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About the Lab

Drug Discovery From Natural Products

There is a misconception out there that "chemicals" are inherently bad or dangerous, and that "natural medicines" are better and safer. Some natural chemicals are safe, and others are not. Some synthetic chemicals are dangerous, and others are not. A nice visual breakdown can be found online at Compound Interest.

In fact, a vast number of clinically used "Western" drugs are actually chemicals that came from nature. Nature makes the molecules, and our lab works to discover what is there and how we can put it to use for improving human health. Sometimes that includes needing to make structural modifications, and sometimes it does not.

Natural chemicals provide fantastic starting points for drug development to treat pretty much all types of diseases. These chemicals are produced by plants, including those used in traditional medicines, or soil and aquatic or marine bacteria, also free-living or symbiotic fungi, and ocean-growing algae. Our lab is particularly focused on finding new leads for treating cancers, infectious parasitic diseases, and neurological disorders.

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Ningbo University  Meishan Island Campus

Construction of the newest campus of Ningbo University was finished in the summer of 2018, and the lab moved to Meishan Island. Here we have brand new facilities, state of the art equipment, and beautiful scenery. The campus is part of an ecologically friendly economic development and free trade zone in Beilun, a district of Ningbo city in Zhejiang province, China. We welcome you to come visit and experience this space for yourself!

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