Natural Product Research Center

Natural Product Research Center focuses on the discovery of structurally novel and biologically active natural compounds from both terrestrial and marine resources, and the structural optimization and structure-activity relationship studies of bioactive natural molecules towards new drug leads. Meanwhile, the Center also makes efforts to demonstrate the scientific basis of the Chinese herbal medicines aiming to guide the rational and sustainable application of these precious resources. The main objective of the center is to discover lead drug candidates that target the fatal human diseases.  
Natural Product Research Center originated from the earliest “traditional Chinese Medicine Laboratory” of SIMM. Since the establishment of the Institute in 1932, Dr. ZHAO Cheng-Gu, the founding director of the Institute, has been in charge of the relevant work. Since then, the center has been developing and expanding in the scope of natural medicine research through the names of “phytochemistry laboratory” and “natural product chemistry laboratory”. It has become a worldwide well-known natural product research unit. In 2020, the Center was officially renamed as the Natural Product Research Center.
By now, the center has discovered thousands of new natural products from natural sources, and has developed many natural product derived drugs through collaborations, such as the analgesic drug tetrahydropalmatine, the anti-tumoral drug vinblastine, the antimalarial drug artemether, the anti-hepatitis drug schisandrin, etc.. The center currently comprises 4 research groups, 1 TCM herbarium with a collection of over 110,000 specimens, several natural products libraries with different origins, and is aiming to discover more promising bioactive natural molecules with novel skeletons to strengthen material base for original drug research and development.