Laboratory of Pharmacology
Director: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jutamaad Satayavivad
The research in the Laboratory of Pharmacology can be categorized into two main areas:
Laboratory of Pharmacology
Traditional medicine has been an integral part of Thai society for centuries. Most of herbal plants are complex, with multiple constituents that may contribute to their pharmacological effects. To fully understand their pharmacological activities, it is necessary to identify the individual bioactive compounds responsible for a specific activity and to determine how they interact with other compounds and biological targets. Furthermore, insight molecular mechanism underlying their biological activities is also essential to investigate. In vitro and in vivo research studies on the pharmacological and toxicological effects of herbal extracts and their major bioactive compounds have been carried out. Pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and clinical studies of standardized plant extracts were also focused
As Thailand becomes more industrialized, greater amounts of chemicals are being used. With unsustainable practices, toxic chemicals are released into the environment. Thus, humans are increasingly being exposed to various environmental toxicants. Moreover, many chronic non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, cancer and cardiovascular diseases are found to be associated with exposure to environmental toxicants. Metals (i.e. arsenic, cadmium, and mercury) and pesticides (i.e. chlorpyrifos, atrazine, 2, 4-D, paraquat and glyphosate) are the two groups of chemicals that we are interested in. Special attention is given to alterations of neuronal cholinergic and non-neuronal cholinergic receptors and their signaling pathways leading to the altered physiological responses in chronic diseases. In addition, the cross talks between neuronal and immunological systems have been investigated. Understanding the underlying molecular mechanisms of the toxic effects of these chemicals may potentially lead to treatment and prevention of the harmful effects of these toxicants. Intervention or prevention of these NCDs will be studied using bioactive compounds from traditional herbal drugs or functional foods.
The objectives of the research focus are:
- To understand the pharmacological and toxicological mechanisms of actions of the selected test chemicals from synthetic and natural sources; pure compounds and standardized plant extracts and environmental pollutants.
- To understand the factors modifying drug responses or susceptibility to infection. We are interested in immunotoxic effects of metals and pesticides. These chemicals are found as contaminants in food and drinking water.
With these two objectives, it is anticipated that the knowledge obtained will be used to mitigate the environmental pollutant-related diseases, using the selected chemicals / standardized plant extracts for intervention or prevention.
- To understand the pathophysiology of the environmental pollutants inducing by chronic diseases such as cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases).
- To develop functional food and herbal medicine for chronic, non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
- To assess the safety of herbal medicine, food supplements, and nutraceuticals with special emphasis on metal and pesticide contamination and food-drug interaction.