Institut für Pharmazeutische Biologie und Phytochemie
Corrensstraße 48 D-48149 Münster
Tel.: +49 251 83-33380
Fax: +49 251 83-38341





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Research Network Natural Products against Neglected Diseases  

(ResNet NPND)


About one billion people world-wide, mainly in tropical regions, suffer from at least one of 17 life-threatening diseases currently classified by WHO as “Neglected Diseases”. Among these, infections caused by protozoan parasites such as Chagas Disease, Leishmaniasis and African Sleeping Sickness are largely unknown to the public in high-income countries. There is an urgent need to develop new safe and affordable drugs against these diseases.

The Research Network Natural Products against Neglected Diseases (ResNet NPND) has been established in April 2011 as a multilateral and international research initiative entirely dedicated to fight this global health threat with compounds derived from natural, renewable and sustainable sources.

The network comprises natural products- and medicinal chemists, parasitologists and specialists in antiprotozoal drug screening as well as biochemists and molecular biologists, who dedicate their coordinated and synergistic efforts to the search for new active natural products against Chagas-disease, Sleeping Sickness, Leishmaniasis and further protozoan infections. 

************* News *************

ResNet NPND meeting and scientific symposium to be held in Rio de Janeiro – Nov. 25-28, 2014

The next official meeting and scientific symposium of ResNet NPND will take place in Rio de Janeiro, November 25-28, 2014.
The network is grateful to Prof. Suzana Leitão of Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, who has taken the responsibility to organize this meeting and who
has managed to win a first grant from her state’s funding agency FAPERJ, so that the main framework for the meeting is secured.
This will be a great opportunity for direct interaction between the members, especially for networking between groups and sub-networks with the new members who joined during the last months.

A detailed program for this meeting is now under construction and will be issued shortly.
[June 13, 2014]

Special issue of open-access journal “Molecules” upgraded to Topical Collection – further submissions wanted! [April 2014]

Due to the large number of excellent contributions already submitted to the open-access journal “Molecules” special issue “Natural Products as Leads or Drugs against Neglected Tropical Diseases” guest-edited by Thomas J. Schmidt, this collection of publications has now been upgraded by the publisher MDPI to a “Topical Collection” which will continue to accept submissions for a longer period. This collection will be open at least until the end of 2014 and might then be extended, depending on the number of published articles. Open-access publishing in high-quality peer reviewed journals such as “Molecules” offers the benefit of maximal distribution of scientific results in the research community, which is not only important with respect to citations but, especially in the field of neglected diseases, will also be beneficial regarding our joint aims and goals!
Further high-quality manuscripts, especially from members of ResNet NPND are therefore highly welcome!

For informations please see here.

ResNet NPND – Report on activities 2011-2013 now available [April 02, 2014]

Recently, ResNet NPND members have reported on their activities during the first three years of the network’s existence. The reports of all active members, along with the membership applications and commitments of the recently accepted new members are now publicly available.
This document, together with the recently published activity report after the members’ meeting and workshop in August 2014, may serve as an account of the ongoing efforts of all network members to bundle their research activities to find new potential antiprotozoal agents in natural sources.

ResNet NPND welcomes new members [Feb 2014]

Recently, ten renowned scientists in research fields relevant to the network’s aims and goals have been selected as new members of ResNet NPND. The network welcomes the following scientists and their groups (in the order of their continents):


  • C. Adeleke Adebajo, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
  • Sami A. Khalid, University of Science and Technology, Omdurman, Sudan
  • Justina Ngozi Nwodo, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria

America (South):

  • Maria Cristina Nonato, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil


  • Jong Seong Kang, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea
  • Young Ho Kim, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea


  • Paul Cos, University of Antwerp, Belgium
  • Peter Delputte, University of Antwerp, Belgium
  • Louis Maes, University of Antwerp, Belgium
  • Luc Pieters, University of Antwerp, Belgium

As scientists working in important research fields such as protein crystallography, parasite biochemistry, biological testing and natural products chemistry, the new members will certainly strengthen the network’s activities and efficiency. Furthermore, ResNet NPND is happy to be now represented also on the African and Asian continents, both heavily haunted by protozoan infectious diseases.

A warm welcome to all new members and best wishes for fruitful and successful cooperations within the network!

ResNet NPND calls for new members [Okt 2013]

It has been decided that ResNet NPND will accept new members for a limited period. Interested scientists from all fields related to the network’s main aims and goals are invited to submit applications for membership. The new membership period will start on January 01, 2014. Applications will be accepted until Nov. 15, 2014.
An application form and a document with important information concerning membership can be downloaded here.

ResNet NPND workshop held at the 61st GA conference [Sept 2013]

During the 61st annual meeting of GA, several members of ResNet NPND and invited guests held a workshop in which the idea of ResNet NPND was introduced to a wider international community of Medicinal Plant and Natural Products researchers. Main goals were to give an overview of the network’s activities during the last two years since its foundation, to discuss ideas for future activities and the improvement of networking as well as to establish new contacts with colleagues who might be interested in participating in ResNet NPND as new members.

An account of the ResNet NPND activities during this conference can be  found here.


IPBP publication on natural products against neglected diseases receives „Molecules Best Paper Award 2013“ [March 2013]

The Open Access Journal „Molecules“ has awarded the publication

Thomas J. Schmidt, Amal M. M. Nour, Sami A. Khalid, Marcel Kaiser and Reto Brun
Quantitative Structure—Antiprotozoal Activity Relationships of Sesquiterpene Lactones
Molecules 2009, 14(6), 2062-2076; doi:10.3390/molecules14062062

the 1st prize of “Molecules-Best Paper Award 2013”.

The authors will dedicate the prize to further research on neglected diseases within the ResNetNPND.

Canadian software manufacturer CCG supports ResNetNPND by granting extra research licenses for modelling software MOE
[Nov. 2012]

MoeThe Chemical Computing Group (Montreal, Canada), manufacturer of the molecular modelling and drug design software suite "Molecular Operations Environment" (MOE), has granted three additional licenses to the group of T. J. Schmidt for one year, in order to support in silico work within the ResNetNPND.
This extra computational resource is being used in a massive in silico screening/docking campaign with natural product databases vs. a wide palette of Trypanosomal, Leishmanial and Plasmodial target proteins.
This non-profit engagement of CCG to advance research against Neglected Diseases is highly appreciated.

Prof. Fernando B. Da Costa, first holder of the WWU Brazil Chair Professorship, starts work at IPBP

[Sept. 05, 2012].
Da CostaProf. Fernando Batista Da Costa from the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil, as the first Brazilian researcher, has recently been selected for the Brazil chair professorship at WWU, funded by the Brazilian CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior).
Professor Da Costa (link to his CV) begins his six-month stay at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Phytochemistry (IPBP), WWU Muenster, on Sept. 05, 2012.
Fernando Da Costa, former director of the Natural Products Division of the Brazilian Chemical Society, is one of Brazil's top natural products chemists and a member of the Research Network Natural Products against Neglected Diseases (ResNetNPND). In the course of his guest professorship at WWU he will work together with the group of Prof. Thomas Schmidt at IPBP, with a main focus on the in silico evaluation of the antiinfective potential of natural products against tropical neglected diseases.

Chamber of Pharmacists/Pharmacists' Foundation (Apothekerkammer/Apothekerstiftung) Westfalen-Lippe supports research on Natural Products against Neglected Tropical Diseases

[August 2012] The Chamber of Pharmacists, by means of the Pharmasists' Foundation Westfalen-Lippe (Apothekerkammer Westfalen-Lippe/Apothekerstiftung Westfalen-Lippe) has granted financial support for a scientific project to be carried out within the ResNetNPND. This project, carried out primarily by the groups of T. J. Schmidt (Münster) and R. Brun (Basle), is directed towards the investigation of antiprotozoal potential of phytomedicinal preparations which are already legally approved and marketed. It is expected that this screening effort may yield new potential ("off-label") applications of already existing and registered/approved herbal preparations as well as hitherto unknown new lead compounds of natural origin against the neglected tropical diseases.
The grant duration is three years. This important engagement of the Westfalian-Lippian Pharmacists in the fight against these grave diseases, hardly known in western high-income countries, is most gratefully acknowledged.

Apothekerkammer/Apothekerstiftung Westfalen-Lippe unterstützt Forschung zu Naturstoffen gegen vernachlässigte Tropenkrankheiten

[August 2012] Die Apothekerkammer bzw. Apothekerstiftung Westfalen-Lippe fördert ein wissenschaftliches Projekt innerhalb des ResNetNPND. Das Projekt, schwerpunktmäßig durchgeführt in den Arbeitsgruppen von T. J. Schmidt (Münster) und R. Brun (Basel), befasst sich mit der Testung von bereits zugelassenenen und markteingeführten Phytopharmaka gegen die Erreger vernachlässigter Tropenkrankheiten. Hieraus können neue potentielle ("off-label") Anwendungen für solche Präparate sowie Hinweise auf bisher unbekannte Leitstrukturen natürlichen Ursprungs gegen diese Erreger resultieren.
Der Förderzeitraum beträgt drei Jahre. Der Westfälisch-Lippischen Apothekerschaft sei für dieses wichtige Engagement gegen hierzulande fast unbekannte, jedoch weite Teile der Welt betreffende schwerwiegende Erkrankungen herzlich gedankt.

[Mar 2012] Comprehensive Review "The potential of secondary metabolites from plants as drugs or leads against protozoan neglected diseases" now published in Current Medicinal Chemistry .
This review consists of two parts summarizing the current state of knowledge in this field as published in approximately 800 references and covering the antiprotozoal potential of about 900 secondary metabolites from plants. This work was authored by 22 co-authors, including many of the members of ResNetNPND and several further specialists in this field. Both publications are part of a special issue of Current Medicinal Chemistry titled "Coming Back To Nature: Plants As A Vital Source Of Pharmaceutically Important Metabolites" which has now been published, see http://www.benthamscience.com/contents-JCode-CMC-Vol-00000019-Iss-00000014.htm.

First official ResNetNPND doctorate student funded by DAAD/CAPES
Recently, Mauro Nogueira da Silva, Master of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Universidade de Sao Paulo at Ribeirao Preto, was awarded a DAAD/CAPES fellowship in order to start his doctorate work at the University of Münster under supervision of T. J. Schmidt. Mr. Nogueira will pursue a research project within the cooperation between his supervisor and F. B. da Costa (Ribeirao Preto) within ResNetNPND, starting in April 2012 after a six month German course.

Seminal Workshop (April 26-28, 2011):

"Research Initiative on Natural Products against Neglected Diseases"

For members only:

Impressum | © 2005-2013 Institut für Pharmazeutische Biologie und Phytochemie
Institut für Pharmazeutische Biologie und Phytochemie
Corrensstraße 48
· D-48149 Münster
Tel.: +49 251 83-33380 · Fax: +49 251 83-38341