Skip to the main content
Wednesday 17 February 202118.15 to 20.00

The Untapped World Of Colombian Chemical Diversity: Potentialities Of A Megadiverse Country For The Discovery Of New Molecules

Despite being listed as one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, Colombia and its biodiversity is still a largely unexplored territory!

Plants and other organisms produce a series of chemical compounds to better adapt to their environment. These compounds, also called “secondary or specialized metabolites”, fulfil a series of key functions such as providing defence against competing organisms, attracting pollinators or as a specialised communication mechanism. Due to their unique chemical structures, these metabolites also find application in human medicine, nutrition and cosmetics. For example, in the area of cancer alone, close to 50% of the new drugs approved by the FDA between the years 1940s and 2014 are of natural origin or directly derived from them.

How many of them are present in the Colombian biodiversity? How many potentially new and promising molecules can be found in Colombian plants and fungi?

Through case examples, this talk aims to discuss the enormous potential of Colombia as a source of new molecules of natural origin. A potential often ignored by national authorities and that can contribute to the sustainable development of the country and its transition to a “green” economy.

Our guest speaker, Dr. Fedrico Padilla, is a researcher at the Commercial Phytochemistry Unit (CPU) of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. As a world authority in plants and fungi, Kew Gardens plays an essential role in setting the authentication standards of plant-based products, ensuring the trade of the correct species with the right chemistry that support their use.

Dr. Padilla’s role includes the development of new identification and authentication methods of plant extracts used in a range of commercial products. He also performs research on different aspects of plant chemistry and its modulation by the environment.

Tickets type: 
Free ticket