535-0333-00L  Pharmaceutical Biology

SemesterAutumn Semester 2017
LecturersK.‑H. Altmann
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionGerman


AbstractThe structure and biosynthesis of plant constituents and the pharmacological effects and therapeutic applications of biogenic drugs of plant origin (extract-based herbal medicines; isolated natural products) are discussed. Areas of focus are (a) major biosynthetic pathways for plant-derived natural products, (b) pharmacological effects of herbal extracts, and (c) molecular mechanisms of action.
ObjectiveThe understanding of the biosynthesis of plant-derived natural products. Acquisition of fundamental knowledge on the medical applications of important herbal medicines and of isolated natural products (general disease areas, molecular constituents of medicinal plants and herbal medicines in general, molecular constituents responsible for pharmacological activity, possible mechanisms of action, available clinical data to support medical use).
ContentThe lecture is centered around the discussion of medicinal plants and herbal medicines and their common medical applications. The main areas addressed in the lecture are (a) the structure and biosynthesis of plant constituents (i.e. plant-derived natural products) and (b) the pharmacological effects and therapeutic applications of biogenic drugs of plant origin (herbal medicines based on plant extracts as well as isolated natural products). The basic pathways for the biosynthesis of the most important classes of plant-derived natural products are discussed in detail. Likewise, the molecular basis of the pharmacological effects of medicinal plant extracts (and derived herbal medicines) and their individual constituent components (isolated natural products) is broadly addressed. As part of this discussion the availability of clinical data (or lack thereof) to support specific clinical applications of herbal medicines will be repeatedly highlighted. Potential risks associated with the use of herbal medicines are discussed for selected cases.
The lecture is structured according to the major classes of natural products prevalent in medicinal plants and herbal medicines: Carbohydrates, lipids, terpenes, phenolic compounds, alkaloids, essential oils.
Lecture notesIs provided in parts before each lecture (electronically as pdf) and also available on the Ilias platform via My Studies.
Literature- There is no English translation of the above textbook (or any reasonably equivalent text). Students intending to take the exam for the course and are not sufficiently proficient in German should contact the lecturer before the start of the course.
Prerequisites / NoticeRequirements: Lecture courses in basic organic chemistry, biochemistry, and biology