Investigating native plants for South Australian pickles

Congratulations to the ABCC team!

We have been awarded an Innovations Connections Grant of $25,000, under the Australian Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme to work with local food company Spring Gully. We will be looking for native plants that can potentially be used to colour Spring Gully products such as pickles and onions.

The official media release can be accessed here. The story also ran in the Adelaide Advertiser on Thursday 15th September.

Arid awakening: new opportunities for Australian plant natural product research

The Australian Bioactive Compounds Centre has its first publication!

The paper titled “Arid awakening: new opportunities for Australian plant natural product research” highlights the potential of the under explored arid region of Australia as a source for novel natural products with medicinal, food and agricultural potential.

The lead author, Dr Bradley Simpson is an NHMRC Early Career research Fellow with Flinders University and works on several projects with the ABCC. Brad has significant experience collaborating with several Indigenous groups from Australia, where Indigenous and Western know-how are combined to explore the therapeutic mysteries of plant medicines used in customary practice.

The paper also reveals the unique opportunities of our multi-disciplinary approach, using ecological and indigenous knowledge to guide the discovery of novel natural products from (South) Australia’s unique arid habitats.

The paper is available online here.

Thanks Brad!

Official launch video

Thank you to all who came to the official launch of the Australian Bioactive Compounds Centre. We’d like to thank Associate Professor Bob Hill for his support as MC throughout the evening. Professor Phil Weinstein and Bob Milne gave a brief introduction to the centre which was followed by a fascinating presentation by Professor Birger Møller about his research and the future of humanity’s relationships with plants.

The official launch was recorded for those who missed it (skip to 28 minutes in for the ABC Centre launch).

Launch of the Australian Bioactive Compounds Centre!

Our new centre is being launched at 5:00pm Thursday 14th April (The Braggs Lecture Theatre – The Braggs Building University of Adelaide) in conjunction with the Centre for Conservation Science and Technology (CCoST). Our guest speaker is Professor Birger Møller, Professor of Plant Biochemistry, from the University of Copenhagen.

Please join us for the official launch of our exciting new venture.

Why take an ecological approach?

Many currently available pharmaceuticals are derived from bioactive plant compounds that serve a variety of ecological roles. For example, plants use chemicals to suppress competitors, deter herbivores, attract pollinators, and even to regulate their own microclimate. An ecological understanding of these phenomena can help direct investigation of plants and compounds that are more likely to prove pharmacologically useful.

We will focus our research on arid zone plant families from Outback Australia. These plant groups are not the focus of any other drug discovery research group, yet they are known to be highly prospective for bioactive materials because of the harsh environment they live in.