Summer School - Plant Derived Polyphenols as Drug Leads, 5-9 October 2015, TU Dresden, Germany

Publish Date: Jul 15, 2015

Deadline: Jul 19, 2015

Event Dates: from Oct 05, 2015 12:00 to Oct 09, 2015 12:00

The school is an initiative of the Departments of Chemistry and Biology of the Technische Universität Dresden (TU-Dresden). Using plant derived polyphenols as an example the aim of the school is to bring together all scientific disciplines necessary for the identification, standardization, chemical and biological characterization, as well as pharmacological and toxicological evaluation of traditional medicinal products and single chemicals obtained thereof. Prerequisite for pharmacological and toxicological testing is the availability of sufficient quantities of test chemicals. Therefore the second aim of the school is to provide insight into synthetic Organic Chemistry of natural compounds which represents an integral part of this school.

The participants of the Summer School will become familiar with State-of-the-Art methodology and recent developments of pre-clinical research necessary to identify medicinal plants, to elucidate their chemical constituents, to test for biological activity, to chemically synthesize larger quantities of identified bioactive compounds which are prerequisite for in depth pharmacological pharmacological validation and toxicological assessment of candidate molecules. These methods and tests will be exemplified using flavonoids as an example, which represent a defined class of low molecular weight plant secondary metabolites. They are intensively investigated at TU-Dresden for years and are discussed in the alleviation of menopausal complaints, prevention of adiposity as well as prevention of hormone dependent cancers.

The summer school will cover all steps from the plant to the compounds, which is a multidisciplinary task. The first step, the identification of promising plant material is realized following by ethnobotanical approaches. In a second step, phytochemists will prepare standardized extracts, perform chemical profiling of extracts and identify as well as isolate individual chemical compounds. In a third step extracts and individual will enter a biological screening. The final step comprises validation of biological activities by pharmacological methods and exclusion of potential toxic side effects. This final step requires the synthesis of comparatively large quantities of compounds why it is of crucial importance to include the expertise of synthetic Organic Chemistry into the process. In essence, the whole process reflects an interdisciplinary effort of varies scientific subjects including Botany, Pharmaceutical Chemistry (not available at TU-Dresden), Biology, Organic Chemistry, Pharmacology and Toxicology.


The school aims to bring together participants who are interested in one of the areas relevant to the topic of the workshop and who are early in their carrier. Preferentially with a PhD-students, but also junior Postdocs who are in their first two postdoc years should apply.

The basic chemical structure of most of the low molecular molecules which have been approved as medicinal drugs within the last ten to fifteen years is of plant origin. This clearly demonstrates the importance of plant secondary metabolites for human health and the necessity for identification and characterization of new chemical structures. However there is an additional flavor to research on plant secondary metabolites. In third world countries the large majority of the population cannot afford Westernized medicinal care and relies on traditional medicinal products which most often comprise watery or alcoholic medicinal plant extract. These extracts are most often neither evaluated regarding their efficacy, nor regarding their safety of application. Moreover, the individual chemical principles which are responsible for the expected health effects are largely unknown. Therefore there is an urgent need to investigate the pharmacological and toxicological profile of traditional medicinal plant products and single compounds derived thereof in order to determine their efficacy and safety of use.


The school aims to bring together participants who are interested in one of the areas relevant to the topic of the workshop and who are early in their carrier. Preferentially with a PhD-students, but also junior Postdocs who are in their first two postdoc years should apply.

To apply, please fill in the form and submit your application by July 19th, 2015.

The participants will be selected by the organizers based on the information supplied in the electronic application form. Several participants will be selected for a presentation of their scientific work. The selection will be based on scientific merit and relevance of the topic for the school.

Notification of acceptance to the Summer School will be from August 14th, 2015 (including selection for presenting a talk).

There is no participation fee; local accomodation will be provided; the participants may apply for (partial) travel funding. The granting of this financial support will be dependent on the Summer School’s budget. Notification about financial support will be from August 14th, 2015.

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