals, and currently holds one patent.