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ISSN: 2167-0412

Medicinal & Aromatic Plants
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Thomas Efferth Editor-in-Chief
Thomas Efferth
Department of Pharmaceutical Biology
Johannes Gutenberg University
Read Interview session with Thomas Efferth

Professor Thomas Efferth is Chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, Institute of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany. He is biologist by training and obtained his degree from the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany. His doctoral thesis was completed at the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany, in 1990. Dr. Efferth was awarded the Ludolf-Krehl-Prize of the Southwest German Association for Medicine in 1991 and the Willmar-Schwabe-Award of the German Society for Medicinal Plant Research in 2006. From 2005-2009, he headed a research group for Pharmaceutical Biology at the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany. From 2007-2009, he was Associate Professor (apl) at the University of Heidelberg. In 2009, he took over the Chair of Pharmaceutical Biology (full professorship) at the University of Mainz. Furthermore, he is honorary Professor at the Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, China and visiting professor at the Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, China. Thomas Efferth has published over 200 original papers and over 80 reviews in peer-reviewed journals in the field of cancer research, pharmacology, and pharmacogenomics and natural products. He holds four patents. The scientific results were communicated in over 130 oral presentation and invited lectures and over 120 poster presentations at national and international conferences and meetings. A textbook on ‘Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology’ (Springer Publisher) written by him appeared in 2006. He is Co-editor and Editorial Board Member of 13 scientific journals and Scientific Advisory Board member of several institutions.
The focus of Dr. Efferth′s research is on tumor pharmacology and the development of novel options for treatment and diagnosis of cancer. A major topic is research on natural products derived from medicinal plants. Two fields are in the center of his interest:
1. Molecular pharmacology and toxicology of natural products. Drug resistance and severe side effects represent major obstacles of current chemotherapy. This necessitates the identification of novel compounds from plants with anticancer activity. The aims are (a) the identification of novel drugs with improved tumor specificity and efficacy against drug-resistant tumors as well as less adverse side effects and (b) the analysis of underlying molecular modes of action in tumor cells and normal tissues. A current research project focuses on chemically pure compounds derived from medicinal plants and their analysis by systems biology
(“-omics” technologies and high-throughput methods).
2. Genome-wide expression profiling and genomic aberrations in tumors. Drug resistance of tumor cells reduces the probability for patients to be cured and reduce survival. The knowledge of determinants which affect drug responsiveness of tumors and prognosis of patients would allow the design tailor-made treatment protocols for each individual patient. The aim is to develop techniques for the predictive determination for individualized therapy options and the implementation of natural products for treatment. The overall aim is the integration of active principles of traditional Chinese medicine into western medicine.

Research Interest

Medicinal Plants, Pharmacogenomics, Natural products, Pharmacognosy, Phytotherapy, Cancer

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