Fight Against Natural Products Adulteration
Workshop on Preventing the Adulteration of Natural Products and Drug Development.
The workshop themed “Assuring the Integrity of our own Natural Products: DNA Barcoding” was organized by the World Class University Project in collaboration with National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan on 16th November 2018 at the Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.
Representatives from about 35 organizations working in the private sector (industrialists from leading Natural Product based industries in Sri Lanka) , 30 from the Government sector and 8 Institutions participated in the workshop.
The Workshop was chaired by two Professors from National Sun Yat-sen University;
- “Evaluating the genetic diversity for conservation and sustainable use of natural Chinese medical plant resources” by Professor Yu –Chung Chiang
- “From Natural Products to Drug Discovery” by Professor Chih-Chuang Liaw
Professor Yu –Chung Chiang delivering his lecture on “Evaluating the genetic diversity for conservation and sustainable use of natural Chinese medical plant resources”
Professor Chih-Chuang Liaw delivering his lecture on “From Natural Products to Drug Discovery”
Objective of the workshop
Sri Lanka is a biodiversity hotspot, with variety of indigenous ayurvedic medicinal plants scientific method should be established for identification of species. Of the identified 1,500 species of medicinal plants in Sri Lanka, only a small percentage of them have been studied for their potential value as a source of drugs. This workshop is the guiding light towards the authentication of endemic species and get the ownership and protect our indigenous identity of “Ceylon” natural products, herbs and endemic plants to ensure its lasting survival for our future generations by adding value utilizing cutting-edge technology.
The one-day workshop was designed to be informational, educational and collaborative. In addition to providing information on state-of-the-art research, the workshop taught attendees about available tools and techniques for DNA Barcoding and drug development and how to use them and served as an incubator for future collaborations.
The workshop comprised of a brainstorming session with an objective to conceptualize and gain deep insights into the authentication of natural products and drug development that would majorly benefit Sri Lankan Industrialists and academics in the Natural Products Industry and in establishing public-private partnerships linking industry and academia.
This workshop laid the foundation towards the initiation of a National Centre for certification of natural products with international accreditation that would lead to the cessation of adulterations in natural products in Sri Lanka. Morphology-based identifications are carried out in the present-day and this poses a major problem of specimen misidentification. Morphological, anatomical, chemical and DNA markers together solve the problem by differentiating the genuine material from its adulterants. Genetic characterization of plants utilizing such markers is an ideal approach for the identification of medicinal plant species and varieties of the same species.
This workshop established a platform to discuss on Collaborative Research and Product Development and this will be a milestone event for young budding masterminds in both nations, which includes exchange programs, coordinate activities such as joint research and further enhancing the outlook of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura through the Project Implementation between National Sun Yat-sen University, NSYSU, Taiwan & University of Sri Jayewardenepura through the MoU signed on 14th March 2018.