Institution: Universidad de Panamá (CIFLORPAN)
Department: Centro de Investigaciones Farmacognsaticas de la Flora Panamena, Facultad de Farmacia
Role in project: CIFLORPAN will be implemented at WP1 (Bioprospecting), WP2 (Chemodiversity), WP5 (Development), WP6 (Dissemination) and WP7 (Management)
Contribution: Participation in WP1, WP2, WP5, WP6 and WP7
Brief description of Organisation:
During the last three decades, the Center for Pharmacognostic Research on Panamanian Flora of the University of Panama has had great experience in the systematic study of Panamanian Flora, as a source of novel bioactive molecules. Dr. Mahabir Gupta, is the Research Professor of Pharmacognosy and Director of the Center . He is also a Research Associate of Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. He has over 150 publications in the field and has been the PI of many international research projects, including one from the European Commission, totaling over € 8 million in grants in chemistry and biology of Latin American flora. He was the International Coordinator of the CYTED’s Fine Pharmaceutical Chemistry Subprogram in 21 countries involving over 1300 scientists during the period 1995-2005. He also participated as an Associate Program leader of the Chemistry component in an International Cooperative Biodiversity Group (ICBG)’s “Ecology based bioprospection in Panama grant” with Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, funded by the National Institutes of Health during 1998–2003. The Center will be responsible for the bioprospection component of the project in Panama. Plants will be collected, identified, and processed to prepare extracts for extract libraries to be screened.
Three laboratories of Research Center of Pharmacognosy study of Panamanian Flora of the School of Pharmacy will be available to the project. These labs are suitable for processing of plant material, bioassays and isolation and separation of bioactive compounds. The Center also has all the major equipment necessary for chemistry and bioassays (antimicrobial, cytotoxicity, etc). The national Herbarium at the School of Biology, University of Panama will be available for identification of plant species and for depositing the voucher samples. A vehicle suitable for field trip is also available for plant collections.
We have an internal Network of 8 PCs, with data on plant and extract in nventories, bioassay results and ethnomedical uses of plants. A part – time secretary will also be available to the project. The National Secretarial for Science Technology and Innovation will have available a 400 MHz NMR (Jeol) and LC/Ms (Jeol) equipment very soon.
Short Profile of Staff and relevant experience.:
- Dr. Mahabir Gupta, is the Research Professor of Pharmacognosy and Director of the Center. He is also a Research Associate of Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. He has over 150 publications in the field and has been the PI of many international research projects, including one from the European Commission totaling over € 8 million in grants in chemistry and biology of Latin American flora.
- M. Correa – Taxonomist responsible for the plant collection and plant identification.
- D. Olmedo – Chemist with experience in extraction and isolation of natural products. He will be implemented in the extraction procedures.
- P. Solis – Chemist specialized in natural products chemistry. He will be involved at the isolation procedures.
Selected publications in line with scope of the project:
- KURSAR, T. A., C.C., CABALLERO-GEORGE, T.L. CAPSON, L. CUBILLA-RIOS, W.H. GERWICK, A. IBAÑEZ, R.G. LININGTON, K.L. McPHAIL, Solis, P. N, Gupta, M. P, E. ORTEGA-BARRIA, L. I. ROMERO AND P. D. COLEY. Securing economic benefits and Promoting Conservation through bioprospecting. BioScience 56(12): 1005-1012.
- CALDERON, A.I., VAZQUEZ, Y., SOLIS, P.N., CABALLERO-GEORGE, C., ZACCHINO, GIMENEZ, A., PINZON, R., CACERES, A., TAMAYO, G., CORREA, M., GUPTA, M.P. 2006. Screening of Latin American plants for cytotoxicity. Pharmaceutical Biology 44(2): 130-140.
- PECCHIO, M., SOLÍS, P.N., LÓPEZ- PÉREZ, J.L., VÁSQUEZ, Y., RODRÍGUEZ, N., OLMEDO, D., CORREA, N., SAN FELICIANO, A., GUPTA, M.P. 2006. Cytotoxic and antimicrobial benzophenones from the leaves of Tovomita longifolia. Journal of Natural Products 69: 410-413.