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Study Guide 2020-21

Laboratory of Pharmacognosy & Chemistry of Natural Products

The Laboratory of Pharmacognosy and Chemistry of Natural Products (LPCNP) of the Department of Pharmacy (University of Patras) is a multidisciplinary Laboratory, which emphasizes Chemical Science at the interface of Chemistry and Biology. Beyond the teaching duties in the graduate and post-graduate level, the major research focus of the LPCNP is the synthesis, the conformational analysis and the structure-activity studies on bioactive peptides and peptides analogues of therapeutic and/or diagnostic significance.

LPCNP is in operation since 1989 (Official foundation in 1995; Journal of the Hellenic Republic 38/22.02.95). The Laboratory had the privilege to constitute the basic Unit of a National Network of Laboratories granted from the First Operational Program of Research and Technology of Greece (Stride 1991-1994, Project 91). The main aim of the project was the creation of the Unit of Synthetic Peptides with the essential infrastructure for the promotion of the basic and mainly applied research on bioactive peptides of pharmaceutical importance.

The participation of the Laboratory in a second Network of Laboratories and in various competitive Programs of the General Secretariat of Research and Technology of Greece, the European Union, and other international constitutions, had as result the completion of the infrastructure with high technology equipment, for the design, the isolation, the synthesis and the analysis of peptides and other bioactive compounds, e.g. Automatic Synthesizers, complete Analytical & Preparative HPLC systems, FPLC system, Water Pro polishing station, Speed-Vac, HF apparatus, Oligonucleotide Synthesizer, UV-Vis and IR spectrophotometers, Freze dryers, etc. Access to 1H and 13C NMR and LC-MS University facilities.

In 2006, LPCNP has been certified by the TUV Rheinland Group, according to: DIN EN ISO 9001: 2008 for the establishment and application of a quality management system for "Research Process for the Design and the Development of Peptides and Other Biologically Active Compounds".

Recently, the Department has the privilege to be presented in two actions in the official portal ( ) created by the Ministry of Education in order to present academic and scientific excellence. Research activity on structure-activity studies on bioactive peptides ( ) and the neuroprotective potential of blueberry polyphenols ( ).


Research Team
Faculty members
Vassiliki Magafa, Assistant Professor, e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Fotini Lamari, Associate Professor, e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Post-Doctoral Researchers: 4
Graduate Students: 10 (Ph.D. students:5 and M.Sc. students:5)

Group of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology & Molecular Diagnostics
Sotiropoulou Georgia

Group of Biomolecular Simulations & NMR
Spyroulias George Professor

Research Activities/Expertise

  1. Structure – Activity Studies on Bioactive Peptides - Implications for the Synthesis of Potential Therapeutic Agents
    In our Group, the study of chemistry and biology of bioactive peptides and designed peptide analogues encompasses, solid phase chemistry, molecular design, structure analysis, combinatorial synthesis and biological investigations. Targets are selected on the basis of novel molecular architecture, important biological activity and interesting mechanism of action. In addition, we are interested in the discovery and development of new solution and solid phase reactions for the purposes of delivering new molecules for biological evaluation. The aim is to optimise the opportunity for the synthesis of new bioactive peptides and to provide challenging arenas for education and training through logical reasoning and imagination.
  2. Organic Synthesis (Heterocyclic Scaffolds)
    Conformational features of a peptide can be modified chemically to the advantage of its biological profile by incorporation of a suitable structure at a selected site. This can be accomplished by e.g replacing an amino acid residue with a synthetic non proteinogenic surrogate. In our Group we pursue, along this line, the synthesis of carbo (hetero) cycles of suitable structure and substitution pattern [phthalazines, naptho[de]1,2-oxazines, benzisoxazole(2-oxide), o-quinone-methides].
  3. Natural Products-Medicinal Plants
    Our research interests also include the characterization of the phytochemical composition of medicinal plants, the investigation of biologic properties of natural products and the elucidation of their structure-activity relationship. We have focused our recent research on Crocus sativus styles (saffron), since these are a source of unique glycosylated carotenoids (crocins). Identification and characterization of carotenoids in styles of other endemic Crocus species is performed with spectroscopic techniques and mass spectrometry after separation with liquid chromatography. The biologic activity of Crocus style extracts and of selected carotenoid constituents with respect to Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer is under investigation in our laboratories in collaboration with other research teams.
  4. Custom Made Peptide Synthesis

Funded research projects
  • FP7-PEOPLE-ERG-2008. Marie Curie Actions—European Re-integration Grants (ERG) “PeToxSAR—Peptide-Toxins as probes for the Structure –Activity Relationship (SAR) Investigation Against the Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor (nAChRs) Subtypes”, Co-ordinator: P. Cordopatis
  • FP6-2005-Lifeshealth IP. “Applied Venomics of the Cone Snail Species Conus Consors for the Accelerated, Cheaper, Safer and More Ethical Production of Innovative Biomedical Drugs”, Groups leader: P. Cordopatis
  • INNO-FARM – Joint Research & Technological development Program of West Greece, ‘Design, Evolution and Therapeutic Development of New Biomolecules’ – U of Patras, 2006-2008, General Secretariat of Research & Technology, Ministry of Development, Greece. Co-Investigator: P. Cordopatis
  • GSRT “Pythagoras I” “Naptho[de] 1,2-Oxazines: Synthons for the Develompent of Bioactive Peptide Mimetics Substituted by Naphthalenic Amino Acids”. Co-ordinator: P. Cordopatis
  • GSRT “ENTER 2006-2008”. “Develompent of LH-RH Analogues Containing Aminocarboxylic Acids of Xanthones, Isoxazoles and 1,2-Oxazines” Co-ordinator: P. Cordopatis
  • University of Patras, Research Commitee, "K. Karatheodoris", 2007-2010 «Study of the effect of natural products on the expression, secretion and catalytic activity of matrix metalloproteinases by breast cancer cells», Co-ordinator: F. Lamari

Recent publications
  • M. A. Papandreou, A. Dimakopoulou, Z.I. Linardaki, P. Cordopatis, D. Klimis-Zacas, M. Margarity, and F.N. Lamari, Effect of polyphenol rich blueberry extract on cognitive performance of mice, on brain antioxidant markers and acetylcholinesterase activity, Behav. Brain Res., 198(2):352 (2009).
  • C. Petrou, V. Magafa, B. Nock, T. Maina and P. Cordopatis, Synthesis and sst2 binding profiles of new Tyr3-octreotate analogues, Journal of Peptide Science, 14(6), 725 (2008)
  • K. Zavitsanos, A.M. Nunes, G. Malandrinos, C. Kállay, I. Sóvágó, V. Magafa, P. Cordopatis and N. Hadjiliadis, Interaction of Cu(II) and Ni(II) with the 63-93 fragment of histone H2B, Dalton Trans., (44):6179 (2008).
  • M. Fragiadaki, V. Magafa, Jiřina Slaninova and P. Cordopatis, Analogues of oxytocin containing conformationally restricted residues in position 7, European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 42, 799 (2007)
  • A. Papakyriakou, G. Spyroulias, E. Sturrock, E. Manessi-Zoupa and P. Cordopatis, Simulated interactions between angiotensin-converting enzyme and substrate gonadotropin-releasing hormone: Novel insights into domain-selectivity, Biochemistry, 40, 8753 (2007).
  • A.A. Zompra, V. Magafa, D.G. Chryssanthi, F.N. Lamari, G.A. Spyroulias, T. Maina, B.A. Nock, N.K. Karamanos and P. Cordopatis, Synthesis and biological evaluation of new GnRH analogues on pituitary and breast cancer cells, International Journal of Peptide Research and Therapeutics, 13(1-2): 143 (2007).
  • D.G. Chryssanthi, F.N. Lamari, G. Iatrou, A. Pylara, N.K. Karamanos and P. Cordopatis, Inhibition of breast cancer cell proliferation by style constituents of different crocus species, Anticancer Res., 27(1A): 357 (2007).
  • Μ. Α. Papandreou, C.D. Kanakis, M.G. Polissiou, S. Efthimiopoulos, P. Cordopatis, M. Margarity and F.N. Lamari, Inhibitory activity on amyloid-β aggregation and antioxidant properties of Crocus sativus stigmas extract and its crocin constituents, J. Agric. Food Chem., 54, 8762 (2006).