2nd International Conference on
Natural Products Utilization

From Plants to Pharmacy Shelf

14-17 October 2015
Plovdiv, Bulgaria


Invited Speakers


Multitargeting cancer cell signaling pathways by compounds designed by mother Nature
The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center (USA)
  Dr. Aggarwal is a Ransom Horne, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Cancer Research, Professor of Cancer Medicine, Professor of Immunology, Professor of Biochemistry and Professor of Experimental Therapeutics, and Chief, Cytokine Research Section, in the Department of Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas. He also serves as member of the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Houston, and as an Adjunct Professor at Albert B. Alkek Institute of Biosciences and Technology, Texas A&M University, Houston, Texas and member in various Institutional committees of MDACC.

Dr. Aggarwal earned his Ph. D. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, received his Post-Doctoral training from the Hormone Research Laboratory at the University of California Medical Center, San Francisco.  He then started his career with Genentech Inc where he worked for almost ten years and his work lead to the discovery of TNF- a and TNF-b, an essential component of the immune system; and identification of their receptors.

In 1989, Dr. Aggarwal was recruited as a Professor of Medicine and of Clinical Immunology & Biological Therapy, Chief of the Cytokine Research section at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.   Since then Dr Aggarwal has been investigating the “Role of Inflammatory Pathways Mediated through TNF, NF-kappaB and STAT3, for the Prevention and Therapy of Cancer and other Chronic Diseases”.  While searching for novel and safe anti-inflammatory agents, his group has identified more than 50 novel compounds from dietary sources and from Traditional Medicine that interrupt these cell-signaling pathways.  These agents have been tested in various animal models and some of them are now in Clinical Trials. He has published more than 600 papers in peer-reviewed international journals (including Science, Nature, Cancer Cell, PNAS, Journal of Experimental Medicine, Blood, JBC, Cancer Research, Journal of Immunology), invited reviews and book chapters.

Dr. Aggarwal is inventor/co-inventor on over 33 patents.  He has been listed as one of the most highly cited scientist in the world by ISI since 2001; and has been included in ISI Highly Cited among most highly cited authors in Immunology category. He has also been listed as one of the top 25 researchers in the area of “Apoptosis” in the World. His papers exhibit very high-citation index (almost 10 exceed 1000). His overall citation is now at 75,900 with an H-index of 120.
Dr. Aggarwal is currently a member of the editorial boards of 24 international journals and served as a reviewer for more than 160 journals, various grant proposals and of several Ph.D. theses.

Dr. Aggarwal has edited 12 books and served as Guest editor for special issues from Biotherapy, Cancer Letters and Current Opinion in Pharmacology. He has trained over 80 Post-doctoral Fellows and Visiting Professors from around the world. He has co-organized and served as member in many International and National Conferences/ Symposia; has started International Society of Translational Cancer Research and has delivered over 350 lectures/seminars/keynote talks in more than 50 countries.

He has recently authored a book “Healing Spices” released in January, 2011 by Sterling; and is already a best-seller.

Dr. Aggarwal has received numerous awards including ARTOI Award, Association for Research Integrated Oncology Therapies, Rome, Italy, 2012; 2011 James A. Duke Award Excellence in Botanical Literature Award, American Botanical Council, Anaheim, California, 2012; World Congress Science Prize from Oxygen Club of California 2010; Excellence in Research Award of McCormick Research Institute from the American Association of Nutrition, 2008, Outstanding Scientist Award from the American Association of Indian Scientists in Cancer Research, 2006, Ranbaxy Award for Outstanding Scientist of the year, 2004.

Metabolic engineering of phenylpropanoid-derived polymers for improved forage and biofuel traits
University of North Texas (USA)
  Richard A. Dixon is Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of North Texas, Denton. He was previously Distinguished Professor and Samuel Roberts Noble Research Chair, Senior Vice President and Founding Director of the Plant Biology Division at the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, Oklahoma, where he worked from 1988-2013. He received his Bachelor’s and Doctoral degrees in Biochemistry and Botany from the University of Oxford, UK, and postdoctoral training in Plant Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, UK. He was awarded the Doctor of Science degree for his research achievements by the University of Oxford in 2004.

His research interests center on the biochemistry, molecular biology and metabolic engineering of plant natural product pathways and their implications for agriculture and human health, and the engineering of lignocellulosic biomass for the improvement of forage and bioenergy feedstocks. He has published over 430 papers and chapters on these and related topics in international journals. Professor Dixon is a Member of the US National Academy of Sciences (Plant and Soil Sciences Section, elected in May 2007), a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (elected in 2003), a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (elected in December 2014), a member of the Editorial Boards of five international journals, and has been named by the Institute for Scientific Information as one of the 10 most cited authors in the plant and animal sciences with current H-index of 95.

Metabolic profiling for crop improvement
Editorial board member of Plant Cell and Trends in Plant Science
Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology (Germany)
  Alisdair R. Fernie is a group leader at the Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry at the University of Sheffield and Doctoral degree in Plant Biochemistry from the University of Oxford, UK, and postdoctoral training at the Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology.

His research interests have two foci the co-ordination and compartmentation of plant energy metabolism and the genetic architecture of plant metabolism. He has published over 400 papers in international journals. Dr. Fernie a member of the Editorial Boards of Plant Cell and Trends in Plant Science and has been named by the Institute for Scientific Information as one of the 10 most cited authors in the plant and animal sciences with a current H-index of 69.

The 4 dimensions of plant secondary metabolism. The role of metabolomics
Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Ethnopharmacology and Phytochemistry Reviews
Executive Editor Biotechnology Letters
Leiden University (The Netherlands)

  Prof. Dr. Robert Verpoorte holds a Pharmacists degree (1972) from Leiden University, and he passed his PhD at the same university on a thesis on pharmacologically active compounds from Strychnos species (1976). He was lecturer at Leiden University 1976-1987, and became professor and head of the department of Pharmacognosy in 1987. He was guest professor in London (UK), Uppsala (Sweden), Amiens (France) and Reims (France). From 1992-1998 he was Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the committee of the Phytochemical Society of Eu­rope. Since May 2011 he is professor Emeritus at Leiden University and member of the Natural Products Laboratory.

He is author/co-author of 715+ scientific papers, 4 books and 6 patent applications and is Editor-in-chief of Journal of Ethnopharmacology (IF 2.939) and Phytochemical Reviews (IF 2.894), and Executive Editor of Biotechnology Letters (IF 1.736). He serves on the editorial board of number of journals. He supervised 65 PhD-theses, and 150+ MSc theses.

He received an Honorary Doctorate University of Amiens, France (2004) and of the University of Uppsala, Sweden (2012). In 2007 he received the Phytochemical Society of Europe Medal.

Current research interests

  • Isolation of new biological active compounds (medicines, biopesticides) from plants or plant cell cultures.
  • Centrifugal partitioning chromatography as a preseparation method in screening for new biological active compounds.
  • Studies on Cannabis, including biosynthesis and metabolomics of this plant in connection with medicinal applications.
  • Metabolomics as a tool to determine the functions of genes, to do quality control of medicinal plants and in dereplication in natural products lead finding.
  • Natural ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents (NADES): biological implications and applications.
  • Plant cell biotechnology: in particular production of fine chemicals (in­cluding drugs) by means of plant cell cultures.
  • Biosynthesis of secondary metabolites in plants, mapping of pathways
  • NMR-based metabolomics of plants.
  • Genetic engineering of plant secondary metabolism (metabolic engineering).
  • Studying plant resistance against pests and diseases using metabolomics in a systems biology approach.


Selectivity and specificity of pharmacological action of natural compounds - myth or reality?
Editor-in-Chief of Phytomedicine
Swedish Herbal Institute (Sweden)
  Alexander Panossian, Ph.D., Dr.Sci., is a Head of R&D at the Swedish Herbal Institute. Dr Panossian completed his doctorate in organic chemistry at the Yerevan State University in 1971. He obtained his scientific degrees in Moscow Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry in 1975 and in Moscow Institute of Fine Chemical technology in 1986. After collapse of USSR in 1991, Dr. Panossian was made a full professor of chemistry of natural and physiological active compounds in the Russian Federation and later served as Director of the Laboratory of Quality Control of Drugs of Medical Drug Agency of the Republic of Armenia. In 2003 he moved to Sweden where he is currently working Swedish Herbal Institute. During his scientific career he was temporarily working as a guest scientist in the Laboratory of Nobel laureate Bengt Samuelsson at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm (1982-83), at Munich University (1993-95), and at King College in London, 1996. He has written or co-authored more than 170 articles in peer-reviewed journals. His main research interest is focused on plant adaptogens – anti-stress compounds which are involved in the regulation of neuroendocrine and immune system.

LC-SPE-NMR as a tool for the metabolic profiling of herbal medicinal products
Editor-in-Chief of Planta Medica
University of Antwerp (Belgium)
  Luc Pieters is professor in Pharmacognosy and Natural Product Chemistry at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Antwerp, Belgium. He is head of the research group “Natural Products & Food Research and Analysis” (NatuRA) (https://uantwerpen.be/natura). His main research interests are the phytochemical characterization of plant extracts used in traditional medicine, their pharmacological evaluation, and the isolation and identification of their active constituents. He also holds an academic appointment in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Ghent, Belgium.

Luc Pieters is a former recipient of the Dr. Paul A.J. Janssen Award for Medicinal Chemistry, the Rhône-Poulenc Rorer Award of the Phytochemical Society of Europe (PSE), and the Pharmaton Boehringer Ingelheim Award for Phytotherapy. Luc Pieters is author or coauthor of over 240 publications in international scientific journals. Since 2007 he is the Editor-in-Chief of Planta Medica – Journal of Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research, the official organ of the Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research (GA).

Plant hormonomics on the cell level
President of the Phytochemical Society of Europe
Institute of Experimental Botany (Czech Republic)

  Miroslav Strnad is professor in the Laboratory of Growth Regulators, Centre of the Region Haná for Biotechnological and Agricultural Research, Institute of Experimental Botany ASCR & Palacký University in Olomouc, Czech Republic (rustreg.upol.cz). Strnad’s current focus is on the research and development of a new generation of compounds with anti-viral, anti-proliferative, anti-angiogenic and anti-senescence properties, the molecular mechanisms of their action and the potential combinatory therapies based on these compounds, new phytohormone derived cosmetic as well as plant growth regulators for plant biotechnology and agriculture. He graduated in Phytotechnologies from the Faculty of Agronomy, Mendel University, Brno, in 1982 (Ing.). In 2001 was promoted to Professor of the Palacký University in Olomouc, Czech Republic. In 1998, he was awarded the Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Award by the Phytochemical Society of Europe, in recognition of his work on the identification, analysis and biochemistry of phytohormones topolins.  Prof. Strnad has been widely publishing (11 chapters in various scientific books; more than 350 papers in recognized journals; 3 books; 8 Czech and 49 international patents; citations > 7500; Hirsch index: 42). Since 2014 he is the president of the Phytochemical Society of Europe.

Dr. Atanas G. ATANASOV

Identification and mechanistic characterization of plant-derived natural products with
anti-atherosclerotic potential

University of Vienna (Austria)
  Dr. Atanas G. Atanasov´s research focus is set on: 1) Molecular mechanisms of pharmacological action; 2) Cell signalling and regulatory pathways relevant for inflammation and cardiometabolic disease; 3) Discovery and characterisation of novel bioactivities of natural products; and 4) Use of small molecules as tools for biological systems manipulation and basic research (chemical biology). Since 2008, Dr. Atanasov is a senior researcher at Department of Pharmacognosy, University of Vienna, where he was actively involved in the execution of the Austrian national network “Drugs From Nature Targeting Inflammation” (DNTI), a collaborative research project which has been financed with >3 000 000 Euro from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) to support the identification and characterization of plant-derived natural products counteracting inflammatory responses.  Dr. Atanasov has also been appointed as a beneficiary member and actively contributed to the European Commission 7th Framework Program (FP7) network consortium “Good Practice in Traditional Chinese Medicine (GP-TCM)”.  In recognition of his overall achievements, Dr. Atanasov has been awarded in 2012 with “Focus of Excellence” fellowship by the Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna. In addition to traditional ways for scientific dissemination (peer reviewed research publications, conference contributions etc.), Dr. Atanasov has been very successful in promotion of the natural product research field in the Social Media (Klout Score = 78).

Web: http://pharmakognosie.univie.ac.at/people/atanasov-atanas-g/
Prof. Dr. Vassya BANKOVA

A two-level dereplication strategy for propolis research, based on GC-MS
Corresponding member of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS)
Institute of Organic Chemistry with Centre of Phytochemistry (Bulgaria)
  Vassya Bankova obtained her PhD in Natural Product Chemistry at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) in Sofia. She has worked as a guest-researcher at the Ruhr University – Bochum, the University of Saarland, Saarbruecken, the Bandeirante University, Sao Paulo, and the Institute of Molecules of Biological Interest, Naples. In 2004 she became full professor at the Institute of Organic Chemistry with Centre of Phytochemistry, where she is now head of Lab “Chemistry of Natural Substances”.

Her research interests are directed towards search for new biologically active compounds from unexplored biological subjects (endemic plants, mushrooms, bee products); development of modern reliable methods of qualitative and quantitative analysis of the active components in complex extracts of natural products. Her special interest is devoted to the bee product propolis (bee glue): its chemistry, plant origin, biological activity, health-promoting potential, analysis and standardization. She and her group have been studying propolis for over 20 years, have made major contributions to the current knowledge of propolis and have published over 80 papers in international peer reviewed journals and three book chapters on this topic. Her total number of publications is over 160, and she has an h-index of 34. She is a member of the International Honey Commission and president of the Bulgarian Phytochemical Society. She is also a part-time lecturer at the University of Sofia and is on the Editorial Board of Chemistry Central Journal as Section Editor for Organic Chemistry Section. In 2015 she was elected to a corresponding member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
Prof. Dr. Ioanna CHINOU

The regulatory framework for the use of essential oils, as herbal medicinal products in EU. Quality & safety of use
University of Athens (Greece)
  Dr Ioanna Chinou is pharmacist, graduated the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Athens (1984), and was awarded her PhD in Athens (1988). She was a postdoc student at Nantes University, France (Lab of Organic Chemistry and Pharmacognosy 1988-1989) and is now Prof at the University of Athens, Faculty of Pharmacy, Dept of Pharmacognosy and Chemistry of Natural Products. Since September 2005, is the Deputy National Representative of Greece, Vice-chair in European Medicine Agencies (EMA) at the Herbal Medicinal Products Committee (HMPC) (2007-2012), as well as the Chair of the Monographs and List Working Party (MLWP) of HMPC 2006-today). Her research interests include phytochemical studies of biologically active natural products (isolation, structure elucidations by modern spectral means) with a special interest in the chemistry and evaluation of biological activities of bee-hive products (honey, propolis, Royal jelly). She is author of 136 research articles in international phytochemical scientific journals and of 190 International Congress presentations. She has given 105 Lectures after invitation and the author of 26 reviews-chapters in books. She is visiting Prof of the Medical School of Lublin, Dept. of Pharmacognosy, Lublin Poland and reviewer for >50 international scientific journals. Her publications have been cited more than 3600 times and she has an h=33.

Using natural products from plants to understand mammalian cytoprotective mechanisms
University of Dundee (UK)
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (USA)
  Albena T. Dinkova-Kostova is a Reader at the Medical Research Institute, University of Dundee, United Kingdom. She graduated with MSc degree in Biochemistry and Microbiology from Sofia University, and subsequently obtained PhD in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Washington State University working with Professor Norman Lewis on the phenylpropanoid pathway. During that time she became intrigued by the fact that plant phenylpropanoids, some of which (podophyllotoxin and the semi-synthetic etoposide and tenoposide) are used in cancer chemotherapy; others (nordihydroguaiaretic acid) are potent antioxidants, are also inducers of cytoprotective enzymes, as shown by Professor Paul Talalay at Johns Hopkins University. She joined his laboratory where she became interested in chemoprevention by chemical and dietary induction of cytoprotective proteins. While currently remaining part-time faculty member of the Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences at Johns Hopkins, in 2007 Albena was recruited to the University of Dundee as a Research Councils UK Academic Fellow. Her work on the mechanism of induction of cytoprotective proteins (through the Keap1/Nrf2 pathway and the heat shock response) and the chemistry of inducers has been published in journals such as Biochemistry, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Chemistry & Biology, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Chemical Research in Toxicology, Cancer Prevention Research and Methods of Enzymology. It has been highlighted in commentaries and attracted more than 5000 citations. Albena is the recipient of the 2011 Arthur C. Neish Young Investigator Award of the Phytochemical Society of North America. She is most proud of the accomplishment of her students who have received major academic awards, such as the 2011 Biochemical Society Centenary Poster Prize (to Liam Baird) and the 2014 Sir James Black Award for Outstanding Achievements (to Egle Gaurilcikaite). In her research, Albena remains committed to working towards development of strategies for protection against chronic degenerative diseases.

Overexpression of bacterial halogenases in Brassicaceae plants to search for secondary plant metabolites with novel bioactive features
Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Plant Growth Regulation
Technische Universität Dresden (Germany)

  Dr. Jutta Ludwig-Müller is Professor of Plant physiology and Director of the Institute of Botany at the Technische Universität Dresden, Germany. She is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Plant Growth Regulation and on the editorial board of three other journals. She has an international track record in plant hormone, plant pathology and secondary plant metabolite research. Among the current research projects her laboratory tries to generate hairy roots and plants with enhanced and / or altered metabolic pathways.

She is co-author of over 150 publications with current H-index of 31. She has co-authored a textbook published in German and English on the role of secondary plant metabolites in plants and humans.
Prof. Dr. Ilkay Erdogan ORHAN

Insight into computational and experimental evidence on enzyme inhibitory effect of natural compounds
Gazi University (Turkey)
  Prof. Dr. Ilkay Erdogan Orhan was born in 1972 in Ankara (Turkey). She completed her B.Sc. (B. Pharm.) at Faculty of Pharmacy, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey in 1993 and M.Sc. degree at Department of Pharmacognosy at the same faculty in 1996 with young scientist scholarship provided by TUBITAK (Technical and Scientific Research Council of Turkey). Then, she was awarded her second M.Sc. degree in Marine Natural Product Chemistry in 1998 at the University of the Ryukyus in Japan supported by Monbusho scholarship. She earned Ph.D. degree in Pharmacognosy at Faculty of Pharmacy, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey in 2002 and worked as visiting scientist at Department of Chemistry at University of Winnipeg (Canada) in 2003 under NATO-TUBITAK fellowship program. She was promoted to Assoc. Prof. position by Higher Education Council of Turkey in 2004 and became full professor in 2009 at Faculty of Pharmacy, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey. She received several awards such as Young Scientist Award by Turkish Association of Pharmacists in 2006, Young Woman Scientist Award in Asia-Pacific region by OWSD (formerly TWOWS) (Third World Organization for Women in Science) & Elsevier, “Science Award in Biology” by COMSTECH (OIC Standing Committee on Science and Technological Cooperation) in 2010, Young Woman Scientist Award (in Life Sciences) by L’Oreal & Turkish Academy of Sciences in 2011, and First Honor Award in total scientific publication by Gazi University in 2011. Dr. Orhan is also Young Affiliate Representative of the Central & South Asia region (ROCASA) of Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) for the period of 2011-2016.

Dr. Orhan was appointed as “Dean” of Faculty of Pharmacy at Eastern Mediterranean University in the Northern Cyprus for the period of 2011-2014 and she is now affiliated as full professor at Faculty of Pharmacy, Gazi University. Her research interests are inhibitory activity of natural products against various enzymes, phytotherapy, herbal medicines, phytochemistry, and marine natural products. She is currently the author of 165 papers published in reputed international journals, 41 papers in national journals and 11 book chapters. Dr. Orhan was also Editor of “Biotechnological Production of Plant Secondary Metabolites” published by Bentham Science Publishers in 2012 and her H-index is 23.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Krystyna SKALICKA-WOZNIAK

Coumarins - from counter-current chromatography isolation to Central
Nervous System

Subject Editor Phytochemistry Letters
Medical University of Lublin (Poland)

  Krystyna Skalicka-Woźniak studied pharmacy at the Medical University of Lublin, Poland and received her Master’s degree in 2002. She completed her PhD in pharmacognosy with Prof. Kazimierz Głowniak in 2008 at the Medical University, and her thesis was awarded with a Prime Minister Award for the best Doctoral Dissertation. Since 2010 she has been the Head of The Medicinal Plant Unit in Lublin. She has received several awards for her research, including one for Outstanding Young Scientists for a period of three years. She has published 60 scientific papers in international and national journals. Her research interests include searching for bioactive compounds in plants, optimization of modern extraction techniques, and chromatographic separation. The focus of her work for the past few years was the application of counter-current chromatography (CCC) for the isolation of biologically active secondary metabolites, mostly coumarins and terpenoids and examining their influence on the Central Nervous System (epilepsy, anxiety and memory-related behavior). She gained her experience with CCC through a training period in a world-leading research center, the Brunel Institute of Bioengineering at Brunel University in London, and is currently the leading practitioner in the application of this technique in Poland.

At present she serves as Subject Editor for Phytochemistry Letters (Elsevier)
Prof. Dr. Leandros SKALTSOUNIS

Olive bioactives: possibilities and applications
University of Athens (Greece)
  Leandros A. Skaltsounis is Full Professor and director of the Department of Pharmacognosy and Natural Product Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Athens. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Descartes University of Paris V on 1987 under the supervision of Professor Francois Tillequin. He has spent six year as academic staff in CNRS (UMR No 8638) in Paris. Since 1994 he is a permanent member of the Faculty of Pharmacy in the University of Athens. At present he leads a research group of more than 30 researchers focusing on natural product-based lead discovery for various applications, in therapeutics, functional foods, cosmetics and agrochemicals. In his lab has been developed a vertically integrated process for the discovery, development and exploitation of novel natural products and semi-synthetic chemical entities. It involves: in silico molecular simulations and structure activity relationships (SAR) studies of small molecules in their interactions with protein targets, the extraction, isolation, structural elucidation of new compounds derived from natural resources, the design and synthesis of new bioactive molecules inspired from natural scaffolds, the development and validation of analytical methods for profiling and quantitation of natural products using state of the art analytical techniques, the biological evaluation including the NMR- and MS-based metabolomic approaches, and finally the pilot scale production through the specific design of industrial processes. Parallel research activities have been deployed concerning the nutritional value of natural products, constituents of the Mediterranean diet and the development of novel nutraceutics, mainly based on olive oil bioactive compounds. Research activities of his team have resulted so far in the publication of over 250 research papers and 10 patents, which attracted 6,500+ citations with H-index of 37. Pr. Skaltsounis was the chairman of the 7th joint meeting on Natural Products, organized in Athens, Greece during August 2008 with the participation of more than 1300 researchers from 80 countries.
Full CV available at http://natforce.pharm.uoa.gr/files/CV/cv_skalts.pdf
Prof. Dr. Zora Dajić STEVANOVIĆ

Treasury of the Balkan’s medicinal flora: from biodiversity to bioactivity
University of Belgrade (Serbia)
  Prof. Zora Dajic Stevanovic is Head of Department of Botany on Faculty of Agriculture, University of Belgrade, R. of Serbia, and the team leader for research in biodiversity, especially of vegetation of natural grasslands, as well as research of medicinal plants and salt stress tolerance. She received her Bachelor’s and Doctoral degrees in Plant Sciences from Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade, R. of Serbia, and postdoctoral training in Salt Stress Tolerance at the University of Sussex, Brighton and John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK. Since 2008 she is the president of Association for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of Southeast European Countries (AMAPSEEC, see http://amapseec.org). She is member of the EU Dry Grasslands expert group and EU consortium for vegetation. She was national coordinator of plant genetic resources and is national representative in Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAP) WG in ECPGR. Zora Dajic Stevanovic is member of national council of NATURA 2000, member of the Council of Ministry of Environment Protection and Spatial Planning and member of the MAB UNESCO national committee.  She is expert of IUCN MAP specialist group and of FAO MAP expert group, as coordinator for Southeast Europe (MAP specialist group of ESCORENA – EU System of Cooperative Research Scientific Network in Agriculture (http://escorena.net).  
Prof. Dajic Stevanovic is author of more than 250 scientific papers, out of near 40 in international journals with the impact factor, 5 national monographs, 15 national monograph chapters, and 4 chapters in international monographs. She is member of the editorial board of five international and three national scientific journals.
Prof. Dr. Alvaro M. VILJOEN

Does metabolomics and chemometric modeling of analytical data offer the solution to quality control of herbal medicines?
Deputy Editor-in-Chief Journal of Ethnopharmacology
Tshwane University of Technology (South Africa)

Born in 1969, Pretoria South Africa. Completed a BSc, BSc Hons. (cum laude) and MSc (cum laude) in Botany at Stellenbosch University. In 1994 Alvaro commenced with a PhD at the University of Johannesburg on the chemotaxonomy of the genus Aloe. In July 2005 he was appointed as a research fellow in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tshwane University of Technology (Pretoria). More than fifty post-graduate students have graduated under his supervision since 2002. His research interest is the phytochemistry and biological activity of medicinal and aromatic plants indigenous to South Africa. He has authored / co-authored 185 peer reviewed papers mostly on the phytochemical exploration and biological activity of indigenous medicinal and aromatic plants. He has been elected on to the editorial board of the Journal of Essential Oil Research (Francis & Taylor), Phytochemistry Letters (Elsevier), he is the deputy editor-in-chief of Journal of Ethnopharmacology (Elsevier) and reviewing-editor for South African Journal of Botany (Elsevier). In October 2013 Alvaro was awarded the National Research Chair in Phytomedicine a position which he holds concurrently as Director of the MRC Herbal Drugs Research Unit in South Africa.
Prof. Dr. Günter VOLLMER

Developmental windows of disease and disease prevention – lessons from a study on soy isoflavones and experimental breast cancer
Technische Universität Dresden (Germany)
  Günter Vollmer is professor for Molecular Cell Physiology and Endocrinology at the Department of Biology, School of Science, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany. He received a Diploma in Biochemistry from Eberhard-Karls-University Tübingen and a PhD in Developmental Biology at the Max-Planck-Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen, Germany.

His general research interest is the interaction of plant extracts, natural and synthetic compounds with nuclear hormone receptors and the consequences for health, risks and benefits, resulting from this interaction. With this capacity Günter Vollmer serves as reviewer for European Union and has been elected for working groups and panels of EFSA.

Since many years the main focus of research of Günter Vollmer´s group is on efficacy and safety of medicinal plants and dietary supplements used/advertised for the treatment of menopausal complaints. More recently he also investigates natural compounds regarding breast cancer risk and breast cancer prevention. In addition, the group is involved in various projects which aim to identify biological activities from Medicinal plants of several African countries. Günter Vollmer is author of more than 160 publications in international scientific journals and serves on editorial boards of several journals in the field.
Prof. Dr. Jean-Luc WOLFENDER

Issues and prospects in the efficient dereplication of natural products
University of Geneva (Switzerland)
  Jean-Luc Wolfender is a chemist, who completed a PhD in pharmacognosy with Prof. Kurt Hostettmann (University of Lausanne, Switzerland, 1993). After being responsible of the analytical services of this laboratory, he performed his postdoc with Prof. Al Burlingame on Conus venom profiling (UCSF, San Francisco). He is now full Professor at the Phytochemistry and Bioactive Natural Product research unit of the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the University of Geneva (Switzerland), where is presently the president of the School. He has been strongly involved in the 90s in the introduction of LC-MS and LC-NMR for the profiling of crude plants extracts for dereplication purposes in natural product based drug discovery research programs. He is currently developing innovative MS- and NMR-based metabolomics strategies in the frame of projects related to phytochemistry, microbial interactions and phytotherapy. He is specialised in the de novo structure identification of biomarkers at the microgram scale and is using a miniaturised approach that combines activity-based HPLC profiling and high content information bioassays such as those involving zebrafish. His main research interests are focused on the search of novel inducible bioactive natural products in response to various biotic and abiotic stimuli as well for the study of the mode of action of phytopharmaceuticals from a systems biology perspective. He has many collaborations with South America and Asia mainly in relation with bioactivity guided isolation studies for the discovery of novel natural products of therapeutic interest and his involved in the organisation of workshops for the promoting metabolomics with the natural product community.