The hERGscreen Partners

P1          University of Innsbruck (UIBK)

P2          National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA)

P3          University of Basel (UNIBAS)

P4          Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens (BRFAA)

P5          University of Vienna (UNIVie)

P6          University of Florida (UF)

P7          Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS)

P8          Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC)

P9          University of the Free State (UFS)

hERGscreen_meeting_Munster2013

Annual meeting in Munster/Germany, Sept. 2013


hERGscreen_pert




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P1: University of Innsbruck, Austria (UIBK)
Institute of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacognosy and Computer-aided Molecular Design Group;
Center of Molecular Biosciences Innsbruck

Team

Judith M. Rollinger, PhD (Coordinator & PI) Associate Professor of Pharmacognosy (>70 papers, 6 patent applications) with expertise in computer-assisted and bioguided lead discovery from natural sources

Hermann Stuppner, PhD, Professor of Pharmacognosy (>200 publications, 5 patent applications), Head of the Department, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Chemistry

Markus Ganzera, PhD, Associate Professor of Phamacognosy, expert in analytics (CE, CEC, LC-MS), method development and validation

Daniela Schuster, PhD, PD and head of the computer-aided molecular design group and expert in molecular modeling

Sonja Sturm, PhD, Assistant professor in Pharmacognosy, specialist in LC-MS and LC-NMR-based analysis of plant extracts and biological fluids, as well as metabolomics

Stefan Schwaiger, PhD, Assistant professor in Pharmacognosy, expert on isolation techniques and metabolic profiling of plant extracts

Jadel Müller Kratz, PhD, seconded PostDoc in UIBK

Christina E. Mair, PhD student, hERGscreen secretary & project manager

Brief description

The Institute of Pharmacy/Pharmacognosy headed by Hermann Stuppner, at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, is an internationally respected and well established Natural Products research group. This academic site has a long standing expertise in three major areas, where UIBK will contribute to this IRSES project: (i) a unique focus on computational strategies for the rationalized search of bioactive/hazardous NPs, (ii) expertise in phytochemistry, chromatography and structure elucidation, and (iii) in depth knowledge in bioanalytics and metabolomics. For analytical issues, including quality/risk assessment of plant-extracts, commercial products as well as biofluids, a broad range of instruments and techniques is available. Judith M. Rollinger, the coordinator of this program is Associate Professor at this Institute. She is an expert in the interdisciplinary field of integrating computational techniques and ethnopharmacology in classical pharmacognostic research as a strategy for the discovery of novel bioactive NPs. Publications (>70) resulting from her research appear in highly ranked international journals, as book contributions, and patents.

Website: www.uibk.ac.at/pharmazie/pharmakognosie/

Expertise

  • Identification of bioactive natural products using computational approaches
  • Chromatographic and spectroscopic expertise for isolation and identification of plant constituents
  • Expertise in analytics (HPLC, LC-MS/MS, GC-MS, LC-SPE-NMR, CE)
  • LC-MS & NMR based metabolomics

Role in project: Coordination and IRSES partner responsible for WP2 (Virtual Access) and WP8 (Management)

Contribution

  • Coordinator
  • Leader of WP2 and WP8
  • Participation in WP1, WP2, WP3, WP6, WP7 and WP8




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P2: National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece (NKUA)
Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacognosy and Natural Products Chemistry

Team

A.-L. Skaltsounis, PhD, (PI) Professor in Pharmacognosy and director of the department, author of 150 scientific publications, and inventor of 10 patents. He is awarded with 20 research grants of EU, GSRT (Greece) and other organizations. He leads a research group of more than 20 researchers.

A. Tsarbopoulos, PhD, Associate Professor of Pharmacology. He is an expert in LC-MS/MS method development and LC-MS-based metablolomics

E. Mikros, PhD, Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, specialist in structural elucidation, molecular modeling and the software development of the chemical library.

N. Aligiannis, PhD, is Lecturer and expert on isolation techniques and NMR applications.

N. Fokialakis, PhD, is Lecturer and an expert in isolation & identification of natural products.

M. Halabalaki, PhD, Researcher and specialist in metabolomic profiling of plant extracts (HPLC-DAD, LC-MS).

V. Gikas, PhD, Researcher and an expert in chromatographic techniques and metabolomics

F. Bazoti, PhD, Researcher and specialist in LC-MS analysis of biological fluids and metabolism

K. Vougogiannopoulou, PhD, Researcher and specialist in organic synthesis and structure elucidation of natural products

Brief description

The main research activities of the Department of Pharmacognosy and Natural Products Chemistry of the Faculty of Pharmacy (P2) at National and Kapodistrian University of Athens headed by Leandros Skaltsounis are related to the discovery of novel biologically active natural compounds for several applications such as pharmaceuticals, food supplements, cosmetics and agrochemicals. Main research activities is related to isolation and structural determination of natural compounds design and synthesis of new molecules with biological activities, optimization of analytical procedures, quality-control assurance of herbal products and large-scale production of high added value natural products. The Department owns a library containing 700 plant species (80% endemic of the Mediterranean), 2500 extracts and more than 500 unique isolated NPs. The research expertise of the institution is reflected in 175 published scientific articles (within the last ten years) in high cited peer reviewed journals. The Department has implemented numerous research projects correlated to NPs funded by National or European organizations and private sector.

Website: www.pharm.uoa.gr/

Expertise

  • Pharmacognosy and natural product chemistry
  • Extraction, isolation and structural elucidation of natural compounds
  • LC-MS & NMR based metabolomics
  • Scale up production of natural products

Role in project: IRSES partner responsible for WP3 (Extraction, isolation and identification)

Contribution

  • Leader of WP3
  • Participation in WP1, WP2, WP3, WP6, WP7 and WP8




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P3: University of Basel, Switzerland (UNIBAS)
Division of Pharmaceutical Biology, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Team

M. Hamburger, PhD (PI) Professor of Pharmaceutical Biology and Head of Department (>190 publications, 5 patent applications). He leads an international research group of > 16 scientists

O. Potterat, PhD, Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Biology. He is an expert in HTS, robotics and HPLC profiling and natural products chemistry

M. Oufir, PhD, Senior Scientist. He is an expert in bioanalytics and has been working for several years in a CRO as Study Director. Strong background in analysis under GLP

A. Schramm, PhD student. Strong background in HPLC-based activity profiling and LC-MS analysis

D. Eigenmann, PhD student. Expertise in LC-MS/MS-based bioanalytics.

E. Jähne, PhD student. Has industry experience in drug safety screening, and is involved in LC-MS/MS-based bioanalytics.

Brief description

The focus of research at the Division of Pharmaceutical Biology (P3) at the University of Basel headed by Matthias Hamburger is in NP-based lead discovery for various applications, in herbal medicinal products, novel foods and cosmetics, and in the development and validation of analytical methods for profiling and quantification of NPs using LC-MS, qNMR etc. Of particular importance is the integrated technology platform which has been designed to permit miniaturized compound discovery. This versatile platform is used in a several local, national and international collaborations aiming the discovery of NPs with activity against neglected or emerging targets, and against anti-targets under the perspective of risk assessment. The Division also comprises a team involved in pharmacokinetic studies of natural products. The Division has libraries of >2000 extracts and >200 compounds preformatted in 2D barcoded 96-deepwell plates for screening and activity profiling. Since the establishment of the Division research activities have resulted in >100 publications in reputed peer reviewed journals. The research unit receives currently funding from national and international research bodies, from industry, and is participating in the FP7 consortium AGROCOS.

Website: www.pharma.unibas.ch/

Expertise

  • Isolation and Structural elucidation of Natural compounds
  • Development of protocols for discovery of natural products by HPLC-based profiling
  • Bioanalytics

Role in project: IRSES partner responsible for WP6 (Bioanalytics) together with BRFAA

Contribution

  • Leader of WP6
  • Participation in WP1, WP3, WP4, WP6, WP7 and WP8




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P4: Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens, Greece (BRFAA)
Division of Pharmacology & Pharmacotechnology; Center for Experimental Surgery

Team

C. Tamvakopoulos, PhD (PI) Research Investigator/Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology-Pharmacotechnology 

N Kostomitsopoulos , PhD, Senior Research Scientist/Professor, Center for Experimental Surgery

A Siskos, PhD, post-doctoral fellow with experience in LC-MS  method development and LC-MS analysis of pharmaceutical compounds in biological fluids

E Balafas, Animal Technician with experience to animal dosing for PK studies, Center for Experimental Surgery

P Alexakos, Animal Technician, Center for Experimental Surgery with experience to animal dosing for PK studies

T Karampelas, PHD student with experience in LC-MS  method development and LC-MS analysis of pharmaceutical compounds in biological fluids

P Katerina, PhD student, withMSc on Clinical Pharmacology-Therapeutics with experience on pre-clinical studies in animal models of disease

Brief description

The Division of Pharmacology & Pharmacotechnology and the Center of Experimental Surgery at the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens (P4) headed by Constantin Tamvakopoulos are non-profit research institutes, dedicated to understanding, treating, and preventing of human ailments through biomedical research. The Research Foundation operates since 2002 with research interests in the preclinical and clinical drug discovery and their development process. The division is active in projects in which bioactivity and drug like properties of NPs are evaluated and more recently in collaborative programs with P2/NKUA, studying the oral administration of bioactive NPs. The Center of Experimental Surgery is focused on studies in animal models of various diseases and novel therapeutic interventions. Development and testing of new surgical approaches is included in the current research program with a focus on experimental atherosclerosis, on hemodynamics and on the role of fluid mechanics on arterial diseases. 

Website: http://www.bioacademy.gr/

Expertise

  • Pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, drug metabolism
  • Biodistribution, bioavailability, bioequivalence
  • Quantitative and qualitative drug analysis by mass spectrometry
  • Biomarker validation
  • Pharmacology – in vivo studies
  • Animal dosing, model development and surgical procedures

Role in project: IRSES partner responsible for WP6 (Bioanalytics) together with UNIBAS

Contribution

  • Leader of WP6
  • Participation in WP5, WP6, WP7 and WP8



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P5: University of Vienna, Austria (UNIVie)
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Team

Steffen Hering, PhD (PI) Professor in Pharmacology and Toxicology (>150 scientific publications) with expertise in Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology

Igor Baburin, PhD, senior scientist experienced in functional studies on ion channels

Angela Schöffmann, PhD student, performing functional studies on ion channels

Juliane Hintersteiner, PhD student, performing in vivo studies on mice

Brief description

The Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University of Vienna (P5) headed by Steffen Hering made important contributions to our understanding of the mechanism of ion channel inhibition. One of the most important outcomes of the Department of the last years was the elucidation of the molecular mechanism of hERG channel block. The research expertise of the institution is reflected in several patents and more than 17 international publications within the last two years. The research unit has established a fruitful collaboration with P3/UNIBAS on identification of novel bioactive NPs in plant extracts (HPLC-based activity profiling) which was recently successfully used for the identification of hERG blockers in plant extracts.

Website: www.univie.ac.at/ptox/

Expertise

  • Identification of bioactive natural products using automated bioassays
  • Molecular mechanism of HERG channel inhibition

Role in project: IRSES partner responsible for WP4 (In vitro hERG assessment)

Contribution

  • Leader of WP4
  • Participation in WP4, WP7 and WP8




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P6: University of Florida, USA (UF)
Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy

Team

Hartmut Derendorf, PhD, (PI) Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pharmaceutics at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy in Gainesville (> 360 scientific publications, 6 textbooks)

Veronika Butterweck, PhD, since 2012: Professor at the University of Applied Sciences, School of Life Sciences, Northwestern Switzerland

Brief description

The research in the Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy at the University of Florida (P6) encompasses basic, applied, and clinical investigations in (i) pharmacokinetics/ biopharmaceutics, (ii) pharmaceutical analysis, (iii) pharmaceutical biotechnology and drug delivery, and (iv) herbal medicine. Adjunct to the Department of Pharmaceutics is the Center for Food-Drug Interaction, Education and Research (www.druginteractioncenter.org). The Center was established in the spring of 2003 to identify and analyze possible food- and dietary supplement-drug interactions and provide clarification on any resulting effects. Veronika Butterweck, Associate Professor of Pharmaceutics, is the researcher member of this project, and her research program focuses on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of botanicals and natural compounds and is well recognised in the scientific community. 

Website: http://www.cop.ufl.edu/research/pharmaceutics/

Expertise

  • In vivo Pharmacokinetic studies
  • In vivo Pharmacodynamic studies

Role in project: IRSES partner responsible for ethical issues

Contribution:

  • Responsible for Ethical Issues
  • Participation in WP5, WP7 and WP8




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P7, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (UFRGS)
Faculty of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program

Team

Teresa Dalla Costa, PhD. (PI) Associate professor of Pharmacokinetics and Coordinator of Graduate Program. Specialist in pre-clinical pharmacokinetic evaluation of new chemical entities and PK/PD modeling

Grace Gosmann, PhD, Associate professor of medicinal chemistry. Specialist in natural products chemistry: isolation, structural elucidation, semi-synthetic derivatives, drug discovery

Simone Cristina Baggio Gnoatto, PhD. Assistant professor of medicinal chemistry. Specialist in natural products and medicinal chemistry

Bibiana Verlindo de Araujo, PhD. Assistant professor of pharmacokinetics. Specialist in pharmacokinetics and PK/PD modeling

Alexandra Allemand, PhD student with expertise on natural products investigation and biological assays

Estevan Sonego Zimmermann, PhD student with expertise on biomethods

Brief description

The Faculty of Pharmacy located at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (P7), Porto Alegre, Brazil, celebrated this year its 115 anniversary. The associated Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program, that pioneered the field of drug and medicine investigation in Brazil, completed 40 years in 2010 with a scientific outcome of 314 indexed research articles in highly cited peer reviewed journals since 2007. The associated Drugs Bioanalytical Center headed by Teresa Della Costa started its activities in 2002 focusing on pharmacokinetic investigations of new active natural and synthetic compounds, pharmacokinetic investigations of drugs loaded into nanoparticles and PK/PD modelling of antimicrobial and antifungal drugs and published 50 scientific articles in peer reviewed journals since its foundation. Since 2001, the adjunct Phytochemistry Laboratory is under the coordination of Grace Gosmann, with a research focus on bioactive molecules from the Brazilian Flora and their partial synthetic derivatives. The research outcome is published in 42 scientific articles in peer reviewed journals.  

Website: www.ufrgs.br/ppgcf/

Expertise    

  • Pre-clinical pharmacokinetic evaluation of new compounds
  • Natural products chemistry: isolation, structural elucidation, semi-synthetic derivatives, drug discovery

Role in project: IRSES partner responsible for WP5 (PK/PD)

Contribution

  • Leader of WP5
  • Participation in WP1, WP3, WP5, WP7 and WP8





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P8: Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil (UFSC)
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmacy Graduate Program

Team

Eloir Paulo Shenkel, PhD, (PI) Full Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Coordinator of the Post-Graduation Program in Pharmacy, UFSC (around 150 papers in peer- reviewed journals)

Cláudia Maria Oliveira Simões, PhD, Full Professor of Pharmacognosy and Coordinator of the Post-Graduation Program of Biotechnology and Biosciences, UFSC (more than 90 papers in peer-reviewed journals)

Maique Weber Biavatti, PhD, Associate Professor of Pharmacognosy, expert in  isolation techniques and spectroscopy, UFSC

Lilian S.C. Bernardes, PhD, Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, expert in organic modification of natural products derivatives

Jadel Müller Kratz, PhD, PostDoc with expertise in preclinical study of the in vitro and in vivo absorption

Naira Schneider, PhD student with expertise in Biotechnology

Thiago Caon, PhD student with expertise in Bioanalytics

Brief description

The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (P8), Florianópolis, Brazil, is headed by Eloir Schenkel. The associated Pharmacy Graduate Program was established in 1999 and has outstanding research activities in the discovery of novel biologically active natural compounds, quality control and technological development of phytomedicines, as well as structural modification of natural compounds with more than 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals. In recent years, the institution implemented several research scientific projects funded by national and regional organizations, mainly Brazilian agencies (CNPq, CAPES, FAPESC, etc.) receiving more than two million dollars in research funding and equipments.

Website: www.gepronas.ufsc.br

Expertise    

  • Chemistry of natural products
  • Extraction, isolation and structural elucidation of natural compounds
  • Bioactivity profiling of plant extracts and isolated substances

Role in project: New and alternative sources of bioactive natural products; IRSES partner responsible for WP7 (Dissemination)

Contribution

  • Leader of WP7
  • Participation in WP1, WP2, WP3, WP7, WP8




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P9: University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa (UFS)
Department of Chemistry

Team

A. Marston, PhD, Professor of Chemistry  † sadly passed away on March 26, 2013.

J. van der Westhuizen(PI) PhD, Professor of Chemistry (35 scientific publications) with expertise in synthetic organic chemistry

S. Bonnet, PhD, Chemistry lecturer is a specialist in synthetic organic chemistry and the study of polyphenolic compounds

K. Du, PhD student, has experience in the isolation of natural products

Brief description

The Department of Chemistry at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein (P9), South Africa, has some of the most advanced research equipment in Africa. Key research focus areas of the Department include: X-ray crystallography, electrochemistry, organic synthesis, NP chemistry, bio-analytical chemistry, organometallic synthesis, polymer synthesis, computational chemistry, reaction mechanisms and industrial process chemistry. The organic chemistry section has a long record of excellence in NPs chemistry. This section headed by Andrew Marston is involved both in the bioactivity-guided isolation of NPs from plant sources, analytics and in the synthesis and semi-synthesis of NPs.

Website: http://www.ufs.ac.za/

Experience 

  • Bioactivity-guided isolation of natural products
  • Phytochemical analysis
  • Synthesis of natural products

Role in project: IRSES partner responsible for WP1 (Plant selection)

Contribution

  • Leader of WP1
  • Participation in WP1, WP3, WP6, WP7, WP8