I. Irem Tatli Cankaya

Hacettepe University, Turkey

Title: Phytochemical and biological studies on Anatolian Verbascum L. species


Irem Cankaya graduated from the Faculty of Pharmacy, Hacettepe University in 1996 and in the same year she began the graduate program in the Department of Pharmacognosy. She obtained an M.Sc. in Pharmacognosy in 1999. She completed a doctorate program in Pharmacognosy in 2004. Between 2000-2002, and in 2004 and 2012, she studied in the United States, University of Mississippi, National Center for Natural Products Research and School of Pharmacy as well as she has been researching within the framework of Faculty Exchange Program in 2006 in Lille-2 University, France. After postdoctoral research at Faculty of Pharmacy, Mississippi University, she became a senior scientist at the Department of Pharmaceutical Botany in Ankara, Turkey. Since 2009, she is a assoc. Professor at the University of Hacettepe where her group currently works on the isolation of natural compounds, with a special focus on Verbascum species and their biological activities. She is a member of Association of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy (one of the member of ESCOP) since 2005. She has presented more than 45 papers at International Scientific Conferences and has published more than 50 peer-reviewed scientific publications and book chapters. In recognition to her work on natural products, she recently received the 2010-Hacettepe University Scientific award (Ankara, Turkey), 2011-Turkish Pharmacist Association Academy of Pharmacy award and for her work on antifungal activities she obtained the “USDA's International Scientific Enhancement Programme (ISEP) Award” in US, 2004.


The genus Verbascum L. (Scrophulariaceae) is represented by 233 taxons in Turkish flora and 84.3% of them are endemic. Various species are used as herbal remedies for their expectorant, mucolytic and tonic effects as well as to treat hemorrhoids, rheumatic pain, wounds and inflammed skin conditions in traditional medicine. Pharmacological studies on some Verbascum species have reported antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, cytotoxic and immunological activities. Chemical investigations of this genus have revealed mainly saponins, flavonoids, iridoids, and phenylethanoids. In a continuation of our phytochemical and biological studies into Anatolian Verbascum L. species, 13 speices (V. chionophyllum Hub.-Mor., V. cilicicum Boiss., V. dudleyanum (Hub.-Mor.) Hub.-Mor., V. lasianthum Boiss., V. latisepalum Hub.-Mor., V. mucronatum Lam., V. olympicum Boiss., V. pterocalycinum var. mutense Hub.-Mor., V. pycnostachyum Boiss. & Heldr., V. salviifolium Boiss., V. splendidum Boiss., V. stachydifolium Boiss. & Heldr and V. uschackense (Murb.) Hub.-Mor.) were investigated. Totaly, four new iridoid glycosides and over fifty known compounds (monoterpene, iridoid, phenyethanoid, neolignan, flavon glycosides, saponins and an acetophenone glucoside) have been isolated. Therefore, the occurance of these compounds in these 13 species seems to reinforce the taxonomic significance of the genus. In vitro and in vivo antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive, wound healing, anticholinesterase, antimicrobial, antimalarial, anthelmintic and cytotoxic activities of the extracts of the plants and some of the isolated compounds were evaluated. In this presentation, our results are summarized and the pharmaceutical potential of the Verbascum species are disscussed.