Mission Statement

The Division of Pharmacognosy carries out research in pharmaceutical sciences focused on natural products from medicinal plants and microorganisms. Major tasks are the discovery of new biologically active compounds from natural sources and the characterization of their molecular mode of action contributing to a better understanding of the interaction of natural products and complex cellular systems. Our aim is pharmaceutical lead and target identification, the quality improvement of herbal medicinal products as well as the sustainable production of natural products by biotechnological approaches.


On July 09th, Verena Dirsch gave a lecture for children between seven and twelve years old. Exciting questions about how nature can help us to find new drugs have been discussed (Kann uns die Natur helfen, neue Medikamente zu finden?).


On June 10th, Anna Vignolle successfully defended her PhD thesis "Thesis title: Genome mining of Streptomyces spp. isolated from the rhizosphere of Leontopodium nivale subsp. alpinum." Well done and congratulations Anna! We wish you all the best for your future career!


A great opportunity to increase biodiversity: Also small places like our balconies can be used to go green!


On May 29th, a study group from Vives University (Roeselare, Belgium) visited lab facilities at the Department under the guidance of Manfred Ogris and Verena Dirsch together with Elke Heiss, Haider Sami and Marlene Eder to learn about the use of nucleic acid based drugs for the treatment of cancer and the use of natural products to find new biologically active compounds. The group consisted of Zoey Vandenberghe, lecturer in Biotechnology, two more teachers, and 22 bachelor students.


On 13.05.2024, Alexander Perhal participated in the science communication event 'Pint-of-Science 2024' with a talk on Natural Products as a valuable source of drugs. The event aims to bring science topics and labwork to a broader audience in a bar. The sold-out evening resulted in vibrant discussions with a highly interested audience and a chance to convey important scientific work to public outside of academia.


On March 22nd, Sheyda Bahiraii successfully defended her PhD thesis online, reviewing and discussing her four years of work on immunometabolism in natural product -treated macrophages. Congratulations Sheyda, you did a great job! We wish you only the best for your future steps.