9th Conference on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of Southeast European Countries

26-29 May 2016
Plovdiv, Bulgaria


Invited Speakers


Some Contributions to Natural Product Research
Natural Product Inc., Westerville (Ohio, USA) 

Dr. Pawan K. Agrawal
President, Natural Product Inc., Westerville, Ohio, USA
Pawan K. Agrawal is Editor-in-Chief of an international journal, Natural Product Communications. He obtained his PhD at the Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, India, in 1981, and spent Visiting Scholar stays at the Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken, Germany; University of Maryland, Baltimore and University of Alabama, Birmingham. For many years he worked as a scientist at Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow, India. His research interest includes natural product chemistry, and he has authored over 100 publications including a monograph (Carbon-13 NMR of Flavonoids) and several book contributions with over 5,200 citations.


Medicnal and aromatic plants for human health
Joint Genomic Centre (Bulgaria)
  Atanas Atanassov is professor in Genetics and Member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. He has been the leader in plant biotechnology research in Bulgaria since 1967.

A. Atanassov worked as guest-professor for Institute of Plant Sciences, CNRS, France; Agrarian University Wuhan, China; Ismir University, Turkey, and is a professor with the Montfort University, UK. He is a member of the Ukrainian, Russian and Romanian Academies of Agriculture, and Doctor Honoris Causa of the USVAMI-Cluj-Napoca, Romania, and of the Agricultural Academy, Bulgaria.

Prof. Atanassov’s research activities are closely related to genetics, biotechnology and genomics of plants. He developed successful methods for in vitro propagation and growing of seedlings of maize, sunflower, cherry, grapevine, etc. He proved for the first time the possibility to grow embryos and whole plants from pollen and anthers through introduction of genes determining resistance against pathogens, herbicides and stress. He also works actively on legislation in the field of bio-safety, control on genetically improved plants, risk evaluation and risk management of GMO release in the environment.

A. Atanassov is author or co-author of over 298 publications in international sand Bulgarian scientific journals, with over 2000 citations He is also a lecturer at the Faculty of Biology, Sofia University; Agricultural University, Plovdiv, and the University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy, Sofia.

New features of well-known herbs: St. John's wort and beyond
Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry, Halle (Germany)
Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Katrin Franke

Project Group Leader CNS-active Natural Products
Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry
Weinberg 3
06120 Halle (Saale)
Phone: ++49 (0) 345 5582 1313
Fax: ++49 (0)345 5582 1309
E-mail: kfranke@ipb-halle.de
Working experience
1996 1999                           Postdoctoral research fellow, Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg
1999 to date                           Research scientist, Natural Products Group, Department of Bioorganic Chemistry, Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry (research topic: bioactive secondary plant metabolites)
2013 2015                           Research associate, Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology, Magdeburg (cognition enhancing compounds)

1985 1990                           Study of biology, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, specialization: plant physiology, Diploma in Biology
1990 1995                           PhD, Institute of Plant Physiology, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Prof. S. Neumann

Selected Publications

S. A. Fobofou Tanemossu, K. Franke, N. Arnold, J. Schmidt, H. Kamdem  Wabo, P. Tane, L. A. Wessjohann. Rare biscoumarin derivatives and flavonoids from Hypericum riparium. Phytochemistry 105, 171-177 (2014).
C. Bobach, J. Schurwanz, K. Franke, A. Denkert, T. V. Sung, R. Kuster, P. Chalo Mutiso, B. Seliger, L. A. Wessjohann. Multiple readout assay for hormonal (androgenic and antiandrogenic) and cytotoxic activity of plant and fungal extracts based on differential prostate cancer cell-line behaviour Journal of Ethnopharmacology 155 (1), 721-730 (2014).
H. Thomsen, K. Reider, K. Franke, L. A. Wessjohann, J. Keiser, E. Dagne, N. Arnold. Characterization of constituents and anthelmintic properties of Hagenia abyssinica. Scientia Pharmaceutica 80, 433-446 (2012).
L. J. Rashan, K. Franke, M. M. Khine, G. Kelter, H. H. Fiebig, J. Neumann, L. A. Wessjohann. Characterization of the anticancer properties of monoglycosidic cardenolides isolated from Nerium oleander and Streptocaulon tomentosum. Journal of Ethno­pharmacology 134, 781-788 (2011)
I. Häke, S. Schönenberger, J. Neumann, K. Franke, K. Paulsen-Merker, K. Reymann, G. Ismail, L. Bin Din, I.M. Said, A. Latiff, L. Wessjohann, F. Zipp, O. Ullrich. Neuroprotection and enhanced neurogenesis by extract from the tropical plant Knema laurina after inflammatory damage in living brain tissue. J. Neuroimmunol. 206 (1-2), 91-99 (2009).
T. T. Thuy, A. Porzel, K. Franke, L. Wessjohann, T. V. Sung. Isoquinolin and protoberine alkaloids from Stephania rotunda. Pharmazie 60, 701-704 (2005). 
Nguyen Thi Hoang Anh, T. V. Sung, A. Porzel, K. Franke, L. A. Wessjohann. Homo­isoflavonoids from Ophiopogon japonicus Ker-Gawler. Phytochemistry 62, 1153-1158 (2003).
K. Franke, A. Porzel, J. Schmidt. Flavone-coumarin hybrids from Gnidia socotranaPhytochemistry 61, 873-878 (2002).
K. Franke, A. Porzel, M. Masaoud, G. Adam, J. Schmidt. Furanocoumarins from Dorstenia gigasPhytochemistry 56, 611-621 (2001).

Vegetation data bases and GIS in studying of diversity and conservation of MAP in SEE
President of AMAPSEEC
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.


Selected volatiles with therapeutic potential for treating age-related brain disorders
University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Iasi (Romania)


Professor of Pharmacognosy -Phytotherapy and Dean of Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Iasi, Romania

Education PhD in Pharmacognosy (1999), University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Gr. T. Popa”, Faculty of Pharmacy, Iasi, Romania

Professional experience Professor of Pharmacognosy -Phytotherapy and Cell Biology, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Iasi, Romania

Research interestsChemistry and pharmacological activity of natural products from plants; biological evaluation of pharmaceutical and nutritional important plant secondary metabolites;quality control of herbal medicine;assessment of plant extracts for application in pharmaceutical, food and dietary supplements; phytochemical analytical method development;

Author of books, chapters and numerous publications in ISI journals (Phytomedicine, Phytochemistry Reviews, Flavor and Fragrance Journal, Physiology and Behavior, Farmacia, BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, Records of Natural Products, Behavioral and Brain Functions, Neurochemical Research) related to isolation of active compounds from plants and their application in pharmacy, food and dietary supplements.


Integrative and collaborative approaches to Medicinal plant research and utilization
President of the International Council for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (Hungary)
MÁTHÉ, Ákos, PhD., president of the International Council for Medicinal and aromatic Plants (ICMAP).
He is habilitated university Professor and Doctor, as well as Doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Chair of the section of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of the International Society of Horticulture Science (ISHS), 2006-2014.
His record of MAP related research and educational activities include: domestication / introduction, ecophysiological research, in vitro multiplication of medicinal and horticultural crops, at University of Horticulture / Szent István University, West Hungarian University, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Science.
Fulbright grantee (1986) at UC Davis, Purdue University and at UMASS (1995), Amherst lecturing on the Biology and cultivation of medicinal plants. 1996-1997, visiting professor at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, with a focus on phytogenic feed-additives.
Invited speaker at conferences (incl.: Australia, China, Indonesia, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, USA) and FAO courses on MAP production and domestication, in Turkey.
He is co-ordinator of the Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Network in ESCORENA.
Presently, he is series editor of the monograph series "Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of the World", Springer, Netherlands.
His main research areas include botany and ecophysiology of medicinal and aromatic plants, diversification of agricultural/horticultural production.


Olive Bioactives: Applications and Prospects
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

I have you under my skin: Plant endophytic interaction and their role in natural product chemistry
Technical University Dortmund (Germany)

Strategies for identification and quantification of polyphenols using liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry
University of Skopje (Macedonia)

  Marina Stefova is a Full professor at the Institute of Chemistry at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Ss Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Macedonia. She obtained her PhD at this University in 2001 on the development of methodology for characterization of flavonoids in medicinal and aromatic plants. She teaches analytical chemistry since 2002 and her current position is full professor of analytical chemistry teaching instrumental and separation techniques for chemistry students.

Her research interests involve development of analytical methods for identification and quantification of polyphenolic compounds with antioxidant activity in different samples form plant origin using liquid chromatographic methods coupled to UV-Vis spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. She is also interested in environmental, pharmaceutical and forensic analysis.

She has published over 50 research articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented her results at numerous scientific conferences. She has participated in many national and international projects and has coordinated two EC funded projects: CHROMLAB-ANTIOXIDANT aimed at reinforcing the regional research capacity for food quality characterization, and SWOT-CHEMISTRY-FOOD focused on evaluation of the research capacity of the Institute of Chemistry and the food research status in the country. She had completed short stays at the Institute of organic chemistry with Center of phytochemistry at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences; Department of Food Science and Technology, National Centre for Scientific Research (Murcia, Spain); Joint research unit “Science for Oenology”, National Institute for Agricultural Research-INRA (Montpellier, France); Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences (Shanghai, China) and at the Institute of Bioanalysis at the University of Pecs, Hungary.

She is deputy editor of the Macedonian Journal of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (
http://www.mjcce.org.mk/) and head of the Institute of Chemistry (2013-).


New perspectives of uses of ornamental plants as sources of bioactive compounds
University of Barcelona (Spain)
She is associate professor in Faculty of Pharmacy in University of Barcelona. She gives lessons in Degrees of Pharmacy, Human Nutrition and Dietetics, and Science and Technology of Food of University of Barcelona since 2007. She is a member of Natural Products Group in Faculty of Pharmacy (University of Barcelona) lead by Prof. Jaume Bastida. She is a post Doc researcher there since 2009. She also worked as a researcher in the biotechnology enterprise Agrasys S.L in 2008 and 2009.
She has published almost 20 articles in indexed journals and assisted to several conferences as speaker and participated in 13 funded research projects.
·         Degree of Pharmacy (2004) (University of Barcelona)
·         PhD in Pharmacy (2008) (University of Barcelona)
·         Master in Nutrition (2008) (University of Barcelona)
·         Master in Phytotherapy (2011) (University of Barcelona)
·         Post Degree in Biostatistics (Open University of Barcelona)