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GREEK L’OREAL-UNESCO AWARD 2011 FOR WOMEN SCIENTISTS IN THE FIELD OF BIOSCIENCES

Since antiquity, in order to tackle illness, people turned to natural ingredients with therapeutic usage. Today, a large percentage of wide consuming medicines contain ingredients from plants.

Dr. Fotini Lamari, Chemist, Associate Professor of the University of Patras, was awarded with the Greek L'OREAL-UNESCO Award 2011, for her overall activity in the field of biosciences since for more than a decade she has been working on the analysis of the structure and properties of biological natural products with potential pharmaceutical application.

Following the tradition, she focuses on sources of natural products, which are mainly plant and animal organisms from the rich ecosystem of Greece. The combination of research and modern techniques and methodologies on these components can break new ground in the modern pharmaceutical industry.

Exploiting the Greek biodiversity for pharmaceutical purposes

PROPERTIES AND EFFECTS OF NATURAL PRODUCTS

The study of Dr. Lamari concerns both total extracts and isolated natural products. Natural products are mostly secondary metabolites with a limited distribution in the living beings. These include small categories of organic compounds without excluding some carbohydrates as well as peptides / proteins.

The object of study was the Kozani saffron, but also native taxa of the genus Crocus, wild blueberries (blueberries, fruits and leaves of various taxa of the genus Vaccinium), and herbs of native taxa of the genus Sideritis and Hypericum. The composition, the in vitro and in vivo antioxidant effects, a possible chemopreventive effect, the effect on the mnemonic processes and generally potential neuroprotective properties were studied.

Besides that, a significant part of Dr. Lamari's research work concerns the structural analysis and the biological role of a particular category of natural products, of the glycosaminoglycans. The glycosaminoglycans (e.g., hyaluronic acid), are linear heteropolysaccharides which are obtained from animal organisms. The main axis is the development of methods and strategies of structural analysis, as well as their interactions with other biomolecules. These methods are characterized by high sensitivity, which is achieved by combining the use of microanalytical techniques and derivatization with fluorescent compounds.

Greek L’ Oreal -UNESCO Award 2011

The "Greek L'OREAL-UNESCO Awards For Women in Science" is one of the three components of the International Program L'OREAL-UNESCO. The other two components are the International Awards and the International Scholarships. The Program supports women scientists both morally and financially.

L'OREAL Hellas supporting and expanding the international program L'OREAL-UNESCO «For Women in Science», has established the Greek L 'OREAL-UNESCO Awards since 2006, escorted by 10,000 euros each, in order to support women researchers. One of the three Greek Awards for 2011 was awarded to Dr. Fotini Lamari for her overall research activity in the field of Biosciences.

UNIVERISTY OF PATRAS

DEPARTMENT OF PHARMACY

Lamari Fotini, Chemist, Associate Professor, Laboratory of Pharmacognosy and Chemistry of Natural Products (LPCNP), Department of Pharmacy, University of Patras.

http://www.unesco-hellas.gr/gr/news_display.aspx?id=218 http://pharmacognosy.upatras.gr