Natural Products

Group: Natural Products


Registry number: EC13/0522

School/Centre: PHARMACY


  • 1. Acero de Mesa, Nuria (Main researcher)
  • 2. Muñoz Mingarro Martínez del Arce, Dolores
  • 3. Martínez Solís, Isabel

Research thematic areas:


UNESCO Code: 3209.05; 510113; 320904


Pharmacognosy; ethnopharmacology; natural products; bioactivity; traditional medicine; phytochemistry.

Relevant characteristics of the research group (description of the group's activity):

This is a multidisciplinary line of research that deals with the study of plants as a source of active ingredients of pharmacological interest. The search for new substances of therapeutic interest is complex and initially requires the selection not only of the plant to be studied, but also of the plant organ to be harvested. In this respect, botanical and ethnopharmacological analyses are of great help. Over the years, we have carried out studies in these two areas: looking for active molecules in species close to others that have already demonstrated activity, and in plants used in traditional medicine, both in Spain and in South America. Once the plant has been selected, plant extracts, which are characterised phytochemically by means of different analytical techniques such as HPLC-MS, TLC, colorimetry, gas chromatography, etc are obtained. Simultaneously, studies are carried out on the potential pharmacological activities of the extract/s, or of some of their components once isolated. We determine the antioxidant potential both in vitro and in cell culture. This capacity is closely related to the onset and development of pathologies such as inflammation or cancer. In relation to the free radical scavenging capacity, we evaluated their neuroprotective potential as well as the dermoprotective activity of different extracts, the latter of which led to the presentation and subsequent granting of a national patent. Finally, we have worked with plants with cytotoxic activity, evaluating their mechanism of action and selectivity in different tumour and non-tumour cell lines.