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|The field of Marine Natural Products involved exploration of marine organisms and the natural products they produce. Marine natural products with their diverse structures have always held potential as new therapeutics and lead structures for optimization through medicinal chemistry. The past few years have seen the approval of Ziconitide (Prialt™) for chronic pain; European approval of ecteinascidin 743 (Yondelis™) for treatment of ovarian cancer and soft tissue sarcoma; US approval of eribulin mesylate (Halaven™) for the treatment of recurrent breast cancer; and at least four other marine natural products are demonstrating efficacy in Phase II and Phase III cancer trials. Studies on bryostatin, a potent PKC activator originally studied clinically for its anticancer effects, have now led to the development of analogs that are rapidly moving towards clinical trials to help restore memory and learning in Alzheimer’s patients.
Current Marine Natural Products field need transdisciplinary approaches. Important research activities were included library generation for use in high throughput screening; new methods for rapid spectroscopic analysis and identification of natural products; defining the molecular targets of bioactive natural products through chemical biology and pharmacology; targeted discovery of new natural products that capitalizes on novel screening paradigms; selective delivery and release of compounds for therapeutic use; total synthesis and structural optimization through medicinal chemistry; biosynthesis of natural products and use of genomics and proteomics to understand production and distribution of natural products; and the ecological role of natural products in defining marine habitats and their responses to global change. Thus Marine Natural Products involved various area research need to be explored.
Dr Habsah’s field of specialization is Natural Product Chemistry and Organic Chemistry. Currently she has been appointed as programme head for subcluster Natural and Synthetic Products at Institute of Marine Biotechnology. Her research interest on marine natural products involved profiling, isolation and structural elucidation of coastal plants which include mangrove plant, marine organism which included marine sponges and seaweeds. Recently she involved in semisynthesis of bioactive compounds derived from interested organism. She also interested in development of bioassays related to antifouling, vibriosis, atheroschlerosis and neurodegenerative diseases. She actively involved in establishment of chemical libraryfor cosmeceutical, AcHE inhibitors, GABAA modulators and antifouling biocide.
Dr Habsah is actively involved in research. She has been a research leader for 6 research projects with total grant amounting to RM666,000.00. She also a co-reseacher in 5 other projects. She is heavily involved in the research supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate students. Fulfilling the role of the main supervisor she has supervised 1 PhD student, 6 MSc student, and more than 50 undergraduate students. She has also co-supervised 5 PhD students, 13 MSc students. Currently, 3 of her PhD students and 15 of her MSc student have graduated.
Dr Habsah has papers, patent and product innovation carved with her name. She has participated in many national and international symposiums and conference, published article in various national and international refereed journals. The summary of her achievement are; 1 patent entitled Method of treating inflammatory disease with cardamomin (Patent no: MY-143280-A), Bronze medal in Malaysian Technology Expo 2007, Silver medal in ITEX-05, 35 articles published in refereed journals locally and internationally (H index=7, Citations=322).
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