Plant Natural Products for Human Health

Front Cover
Chun-Tao Che, Hongjie Zhang
MDPI, Mar 21, 2019 - Social Science - 514 pages

Plants have served mankind as an important source of foods and medicines. While we all consume plants and their products for nutritional support, a majority of the world population also rely on botanical remedies to meet their health needs, either as their own “traditional medicine” or as “complementary and alternative medicine”. From a pharmaceutical point of view, many compounds obtained from plant sources have long been known to possess bio/pharmacological activities, and historically, plants have yielded many important drugs for human use, from morphine discovered in the early nineteenth century to the more recent paclitaxel and artemisinin. Today, we are witnessing a global resurgence in interest and use of plant-based therapies and botanical products, and natural products remain an important and viable source of lead compounds in many drug discovery programs.


This Special Issue on “Plant Natural Products for Human Health” compiles a series of scientific reports to demonstrate the medicinal potentials of plant natural products. It covers a range of disease targets, such as diabetes, inflammation, cancer, neurological disease, cardiovascular disease, liver damage, bacterial, and fungus infection and malarial. These papers provide important insights into the current state of research on drug discovery and new techniques. It is hoped that this Special Issue will serve as a timely reference for researchers and scholars who are interested in the discovery of potentially useful molecules from plant sources for health-related applications. 


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About the author (2019)

 Chun-Tao Che is the Harry H.S. Fong Professor of Pharmacognosy at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He is also the Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Traditional Medicine at UIC. In 2000–2010, he served as a professor and Director of the School of Chinese Medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His main research interest is in natural products chemistry, including the discovery of biologically active substances from medicinal herbs, as well as establishing quality standards for herbal drugs and botanical products. He has published over 300 scientific research papers in the areas of pharmacognosy, natural products, and Chinese medicines, and he holds editorial positions in over ten journals. 

Hongjie Zhang graduated from Yunnan University with a Bachelor’s degree of Chemistry, and obtained his Master and Ph.D. degrees in Phytochemistry at the Kunming Institute of Botany (KIB), the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He was a faculty member (Assistant/Associate/Full Professor) at KIB from 1991 to 2002, and a research faculty member (Research Assistant/Research Associate Professor) in the College of Pharmacy, the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 2003–2011. He is currently a professor at the School of Chinese Medicine, the Hong Kong Baptist University. Dr. Zhang has more than 30 years of research experience in the isolation, identification, structure elucidation, analysis, synthesis, and biological evaluation of natural products and other small molecules, leading to publication of more than 140 peer reviewed papers and a number of granted patents. His current research interest is in natural products drug discovery from natural resources. Specifically, Dr. Zhang is interested in finding natural lead compounds from plants against different disease targets, such as cancer, HIV, bird flu, Ebola/Marburg, and cancer chemoprevention.

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