College of Pharmacy scientists present at ASP annual meeting


This year, The American Society of Pharmacognosy (ASP) held its 58th Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon from July 29-August 3, focusing on drug discovery from natural products. With 18 plenary lectures, 64 sessions and about 350 poster presentations, the 2017 ASP meeting was highly stimulating. Nearly 600 scientists from all over the world registered for the meeting. A delegation from The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy was represented by four research faculty of the Division of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy: A. Douglas Kinghorn, Ph.D., D.Sc. (Professor and Jack L. Beal Chair), Esperanza Carcache de Blanco, Ph.D. (Associate Professor), Dr. James Fuchs, Ph.D. (Associate Professor), Harinantenaina Liva Rakotondraibe, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor); a Research Scientist, Yulin Ren, Ph.D., and three graduate students from the group (Tehane Ali, Annecie Benatrehina, and Roshamur Forestrania).

Dr. Kinghorn, the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Natural Products, opened the meeting with a workshop session entitled, Updated Guide to Scientific Writing and Publishing. Dr. Daneel Ferreira (Emeritus Professor, University of Mississippi and Journal Associate Editor) and Ms. Leslie Walker (Journals Managing Editor, Chemical Abstracts Service, Columbus, OH) also hosted the workshop, which described the manuscript submission and production processes and focused on providing helpful advice for young natural product scientists on how to write technical research articles.

During a session on medicinal chemistry and drug discovery, Dr. James R. Fuchs, Ph.D. presented Lead Optimization and Biological Evaluation of Cytotoxic Arylnaphthalene Lignan Natural Products. Dr. Carcache de Blanco presented a session entitled Plants and Neurology/Medical Marijuana, and a summary of her laboratory results in a short talk, Identification of Plant Secondary Metabolites as NF-B Leads.

During her presentation, The Future of ASP II, Ms. Tehane Ali, a Ph.D. candidate from Dr. Liva Rakotondraibe’s group, gave an update on her work on the isolation of new and bioactive compounds from Penicillium concentricum, an endophytic fungus from the liverwort Trichocolea tomentella. Using an example of a liverwort microbial endophyte (a microbe living inside the liverwort), she demonstrated that such organisms can be rich sources of biologically active compounds. She also discussed the feasibility of directing the secondary metabolite production in endophytes, and used cancer cell line cytotoxicity and antimicrobial bioassays in her work.

A total of ten posters were contributed to the meeting by Dr. Ren, Dr. Kinghorn, Dr. Fuchs, Ms. Forestrania, Dr. Carcache de Blanco, and Dr. Rakotondraibe.