Phytochemistry & Biodiscovery

The enormous structural diversity of secondary metabolites from plants and microorganisms provides an indispensable resource for new bioactive substances and lead structures from numerous classes of compounds. Guided by rationalized approaches multi-component mixtures and pure compounds from natural sources are investigated for their bioactivity (e.g. on cellular systems, see “Molecular Targets” group, or by our phenotypic screening platform using C. elegans; foto). Our research mainly focuses on the identification of novel drug leads targeting inflammation, the metabolic syndrome, neuro-degenerative and viral diseases.


Grienke, U, Richter, M, Walther, E, Hoffmann, A, Kirchmair, J, Makarov, V, Nietzsche, S, Schmidtke, M & Rollinger, JM. Discovery of prenylated flavonoids with dual activity against influenza virus and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Scientific Reports, vol 6, pp. 27156, 2016. 10.1038/srep27156

Waldbauer, K, Seiringer, G, Nguyen, DL, Winkler, J, Blaschke, M, McKinnon, R, Urban, E, Ladurner, A, Dirsch, VM, Zehl, M & Kopp, B. Triterpenoic Acids from Apple Pomace Enhance the Activity of the Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (eNOS). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, vol 64, no. 1, pp. 185-94, 2016. 10.1021/acs.jafc.5b05061

Adhami, HR, Zehl, M, Dangl, C, Dorfmeister, D, Stadler, MJ, Urban, E, Hewitson, P, Ignatova, S & Krenn, L. Preparative isolation of oleocanthal, tyrosol, and hydroxytyrosol from olive oil by HPCCC. Food Chemistry, vol 170, pp. 154-159, 2015. 10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.08.079

Zeino, M, Paulsen, MS, Zehl, M, Urban, E, Kopp, B & Efferth, T. Identification of new P-glycoprotein inhibitors derived from cardiotonic steroids. Biochemical Pharmacology, vol 93, no. 1, pp. 11-24, 2015. 10.1016/j.bcp.2014.10.009