News & Events

Dr. David G.I. Kingston

Posted on September 11, 2015


Date - September 11, 2015
1:00 pm


University Distinguished Professor
Department of Chemistry
Virginia Tech Center for Drug Discovery

“Natural Products: Drugs for All Reasons and All Seasons”


The approach to new drugs through natural products has proved to be the single most successful strategy for the discovery of new drugs, and natural products were the source of an average of 35% of all drugs that entered the clinic each year since 1981. In addition to the use of natural products as drugs, herbal medicines are used by 36% of Americans, and constitute an important and growing part of healthcare in the USA.

This lecture will review some of the past successes of the natural products approach, with an emphasis on natural products with anticancer activity and on the reasons for the success of natural products as drugs and as herbal medicines. The discovery of new natural product drugs has however been de-emphasized by most major pharmaceutical companies in favor of approaches based on combinatorial chemistry and genomics, among others, and some of the reasons for this will be discussed. The International Cooperative Biodiversity Group (ICBG) Program is a wonderful example of an approach to combining drug discovery with biodiversity conservation and economic development, and examples of both drug discovery and biodiversity conservation by some of the ICBGs will be presented.