Pharmaceuticals and Nutraceuticals Research Group

Our goal is the identification of biological extracts (mainly plants) with the potential, when suitably compounded (as ointments, lotions etc), for commercial use as clinically useful nutraceuticals or for further development into drug therapies.

Our research group constitutes a critical nucleus of researchers able to conduct bioactive discovery through isolation, characterisation and/or synthesis.

The group acts as a vehicle to integrate existing research strengths in botany, chemistry, human biology and physiology, and molecular and cellular biology with emerging opportunities in rural medicine and pharmacy. We hope to open up previously untapped funding opportunities by leveraging existing intra- and inter-institutional research capacity.


By pooling our background disciplinary training, research experience (see publications list) and technical expertise we exploit synergies that lead to a multidisciplinary approach to several areas offering novel and emergent opportunities with manifest commercial potential. Our backgrounds and expertise allows the identification of suitable plant species and the isolation, characterisation and derivatisation of natural products that have historically provided most of the clinically effective drugs as well as acting as scaffolds for the development of partly or wholly synthetic pharmaceuticals.

The capability to identify suitable plants is provided by the group's botanical and taxonomic expertise and links with the Beadle herbarium.

The capability to develop and conduct bioactivity screening is provided by the group's pharmacology, neurobiology, cell biology, physiology, endocrinology, microbiology and immunology expertise.

Specific bioactivities to be screened include antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, anticancer and immune modulation.

Based on an expanded view of the role of the immune system in health and disease, we are also interested in developing novel plant based immune modulants.

Lab working on smoking treatments for skin infections

Simulating traditional smoking ceremonies in the laboratory using a plant called 'Emu Bush' in order to identify healing components in the smoke.

Native Australian plants

Building on the results of our basic research into native Australian plants, we are currently developing and formulating topical ointments with antiseptic, antifungal and anti-inflammatory activities as well as sunscreens. Other possible applications of suitable extracts include liniments, mouth washes/gargles, as well as antibacterial additives to commercial cleaning products.


A/Professor Graham Lloyd Jones (founder and convenor)