PECKING INTO THE WORLD OF SECONDARY METABOLITES IN PLANTS: A TOOL FOR BUILDING A HEALTHY AND WEALTHY NATION

Professor Abdullahi Mann

Thursday 28th November, 2019

Federal University of Technology Minna,
Main Campus,
Gidan Kwanu,
Minna, Niger State

Although a lot of research to discover new, effective and cheap drugs is in progress in the disease endemic developing countries, it is not yet possible to fully develop leads and drug candidates from natural products, hence, people in these countries continue to rely on traditional medicines. Poor economies and technological capabilities, lack of human resources (experts), and good management and possibly government nonchalant attitude or policy in these countries
are the major constraints to progress in research and development work for new drugs and agrochemicals.
 
During the course of my search of Nigerian plants for secondary metabolites to date, I have worked on several plants from which I have isolated, characterized and identified 6 compounds (triterpenoids and carboxylic acids). This has provided the scientific template for the exploitation of some medicinal plants for future development as antiinfective, antimalarial, antidiabetic, and insecticidal agents. The development of drugs requires the wide involvement of all relevant stakeholders (industry, academia, drug regulatory agencies, and international policy-making agencies) who must collaborate effectively to deliver optimal future therapies for diseases.
 
This has been made possible by scholarships and research grants received, which include the ETF, TETFund, and UBR of Federal University of Technology, Minna. In the course of my career, I have produced two PhDs (Drs. Ogbonnaya, I. C. and Otori, A. A.) and co-supervised four other PhDs with twenty
one MTech graduates in Chemistry in different positions in academia, while currently training three PhD and one MTech students. In addition, I have co-supervised many PhD and MTech graduates from Departments of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Physics (development of solar cells in battery).