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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Discovery and Development of Natural Products for Pharmaceutical and Agrochemical Applications

Location: Natural Products Utilization Research

Project Number: 6408-41000-010-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Nov 06, 2012
End Date: Nov 05, 2017

Objective:
The primary focus of our project is in the development of novel products, compounds and materials needed for specialized products in biotechnological, agrochemical, and pharmaceutical applications. This work also includes the identification of new bioactive ingredients, understanding of their mechanisms of action and methods to determine their concentrations and stability to ensure quality of raw materials, whether used as sources of bioactive principles or for other applications. Objective 1: Discover new leads from plant-based natural resources with anti-infective and anti-cancer, immunomodulator and anti-inflammatory activities using cell-based screens and mechanistic assays using molecular target-based approaches. Sub-objective 1A: Source novel natural resources from terrestrial plants, marine organisms and microbes from around the world for biological testing. Sub-objective 1B: Prepare, maintain and manage Natural Products Repository and Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). Sub-objective 1C: Evaluate natural product extracts and natural product derived pure compounds for potential anti-cancer, anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic properties, and for utility in metabolic and immune disorders. Sub-objective 1D: Isolation and structural elucidation of lead compounds. Objective 2: For the best candidates, characterize mechanisms of action, selectivity, toxicity, functional activity in secondary assays and in animal models of plant-based anti-infective and anti-cancer, immunomodulator and anti-inflammatory compounds. Sub-objective 2A: Characterization of mechanisms of action and functional activity of leads. Sub-objective 2B: Characterization of selectivity and toxicity of lead compounds. Objective 3: Develop methods for analysis of bioactive or medicinally important plants and quality control of their derived products. Objective 4: Assess selected medicinal or aromatic plants for cultivation, harvest and processing to optimize yields of biomass and active principles.

Approach:
The approach includes a program of: (1) Using cell-based screening and mechanistic assays to discover new pharmaceutical and agrochemical leads from natural sources; (2) Using secondary assays and animal models to characterize mechanisms of action, selectivity, toxicity and functional activity of the best candidate compounds having anti-infective, anti-cancer, immunomodulatory, or anti-inflammatory properties; (3) Selection, agronomics and analysis of bioactive or medicinally important plants and their derived products.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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