02.06.2015, 17:15

HIPS-Talk: "Zebrafish-based biodiscovery of neuractive secondary metabolites“

    Emerging challenges within the current drug discovery paradigm are prompting renewed interest in secondary metabolites as an attractive source of novel, structurally diverse small molecules that have been evolutionarily ‘pre-selected’ for bioactivity. With the recent validation of zebrafish as a biomedically relevant model for in vivo drug discovery, the zebrafish bioassay-guided identification of natural products is an attractive strategy to generate new lead compounds in a number of indication areas. We have recently developed a number of in vivo, microgram-scale, high-throughput bioassays based on zebrafish embryos and larvae for the systematic identification and pharmacological characterization of bioactive natural products. Zebrafish offer the ability to rapidly evaluate – at a very early stage in the drug discovery process – not only the therapeutic potential of natural products, but also their potential hepato-, cardio-, and neurotoxicities. Due to the requirement for only microgram quantities of compounds, in vivo assays based on zebrafish are useful not only for bioassay-guided isolation, but also for the subsequent derivatization of bioactive natural products to generate drug discovery leads. Recent progress within the EU FP7 project PharmaSea is revealing the potential of zebrafish-driven biodiscovery to identify neuroactive secondary metabolites from marine microorganisms.


    02.06.2015, 17:15


    Universität des Saarlandes

    Building and room

    Blg C4 3, Hörsaal der Anorganischen Chemie


    Dr. Alexander D. Crawford

    Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB)

    Université du Luxembourg    


    Dr. Crawford is Principal Investigator of the Chemical Biology Group at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg). He is also Project Manager of PharmaSea (www.pharma-sea.eu), a European Union-funded research consortium focusing on drug discovery from marine microorganisms, and is the founding CEO of Theracule, a spin-off company focusing on personalized drug discovery and orphan drug development for genetic CNS disorders. Dr. Crawford was previously the founding CEO of two drug discovery companies in Germany, and held research positions at the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (Leuven, Belgium) and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research (Cambridge, Massachusetts). He earned a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Leuven, an MPhil in neuroscience at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology (Tübingen, Germany), and an SB in biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


    Prof. Dr. Rolf Müller


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