Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia
Choon-Sheen Lai obtained her PhD on Drug Discovery from Universiti Sains Malaysia in 2010. She is currently a Senior Lecturer at Centre for Drug Research in the same university. Her research interests include isolation and characterisation of bioactive natural products, standardisation of multi-constituent plant extracts as well as quality assessment of herbal products. She has won the Merck Young Scientist Award in 2009 and published in a number of reputed journals. She has several research grants and supervises a team of about 12-15 postgraduate researchers. She is also a reviewer for a number of scientific journals.
Ferns have longed been taken as food by human and used as medicaments for the treatment of various types of ailments. However, the medicinal properties and potential therapeutic compounds from this group of plants have rarely been explored. Our group has investigated the phytochemicals and potential pharmacological properties of two ferns species commonly found in Malaysia, namely, Dicranopteris linearis and Stenochlaena palustris. A number of unique compounds have been isolated and characterised from these ferns, including a series of acylated flavonol glycosides from Stenochlaena palustris, as well as some highly oxygenated phenols, flavonoids and glycosylated terpenes from Dicranopteris linearis. Some of these compounds, when used singly or in combinations as plant fractions exhibited a wide range of interesting properties, including free radical scavenging, antibiotic potentiating, anticholinesterase, cytotoxic, antioxidative, as well as fibroblast cell growth and cell migration promoting effects. In this presentation, the phytochemicals isolated and characterised from D. linearis and S. palustris done by our research group will be shown. Various in vitro pharmacological properties of these compounds and/or their combinations will also be discussed.