RESEARCH PROJECT AREAS
Targeting inflammatory cytokines
and adhesion molecules.
During the past sixten
years, Dr Habtemariam has developed several in vitro bioassay methods for screening
potential antagonist of proinflammatory cytokines (e.g. TNF), cell adhesion
molecule (integrins & immunoglobulins), endotoxin, etc. By using these
bioassays, he has identified several promising natural small molecular
weight antiinflammartory agents [see
under publications]. His expertise in this area include measurements of
inflammatory cytokines release, cytokines mediated apoptosis/proliferation,
inhibitors of adhesion molecules expression/activation and cell-cell and
Search for anti-microbial agents.
An in vitro assay model for routine screening of drugs against the
mammalian stage of leishmania (protozoa) parasites has been developed and
some promising compounds have already been identified. We are currently
testing natural products for antiviral activities - particularly anti-HSV-1 and
anti-HSV-2 effects. Drugs are also
routinely screened for their effects on bacteria, yeast and fungi. The
agar-disc diffusion method and MIC measurements are routinely used for these
studies [see under publications].
anticancer and immunomodulatory activity evaluations.
Dr Habtemariam has over ten years of experience in the use of primary cultures and
established cell lines for anticancer activity studies. The cytotoxic/cytostatic effects of drugs together with assessment of apoptosis (programmed
cell death) events are routinely measured [see under
spectroscopic analysis of drug candidates.
Following the bioassay of crude drugs (herbal drugs, snake venom or synthetic
mixtures), various chromatographic (TLC, LP- and HPLC, etc.) techniques are used
to isolate active principles. The identity of active principles are
characterised by spectroscopic techniques such as IR, UV, MS and 1D and 2D-NMR
spectroscopy [see under publications].
Oxygen Species in Health and Disease - WE
ARE CURRENTLY STUDYING THE ANTIOXIDANT, PROOXIDANT AND CHEMO/CYTOPROTECTIVE
PROPERTIES OF MEDICINAL PLANTS AND THEIR METABOLITES USING VARIOUS IN-HOUSE
CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL ASSAY SYSTEMS. WE ARE PARTICULARLY INTERESTED IN
ASSESSING THE NEUROPROTECTIVE EFFECTS OF NATURAL PRODUCTS
[see under publications].
Enzyme inhibition studies -
We have recently incorporated enzyme inhibition studies in our
bioassay screens for disease models including Alzheimer's, diabetes and
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