International Workshop in Benin

© IPBP/Hensel

From February 05th to 10th an international workshop on ethnomedical research in West Africa took place in Cotonou, Benin. This conference has been joint-organized by the University of Leipzig and the University of Münster (Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Phytochemistry) to discuss strategies for harmonization of scientific work on traditional natural medicine in Western Africa. As this region of Africa has an extraordinary tradition in using plant-derived medicines against numerous diseases, the scientific investigation and modernisation of these remedies is of high interest.
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© IPBP /Krüger

Recently in our Green house:

Actually, our Papaya tree (pawpaw) bears nice fruits. This is unusual, as Carica papaya L. (family Caricaceae) has male and female flowers on separate trees. Our paw paw trees in the green house are exclusively female plants. According to experts it can occur that indeed female plants can start fruiting, without the help of the male colleagues.

The unripe fruits are used pharmaceutically as a digestive preparation, due to the presence of the protease papain. The seeds are used traditionally in West Africa as a strong anthelmintic agent due to the presence of isothiocyanates, which have good activity against intestinal-associated nematodes (worms). Papaya, in addition to glucosinolates, also contains low levels of cyanogenic glycosides, an unusual occurrence because it was assumed that the two classes of metabolites were mutually exclusive.

The purified protease papain can be isolated in good yields from the plant. Beside the digestive use, papain is used also for intensified proteolytic cleaning of ulcers and other wounds. And last not least: the ripe fruits are delicious in the kitchen!

Analytics of psychoactive alkaloids


On December 12th 2017 IPBP offered a practical student course in cooperation with the University of Applied Science Rhein-Sieg "Analytics of psychoactive alkaloids from poppy by capillary zone electrophoresis". 11 students from the study course M.Sc. Analytical Chemistry and Quality Assurance from the University of Applied Science evaluated the possibilities of CZE for quick, efficient and selective quantitative determination of the active compounds.

Doctoral awards ceremony of Shabnam Sarshar Beydokhti (Promoter: Prof. A. Hensel)


Ph.D. thesis (Dr. rer. nat.) by Shabnam Sarshar Beydokhti.
Antiadhesive activity of traditionally used plants against urinary tract infections: An alternative strategy to combat uropathogenic Escherichia coli.
Promotor: Prof. Dr. A. Hensel, Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Phytochemistry, University of Münster, Germany.



The German Society of Phytotherapy awarded Dr. Verena Spiegler (Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Phytochemistry) with the price for the best young researcher. The award was based on the 5 papers Dr. Spiegler (CRIS/WWU) published on the subject „Anthelmintic activity of procyanidins from West African plants: From traditional medicine to phytochemistry and molecular investigations“. The award was selected out of a high number of applications after peer review. The award is honored with 2.000 €.

Kunst und Pflanzen

Phytotherapie basiert auf Pflanzen und ärztlichem Können. Die Künstlerin Lydia Kroesen präsentierte im Rahmen des Phytotherapiekongresses (Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Phytotherapie in Kooperation mit dem Institut für Pharmazeutische Biologie und Phytochemie vom 28. bis zum 30. September, Link zur Kongressseite: phyto2017) ausgewählte Gemälde rund um die (Arznei)-pflanze und stand persönlich für Gespräche rund um Kunst, Pflanzen und Bilder zur Verfügung.

© Lydia Kroesen

Hanging on for dear life

New molecular insights into how Helicobacter pylori adheres to the gastric epithelium
© Wiley

On occasion of the „30. International Workshop on Helicobacter and Microbiota in Inflammation and Cancer“, held from 07. to 09. September 2017 in Bordeaux, the poster price was honored to an international research consortium from the University of Nottingham and University of Münster (Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Phytochemistry). The respective presentation describes fundamental details concerning the bacterial adhesion of Helicobacter pylori to human stomach epithelia and a new class of inhibitors based on natural products from plants, which interact strongly with the interactions of the bacterium with the host cells. (Hanging on for dear life: New molecular insights into how Helicobacter pylori adheres to the gastric epithelium. V. Paraskevopoulou, N. Hage, T. Howard, C. Phillips, C. Brassington, R. Overman, J. Debreczeni, P. Gellert, A. Mohammed, M. Alissa, G. S. Winkler, S. Stolnik, K. Robinson, N. Francini, M. Gottesmann, A. Hensel, F. Falcone. HELICOBACTER, Vol. 22., Suppl. 1 P08.08 ) - Link to Abstract (Poster P08.08)


Lectures on phytomedicine: 10:00 to 12:15;  Hörsaal ES328 "AudiMax", Englisches Seminar, Johannisstraße
[for further information see PDF-flyer]

An Era Ends

Last Practical Course at IPBP's Medicinal Plants Garden

On 10th of July the last practical course at IPBP's medicinal plants garden was held: 25 M.Sc.-Food-Chemistry-students met with Dr. Lechtenberg to improve skills in the area of  foodplant's botany.  

Fernsehaufnahmen am IPBP

Am 2. Mai wurden im Auftrag des Hessischen Rundfunks am Institut für Pharmazeutische Biologie und Phytochemie Fernsehaufnahmen für eine Sendung zum Thema: "Medizinische Heilkraft aus der Natur - Wo steckt das Potential pflanzlicher Arzneimittel?" aufgezeichnet.

Der Beitrag wurde inzwischen ausgestrahlt. Link zur hr Mediathek: © hr | alles wissen, 31.05.2017

TV crew
old book on herbal remedies

Formal agreement between WWU and University of Maringa, Brazil

© WWU/Peter Grewer

Since many years the Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Phytochemistry has a close cooperation with the Department of Pharmaceutical Science of the State University of Maringa in Brazil. Especially joint projects on functional polyphenols from Brazilian and European medicinal plants are of high scientific interest for both university partners. To develop the existing partnership in the next years and to establish and finance new and innovative projects on natural product chemistry and development of new drugs a formal agreement between WWU and University of Maringa has been signed on May 23rd 2017 by WWU rector Prof. Dr. J. Wessels and the rector of Universidade Estadual de Maringa, Prof. Dr. Mauro Luciano Baessa. During a one week stay of the Brazilian delegation at WWU many exciting discussions took place within different faculties and institutes to evaluate more common projects and exchange of staff on all levels.

Medicinal Plant's Garden (impressions): Tropaeolum majus
© IPBP - Lars Krüger