Aktuelle Masterarbeitsthemen der Forschungsgruppe Pharmazeutische Biologie
Current Master's Theses-Projects of the Research Group in Pharmaceutical Biology


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Kontakt Betreuer/in
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MSc PharmazieMSc Drug SciencesBemerkungen

Pharmacological profiling of herbal medicines

We are an internationally operating Swiss company in the field of development and production of herbal medicines. Our success is based on the development of evidence based herbal medicines.

Our main research focus is on CNS related and gynecological indications. Our preclinical department is specialized in the development of bioassays for testing extracts, fractions and single compounds. We use state of the art functional assays applying various readouts.

We have openings for Master theses in ongoing research projects and are looking for motivated  students who are interested in gaining industrial experience in a small but highly dynamic team.

For some recent publications from our lab please refer to:
[1] doi: 10.1016/j.dib.2018.10.092
[2] doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2018.09.177
[3] doi: 10.1002/ptr.6516
[4] doi: 10.1111/bph.14936

keywords: herbal medicines, functional assay development and compound testing, cell culture, ELISA, qPCR, GPCR, image based assays, seahorse

Contact: Prof. Dr. Veronika Butterweck, Medical Director, Max Zeller Söhne AG, Romanshorn

Prof. Dr. Veronika ButterweckneinjaMax Zeller Söhne AG, Romanshorn

NMR based metabolomics approach to identify natural products in mixtures

Isolation of natural products from plants, and elucidation of their structures is a task that is taking weeks or months. New methods may help to considerably accelerate the process. In this project we aim to develop a NMR based approach to achieve this goal, combining NMR based metabolomics, multivariate statistical data analysis, and metabolic network modelling. The approach will be developed using simple compound mixtures before moving on to a plant extract.

In this project you will learn to
-          design and realize an NMR based metabolomics study
-          use statistical treatments and network modelling
-          use preparative chromatographic methods
-          develop analytical methods (HPLC-MS-ELSD-DAD)
-          isolate natural products from plant extracts
-          elucidate structures by NMR and HR-MS

Keywords: NMR based metabolomics, Method development, Separation techniques; HPLC-MS; HR-MS; NMR; Structure elucidation

Dr. O. Dantonneinja

ADME profiling of plant secondary metabolites

During drug discovery and development, the ADME profile (absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion) of a molecule is an important tool to describe drug safety and efficacy. In this project pharmacologically relevant compounds in herbal medicines are tested for key parameters such as metabolic stability using human liver microsomes, or the ability to be absorbed from the intestine into the blood stream using cellular permeability assays. These assays require quantification of the target molecule or its metabolites with highly sensitive UPLC-MS/MS methods. The study will first focus on isolated compounds and will later be expanded to herbal extracts. You will learn state-of the-art biopharmaceutical and bioanalytical methods which are widely used in the pharmaceutical industry.

Keywords: herbal medicine, ADME, human liver microsomes, permeability assays, cell culture, UPLC-MS/MS

Dr. A. Treyerneinja

Identifying natural products inhibiting the mTOR Complex1 (mTORC1)

The protein kinase Mammalian Target Of Rapamycin Complex 1 (mTORC1) is a master regulator of cell growth and metabolism. Its dysregulation can lead to multiple disorders including cancer, epilepsy, diabetes, as well as autoimmune diseases and age-related pathologies. The clinical applicability of current mTORC1 inhibitors is limited, and specific mTORC1 are therefore urgently needed. A novel assay was developed by Aukera, a spin-off company of the Biozentrum, to search for specific mTORC1 inhibitors.

The Aukera assay has been used to screen a library of 2500 plant extracts of our lab, and 21 hits were identified. The aim of this project is to identify natural products in the active extracts as specific inhibitors of mTORC1.

In this project you will do:

1.     A LC-MS-based metabolomic study of the active extracts to identify the potential active compounds in extracts.

2.     Scale-up isolation using different chromatographic methods (HPLC-MS, flash, MPLC, CPC etc.) and analytical techniques (NMR, HRMS, ECD,…) for the isolation and structure elucidation of the most promising compounds.

3.     Evaluation of the activity of these compounds on mTORC1.

Aukera. “Development of a lead compound for specific mTORC1 inhibition”

Methods: HPLC-MS, LC-MS based metabolomics, preparative chromatography, NMR, structure elucidation, bioassay.

Dr. E. Garoneinja

Entwicklung galenischer und analytischer Grundlagen für die magistrale Zubereitung einer Salbe mit einem lipophilen Extrakt aus Viscum album


  • Entwicklung der Herstellung eines Wirkstoff-Konzentrats (Halbfabrikat) aus einem neuen pflanzlichen Wirkstoff (lipophiles Vielstoffgemisch aus Viscum album); Auswahl einer geeigneten Grundlage.
  • Für die magistralen Zubereitung der Salbe: Auswahl einer geeigneten, üblichen Salbengrundlage, in welche das Wirkstoff-Konzentrat eingearbeitet werden kann.
  • Entwicklung einer Identitätsprüfung des Wirkstoff-Konzentrats zur Durchführung der Eingangskontrolle in der Apotheke (rechtliche Bedingungen in DE, CH): Hierfür kommt insbesondere die Dünnschichtchromatographie (Fingerprint) zum Einsatz. Konkret geht es um die Evaluierung
    - von geeigneten DC-Systemen und Referenzsubstanzen, unter Berücksichtigung  bestehender Pharmakopöe-Methoden,
    - der praktischen Umsetzbarkeit mit der Ausrüstung im Labor einer Apotheke – im Vergleich zur Durchführung mit automatisierten Geräten.
  • Erstellung von Anleitungen für die Herstellung und Prüfung in der Apotheke
Dr. Stephan BaumgartnerjaArbeitsort: Arlesheim/Verein für Krebsforschung

Neurodegeneration; aging; stress; mitochondria; neuronal cell culture; drugs targeting mitochondria; plant extracts

Prof. Anne Eckertjaja
Dissolution tests of inhalation drugs; correlating dissolution and permeability behavior of inhalation drugs to its local pulmonary pharmacokinetics; integration of in vitro tests, such as dissolution and permeability assessments into pharmacokinetic models.Prof. Günther Hochhausjaja
Generation of cell lines, stably expressing ion channels; assay development and validation; drug screenin; cell culture; electrophysiology; fluorescenc based methodsDr. Simon Hebeisenjaja
Poorly water-soluble active ingredients, lipid-containing self-emulsifying systems, solid dosage formsProf. Martin Kuentzjaja
Development of planar chromatographic methods for analysis of medicinal plants and other applicationsDr. Eike Reichjaja
Lipid-based solid dispersions; Analysis; Diffusing Wave SpectroscpoyProf. Martin Kuentzjaja
Ionic Liquids; Formulation of hydrophobic drugs; Polymers; Solid dosage formsProf. Martin Kuentzjaja