Molecular Targets


Research Focus

"Natural products can be viewed as a population of privileged structures selected by evolutionary pressures to interact with a wide variety of proteins and other biological targets for specific purposes, a view supported by the fact that natural products have become effective drugs in a wide variety of therapeutic indications" (Koehn FE and Carter GT. Nat Rev Drug Discovery 4:206-220, 2005).

Our research focuses are

i) to understand the molecular interaction of natural products with proteins/signaling molecules within cells. Identification of biological targets will help to identify new pharmacological targets for drug discovery & development.

ii) to identify new active natural products by target- (nuclear receptors, transcription factors, phosphatases) or phenotype-oriented cellular screening models using material that was preselected by collaboration partners via in silico tools or ethnopharmacological knowledge.

The cellular models currently used in our lab focus on the prevention and/or treatment of cardiovascular and metabolic disease.


Funded Projects

  • 2016-2019
    FWF - Project P29392
    Role of AMPK for the Nrf2-dependent celluar stress response.
    http://pf.fwf.ac.at/en/research-in-practice/project-finder/38526
  • 2016-2019
    BMWFW: SINO AUSTRIA III
    China: TCM-Research Cluster Austria III: Identification of natural products from Paridis rhizoma (Chonglou) as liver X receptor (LXR) and farnesoid X receptor (FXR) ligands.
  • 2016-2017
    Austria Wirtschaftsservice: PRIZE
    Synthetische Lignane als Proliferationshemmer bei Cardiovasculären Erkrankungen.
    Joint project between Universitiy of Vienna and Technical Universitiy Vienna
  • 2015-2017
    Herzfelder´sche Familienstiftung
    Metabolic Reprogramming - a target for natural products in the alleviation of agecompromised wound healing?
  • 2014-2016
    Hochschuljubiläumsfonds - Projekt H-297332
    Metabolomics-assisted dissection of molecular mechanisms underlying the action of natural products increasing macrophage efflux.
  • 2014-2016
    FWF – Project P25971
    Improved Cholsterol Efflux by Natural Products.
    pf.fwf.ac.at/en/research-in-practice/project-finder/30317
  • 2013-2015
    FFG Bridge – Projekt 841283
    Etablierung neu entwickelter Modelle des Metabolischen Syndroms als Screening Plattform für Phytodrogen.
  • 2012-2015
    Herzfelder´sche Familienstiftung
    Counteracting the age-related decline of antioxidant defense and metabolic function by activation of the transcription factor Nrf2.
  • 2012-2014
    EU Contract No. PIIF-GA-2009-252881
    TCM-VASC: Chinese Medicines used against Cardiovascular Disease.
    http://cordis.europa.eu/
  • 2011-2014
    FWF-NFN-Project S10704-B13 (Project Part PP04)
    Drugs from nature targeting inflammatory.
    www.uibk.ac.at/pharmazie/pharmakognosie/dnti
  • 2011-2014
    FWF – Project P23317
    Antiproliferative and antimigratory activity of I3MO.
    http://www.univie.ac.at/pharmakognosie/I3MO
  • 2011-2014
    Two projects within the Graduate program “Bioactivity Profiling & Metabolism” (University of Vienna)
  • 2011-2017
    Member of the Research platform “Active Aging”
    Joint project between the Faculty of Life Sciences and the Center of Sport Sciences.
  • 2011-2012
    Hochschuljubiläumsfonds Projekt H-1755/2010
    Insulinsensitizer aus der Natur.
  • 2010
    Industrial collaboration project (Reata Pharmaceuticals):
    Synthetic triterpenoids and their impact on endothelial cell function.
  • 2008-2011
    FWF-NFN-Project S10704-B037
    Drugs from nature targeting inflammatory.
    www.uibk.ac.at/pharmazie/pharmakognosie/dnti
  • 2008
    Hochschuljubiläumsfonds Project H-01509/2007
    Naturstoffe gegen endotheliale Dysfunktion.
  • 2006-2010
    FWF-Project P18982-B17 Resveratrol and Shp2
    http://pf.fwf.ac.at/de/wissenschaft-konkret/project-finder/4234
  • 2006-2009
    EU Contract No. LSHB-CT-2004-503467
    Pro Kinase Research:
    Protein kinases and phosphatases as targets for new anti-atherogenic compounds.
    www.proteinkinase-research.org/
  • 2003-2006
    Corporate project with Prof. Angelika M. Vollmar, University of Munich (LMU): DFG Sachbeihilfe VO 376/10-1/2: Signaltransduction of apoptosis-induction by cephalostatin-1, isolated from a marine organism
    www.cup.uni-muenchen.de/pb/aks/vollmar/