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.


Judith M. Rollinger's team is starting a joint project in cooperation with the Schwabe Group. Caenorhabditis elegans, a one-millimetre-long nematode, is used for phenotypic analysis as this model organism is ideal for research into the ageing process.


Pharma and Food - Lecture Series

03.13.2022 - 23.06.2022


As of today, Karin Ortmayr has joined our Division as Assistant Professor (tenure track). Using combined metabolic- and phenotypic profiling, her research addresses fundamental questions on the interplay between different cell states, cellular metabolism and the action of bioactive compounds. We cordially welcome her and wish her a lot of success in her research!



Julia Zwirchmayr successfully defended her thesis “Approaches to unravel the bioactivities of natural remedies”. Well done and congratulations Julia! We wish you all the best for your future career.




Benjamin Kirchweger successfully defended his thesis “Natural products against metabolic diseases: Models for in silico to in vivo discovery”. Well done and congratulations Beni! We wish you all the best for your future career.



A new FWF project has been granted to Lea Ann Dailey (PI, Div. of Pharm. Technology) and Ulrike Grienke (co-PI, Div. of Pharmacognosy). The aim of this project is to investigate natural products active against acute respiratory infections (e.g. SARS-CoV-2) regarding their suitability and efficacy for aerosol administration. Preliminary data indicate that compared to oral application, pulmonary delivery can achieve higher compound concentrations in the lung directly at the site of infection.