Medicinal potential of plants explored by Professor

Professor Satya Sarker, based in the University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, has spent the past three years exploring the potential of plants from the Sunderbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Bangladesh.

The investigation has seen Professor Sarker collaborate with researchers from Khulna University, Bangladesh, in order to successfully collect the plants and analyse them in laboratories at the University of Wolverhampton.

There Professor Sarker and his team have been analysing the molecules of the plants, hoping to find unique and novel compounds which could potentially attack bacteria such as MRSA and possess potential anti-cancer properties.

The research collaboration has been funded by a grant from the British Council’s “INSPIRE” initiative, which aims to significantly strengthen academic and research partnerships between UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and HEIs in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.

As part of the collaboration, an exchange of staff members between the two Universities has been on-going.

Speaking about his research, Professor Sarker said: “It is estimated that the global market for herbal medicines will be worth $3 trillion by the year 2020.

“The demand for plant based medication is increasing dramatically, so research into the medicinal potential of plants not found in the Western world is extremely important.

“I’m delighted that the British Council has given me the opportunity to work with scientists in Bangladesh on this matter.”

Professor Sarker’s project is due to end in November.

ENDS

For more information please contact Patrick Campbell in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322448

Date Issued: Monday 9 September 2013

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