Discovering new fungicides and medicines through natural medicinal chemistry

Like aspirin, many well-known drugs have natural origins. Taking advantage of their structural diversity, Dr. Ming-Zhi Zhang is researching natural products for leads on new fungicides and targeted small molecule drugs. View Halo Profile >>

Tell us about your research

I focus on the study of natural medicinal chemistry, including natural products based lead discovery for fungicide, design synthesis and structure-activity relationship of targeted small molecule drugs. My research interests include natural products based lead discovery for bionic fungicide, design, synthesis and SAR of targeted small molecule drugs, and mode of action/formulation study of novel green fungicide.

I focus on the study of natural medicinal chemistry, including natural products based lead discovery for fungicide, design synthesis and structure-activity relationship of targeted small molecule drugs.

Can you explain that to a non-scientist?

Natural products have been the most successful source of potential drug leads. Although the current methods and techniques for new drug development are getting better and better, natural products continue to provide unique structural diversity in comparison to standard combinatorial chemistry, which presents opportunities for discovering mainly novel low molecular weight lead compounds, and offers a perspective on the mode of action study for biological activities of natural products. Our study is still ongoing with the aim of discovering synthetic analogues, with improved biological activity and clear mode of action.

Natural products have been the most successful source of potential drug leads.

Why did you choose this area of research?

Chemistry meets agriculture, and chemistry makes life better.

How could your Grants4Ag project someday impact #healthforall #hungerfornone?

If everyone does their bit, the world will be better and better.