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1. Quality evaluation of Chinese medicine

The quality of the raw material of Chinese materia medica is essential to its efficacy and the health and safety of the consumers.  With the rapid development of the Chinese medicine industry and its wide application, there is a new demand on the quality control of the raw material.  The quality evaluation of Chinese materia medica includes authentication, qualitative and quantitative analysis of marker components, detection of contaminants or residues, etc. 

We are devoted to the development of novel and fast detection methods, including the application of near infra-red spectroscopy and direct mass spectrometry, which greatly reduce the time and sample loss in sample preparation.  In addition, based on our strength in chemometrics, we are now developing bioactivity guided quality evaluation methods.

2. Metabonomics study of Chinese medicine on the prevention and treatment of geriatric and chronic diseases

Metabonomics is a high-throughput analytical method based on system biology for the analysis of metabolites.  The application of metabonomics in efficacy evaluation, study of action mechanisms and metabolite fingerprint allows the monitoring of the metabolism of the drugs in the body; more importantly, by observing the change of endogenous metabolites, we can further predict the biochemical changes and status in the body.  The action mechanism of Chinese medicine can thus be deduced and the target and receptors responsible for the drug response can be identified. 

We have studied the effect of Chinese medicine on diseases like osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases for years, where the animal models are very sophisticated and the chemical composition of some of the herbs we studied are well characterized.  By the application of metabonomics, we are going to conduct more in-depth studies on the relationship of the chemical composition and the action mechanism.

3. Study of anti-cancer activities of drug candidates derived from Chinese medicine and natural medicine.

The usage of Chinese medicine in treating cancer has a long history. It has an advantage in the alleviate tumor development, improving the quality of life, extending the residence time; Treating cancer with Chinese medicine can be divided into dispelling evil and righting complementing with combination of multiple drugs to achieve the comprehensive treatment results. In addition, traditional Chinese medicine and natural medicine has found to be a treasure trove of new compounds. It can combine with modern means of chemical synthesis and structure-activity relationship studies, to promote the development of anticancer drugs.

We are studying the traditional compound combined with Western medicine to treat estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer, understanding of its mechanism of action, and to provide a scientific basis for clinical treatment programs. In addition, we managed to isolate monomer from traditional Chinese medicine and natural medicine, and modify their structure or make synthetic dimer, in order to study their anti-tumor effect.

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