Former IOCD Working Group in Plant Chemistry
Plants are vital to human wellbeing, providing a wide array of materials for nutrition, health,
clothing, structural uses, energy and much else. Plants form an extremely important element of the
economy for many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and their value can be further enhanced by
the identification and commercial development of specific compounds they contain.
From 1988 to 2016, the Plant Chemistry WG (which superseded IOCD's earlier Agrochemistry Programme)
provided opportunities for LMIC natural products chemists to network, update their knowledge about
isolation and structure elucidation and learn techniques for preliminary biological screening which
they could apply in their own laboratories. It organized workshops for training in analytical or
bioassay techniques (three in Africa and Latin America 1990-1994) and international symposia on the
chemical, biological and pharmacological properties of medicinal plants (ten in Africa, Asia and
Latin America 1996-2011). With each symposium, the WG also convened a workshop on chemical screening
and bioactivity-guided fractionation. Some IOCD funds were provided to assist with travel grants for
younger scientists from LMICs to attend each symposium and associated workshop. The WG also awarded
small research grants to a number of younger scientists from LMICs, selected from among those who
were awarded travel grants.
IOCD is deeply grateful for the leadership provided to this WG by its chair, Kurt
Hostettmann, and the many scientists who supported the work, including Andrew Green,
Mahabir Gupta and Jacob Midiwo.
2015 IOCD International Symposium on Plant Chemistry: The Plant Kingdom: Source of drugs,
neutraceuticals and cosmetics.
The IOCD Working Group on Plant Chemistry organized this Symposium in Marrakesh on 7-10 April 2015,
in partnership with the Moroccan natural products chemist Prof. Zoubida Charrouf. It was
attended by about 200 participants. Prof. Charrouf, who is based in the Science Faculty of Mohamed
V. University at Agdal, Rabat, is well known for her work on the products of the argan tree and
particularly its valuable oil. The programme included an opening lecture by Her Royal Highness
Princess Chulabhorn Mahidol of Thailand on ‘Natural Product Drug Research: Bioactive
Compounds from Thai Bioresource’. The opening ceremony was attended by a delegated
Minister, by the Governor (Wali) of the region Marrakech-Tensift-Al Haouz, by the President of
University Mohammed V at Agdal, Rabat and by the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand in Morrocco.
Prof. Zoubida Charrouf
Chair of the Organizing Committee of the IOCD 2015 International Symposium on Plant Chemistry in
2012 IOCD International Conference on Functional Molecules in Nature
Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn of Thailand presenting the opening lecture of the
IOCD International Conference on Functional Molecules in Nature.
The 2012 IOCD International Conference on Functional Molecules in Nature, held in Nanjing, China on
22-24 September 2012, was attended by 115 participants from 11 countries. In addition to the opening
lectures by Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn of Thailand (President of the Chulabhorn Research
Institute and a renowned natural products chemist) and Professor Kurt Hostettmann (Chair of the IOCD
Working Group on Plant Chemistry), there were 16 plenary lectures by eminent Chinese and
international scientists, 39 short lectures and 16 poster presentations. The China Pharmaceutical
University, Nanjing was co-organizer of the symposium and the State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical
Biotechnology and the State Key Laboratory of Natural Medicines were also associated with the
organization. The main sponsor was the National Natural Science Foundation of China. The aim of the
2012 IOCD International Conference on Functional Molecules in Nature was to discuss trends, present
latest results, and exchange ideas relevant to the chemistry and biology (particularly pharmacy) of
natural products, including phytochemicals and microbial secondary metabolites. Session themes
included: Bioanalytical and Medicinal Chemistry; Natural Products; Traditional Medicines; Functional
Molecules; Natural Bioactives; and Chemical Biology and Ecology.