NatPro – New Trinity Centre for Natural Products Research Launched
31st May 2021
NatPro, the new Trinity Centre for Natural Products Research, based at the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Trinity College Dublin officially launched last week with a mission to advance research and innovation of naturally derived products to deliver human health benefits and innovative life science solutions across sectors.
The global natural product market continues to grow and is becoming pivotal to social, economic and environmental strategies. Driven by health, economic and climate concerns, consumers increasingly demand sustainable and natural plant-based products. Innovation is the key to addressing this urgency.
The multi and interdisciplinary academic, regulations and commercial expertise of NatPro’s staff and Principal Investigator network, applies a transformative, science-led lens to unlock the power of natural products from existing, and potentially new, terrestrial and marine biodiversity sources.
Professor Helen Sheridan, NatPro Founder and Academic Director and Assoc. Professor of Natural Product Chemistry at Trinity College said: “The tide is rising in the Natural Product sectors globally and in Ireland. We at NatPro are excited to use a creative scientific lens to lead the pursuit of innovation in this sector. Interdisciplinarity is the key to our strategy and success. NatPro harnesses the power of academic rigor to drive natural product-based science from discovery through to a breath of applications.” To quote Shakespeare
‘On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves or lose our ventures’.
Nevertheless, there are challenges to the exploitation of natural products. These range from sustainable production, consistent quality, large scale biomass drying to standardising bioactivity, formulation for targeted delivery and regulatory challenges to entry different markets. NatPro partners with industries and other stakeholders in this arena to deliver break-through solutions.
The centre identifies key bioactives from natural sources (macro and microalgae, cereals, bioactive herbs and plants and residual commercial biomass, such as brewer’s spent grain) and transforms them towards new therapeutics, functional foods, supplements and cosmetic applications, through unique innovative offerings in the current landscape.
Dr Gaia Scalabrino, NatPro Executive Director said: ‘We strive for Ireland to lead at the forefront of innovation in the global natural products ecosystem, advancing its natural resources, key expertise and commercial opportunities. NatPro’s edge is its interdisciplinary technology platforms, which promote a gateway for synergistic partnerships across industry and academia. We operate an integrated approach at the interface between discovery science, product development and regulations. Our drive is to create innovative products and provide strategic, scientific advice to our partners.
“Our team discovers value-added use of natural resources to deliver evidence-based solutions, which are derived from nature and translated into disruptive and sustainable practices.”
Professor Anne Marie Healy, Professor of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology at Trinity College and NatPro Co-Director said: “The opportunities provided by the NatPro Centre to progress natural product research from discovery and analysis of new chemical entities through to formulation, processing and manufacture is very exciting, and really unique in the Irish research landscape.”
Lead Image: NatPro Founder and Academic Director, Associate Professor Helen Sheridan.