MARINE PHARMACOGNOSY LABORATORY
Natural products are evolutionarily optimized and validated starting points for the development of valuable products for biomedical and industrial applications. Hence, natural products, particularly from marine organisms, can be dubbed as ‘blue gold’.
Our work at the Marine Science Institute can be subdivided into three broad domains- natural products-initiated drug discovery, establishment of new methodologies to address the supply issue of natural products and characterization of marine toxins and venoms. Our main focus is on the discovery of natural products from marine organisms such as bacteria cyanobacteria, sponges and mollusks. We are part of two drug discovery consortia in the Philippines: Discovery and Development of Health Products (DDHP) and the Philippine Mollusk Symbiont-International Cooperative Biodiversity Group (PMS-ICBG). Both these projects aim to develop antibiotics, anticancer, and anti-pain agents from molecules produced by marine organisms from the Philippines. In addition, we also spearheaded the assessment of the biotechnological uses of less-studied organisms from the Philippines such as cyanobacteria and the antimalarial activity assessment of marine microorganisms from the Philippines.