Professor Joanne Blanchfield

Professor and Deputy Head of School

School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
Faculty of Science
j.blanchfield@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 53622

Overview

Natural Products from Traditional Medicines and drug development.

My group focuses on isolating bioactive natural products from plants and organisms used in traditional and herbal medicines in cultures across the globe. We screen extracts and purified compounds for biological activity and for bioavailability using cell techniques. We are also involved in synthesising analogues of natural compounds and components of subunit vaccines. We also work with first responders to develop methods for detection and decompostion of dangerous chemicals.

Research Interests

  • Natural products from traditional medicines
    Plants used for thousands of years for their medicinal properties are valuable sources of potential drug leads. We use the ancient knowledge of traditional medicines from across the globe to guide our search for potential bioactive compounds.
  • Detection and decomposition of hazardous chemicals
    The accurate detection and effective decomposition of dangerous chemicals such as illicit drugs and toxic agents is essential for the safety of first responders and military personal. We work closely with these groups to ensure that they have the best protocols for detection in real time and the most effective and safe decomposition methods available.

Research Impacts

Our work with first responders and the Defence Force has identified a more effective method of decomposition of dangerous pharceutical agents encountered in various field settings. We are also working on optimising a method of detection for the most dangerous of compounds that can be performed on site and in real time. This work leads to a safer environment for first responders and for the community.

Our work with the indigenous communities and herbal medicine industry partners has identified bioactive compounds in Australian native plants that have been used by indigenous groups for hundreds of years.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Chemistry), The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours 1), The University of Queensland

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • (2023) Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • In consultation with indigenous collaborators and herbal medicine industry collaborators, we extract Australian native plants that have been identifying as having some medicinal properties and screen the extracts for selected biological activities. We then fractionate the extracts using a variety of chromatographic techniques to isolate individual natural products present in the plants. The structures of these compounds are then identified using modern analytical techniques including mass spectrometry and 1 and 2 dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques. The isolated compounds and extracts can also be screened for potential bioavailability using Caco-2 cell monolayers.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • In consultation with indigenous collaborators and herbal medicine industry collaborators, we extract Australian native plants that have been identifying as having some medicinal properties and screen the extracts for selected biological activities. We then fractionate the extracts using a variety of chromatographic techniques to isolate individual natural products present in the plants. The structures of these compounds are then identified using modern analytical techniques including mass spectrometry and 1 and 2 dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques. The isolated compounds and extracts can also be screened for potential bioavailability using Caco-2 cell monolayers.