College of Agriculture, Engineering
and Science (CAES)

Public Lecture: DRUG DISCOVERY – Finding New Drugs That Heal

Join us for an entertaining and informative look at the interesting research being undertaken by CAES academics


Speaker: Professor Neil Koorbanally

A look at the natural product and synthetic organic chemistry drug research being undertaken at UKZN to combat the killer diseases of our time

NEIL KOORBANALLY is an Organic Chemist by training and holds a PhD from the former University of Natal (2001) and a Masters cum laude (1998) in Organic Chemistry. He was a former Colenso Scholar at St John’s College in Cambridge in the United Kingdom in 2005 and is a member of several academic societies such as the Phytochemical Society of Europe, the American Chemical Society and South African Chemical Institute. He also sits on the editorial board of Natural Products Communications. Professor Koorbanally is the current Dean of Research in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, responsible for the oversight of all research-related activity in the College. His past interests include Natural Products Chemistry and the discovery of lead compounds from plant sources used in traditional medicine. Prof Koorbanally has discovered compounds with antibacterial activity, sickle cell anaemia, antioxidant properties, antiinflammatory activity, antimalarial activity and menopausal disorder activity. During his time at Cambridge, he worked on the biosynthetic pathways to the antibiotics butirosin and neomycin under the late Dr Joe Spencer. His current research interests include Synthetic Organic Chemistry, specialising in the synthesis of heterocyclic molecules and the discovery of lead compounds for the pharmaceutical industry, especially in antibiotics, antiretrovirals, antituberculois, antimalarials and anticancer agents. Prof Koorbanally has graduated 25 doctoral and 24 Masters students to date and published widely with over 150 publications and one patent on bioactive compounds against sickle cell anaemia. He currently supervises several doctoral and Masters students all working on the synthesis of bioactive medicinal compounds.

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08 12 21


17:30 - 18:30

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