Anila Bashir, a PhD scholar of the Husein Ebrahim Jamal (HEJ) Research Institute of Chemistry, University of Karachi (KU), successfully defended her thesis in a seminar held at the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi, on Wednesday.

The HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry was established through a generous donation by the Husein Ebrahim Jamal Foundation in 1976. Emphasis has been on raising the standards of training of scholars in economically relevant fields of chemical and biochemical sciences, and resource mobilization for the future growth in new disciplines of chemical sciences. The main areas of research and development and training of students include natural product chemistry, protein chemistry, pharmacology, computational medicinal chemistry and plant biotechnology.

“I have done the total synthesis of a natural product (isoxylotone) which reported from a medicinal plant commonly known as Jadwar (Dilphinium denudatum Wall)”, Anila said during the defense.  It is pertinent to mention here that the female scholar is pursuing her PhD program under Prof Dr Farzana Shaheen.

Anila Bashir said that the medicinal plant, namely Jadwar, was used as herbal medicines in ancient times as antidots to poison, nerve tonic, cardiotonic and anti-pyritic. The natural product (Isoxylitones) has been reported for having potent anticonvulsant and antiepileptic activities, she said, adding that her thesis comprises of two parts, and the topic of research is “Studies on bioactive constituents of Dilphinium denudatum Wall. and synthesis of bioactive peptides”.

The seminar was followed by a questions and answers session.

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Arshad Yousafzai is a Karachi-based journalist covering Education and Human Rights. He can be reached on Twitter @Arshadyousafzay

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