Department of Pharmacognosy
LSMU Faculty of Pharmacy
Department of Pharmacognosy
Address: Sukilėlių pr. 13 Kaunas
Phone: +370 37 32 72 49
Head of the department: prof. Valdimaras Janulis
Phone: +370 37 327249
The history of the Department of Pharmacognosy begins in 1922 by opening University of Lithuania (Kaunas). During the redistribution of the departments in the faculty, the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmacognosy was established in 1978. Department was reorganized into the Department of Pharmacognosy in 2008. Since 2014, the Department has been located at “Santakos” Valley, the Newest Center for Pharmaceutical and Health Technologies of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences. The department has 12 employees: 4 professors, 2 assistant professors, 3 lecturers, 1 study administrator, and 2 laboratory workers.
The department participates in the study programs of Pharmacy Faculty: "Pharmacy", "Pharmacy for Foreigners", "Pharmacotechnicians" and "Medical Chemistry". The Department of Pharmacognosy teaches the basic discipline of pharmaceutical botany for students of the 1st year, the profile disciplines: pharmacognosy for the third year students and Chemical analysis of phytopreparations for the fifth year students, elective Nutrition and Food supplements for the fourth year students in the Faculty of Pharmacy. PhD studies are conducted in the Department as well. Currently we have 2 PhD students. Doctoral students' topics.:. "Quantitive and qualitative study of lectins isolated from Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench roots, and the effect on the immune response in vivo", "Phytochemical study of biologically active compounds accumulated in raw materials of Fagopyrum genus".
Pharmaceutical botany FF/FKG/F-V23
Pharmaceutical botany FF/FKG/F-U18
Training practice of Medicinal herbs cultivation FF/FKG/F-V19
The optional research practice FF/FKG/F-V20
Chemical analysis of phytopreparations FF/FKG/F-IS04
Phytopharmaceutical preparations FF/KFK/F-V12/02
Phytopharmaceutical preparations FF/KFK/F-U12/02
Pharmacognosy and pharmaceutical chemistry FF/FKG/MC-M01
Master Thesis FF/FKG/F-V13
Master Thesis FF/FKG/F-IS11
Phytopharmacy practice FF/VSF/F-V106/04
Practice of Phytopharmaceutical products FF/VTSF/F-IS106/04
Research project 1 FF/FKG/MC-M03
Research project 2 FF/FKG/MC-M04
Nutrition and Food Supplements FF/FKG/F-V21
Nutrition and Food Supplements FF/FKG/F-IS13
Topics of Research and Development
The main research area of the department: "Diversity research of biologically active compounds in medicinal herbal raw materials and preparations". Current research topics: research on the chemical composition of phenolic compounds of Lithuanian flora plants and medicinal herbal raw materials. Development of methods for the quantitative determination of natural biologically active compounds of medicinal herbs and preparations. In vitro studies of antioxidant activity of polyphenolic compounds and lectins accumulated in medicinal herbal raw materials and phytopreparations. In vitro and in vivo effect studies of phenolic compounds accumulated in medicinal herbal materials.
The research direction is the development, improvement, application of new HPLC methods. Validated, new, modern, highly selective and informative methods, for determination of biologically active compounds in medicinal herbal raw materials are developed. Development of HPLC Post-Column methods. The Post-Column reaction method is perspective and applied, since it has a wide range of applications for both analytical and chemometric assessment of bioactivity in the pharmaceutical, food and cosmetics industries.
Research is carried out to optimize the equipment and system components for the selection of various herbal antioxidants, the distribution of antioxidants in medicinal herbal raw materials between individual plant organs and quality control according antioxidant activity. Optimization of Post-Column reaction techniques using DPPH and ABTS reagents for rapid identification of antioxidants and determination of activity in composite mixtures after chromatographic analysis of analytes. The assay is performed to evaluate the antioxidant activity of phenolic compounds in medicinal herb extracts.
Scientific researches on the influence of polyphenolic compounds (flavonoids, phenol carboxylic acids, and others) on cell energy by in vitro and in vivo ischemic/reperfusion models are carried out. Research is implemented to find protective biologically active compounds that can protect cells from oxidative stress. Studies are also performed on the evaluation of biologically active compounds in bee products.
Projects since 2010
- Project by Prof. N. Savickienė “Eureka” E! 3695 "ANTIOKSDIABET" ("Development of methodology for the development of complications of diabetes mellitus by natural antioxidants"). 2009 - 2012 Project Agreement No. VP1-3.1-SMM-06-V-01-003 Project value 380 000 Eur)
- Project by Prof. V. Jakštas "Diversity of biotypes, abundance regulation and use of Solidago species" (No. MIP-50/2013), 2013-2015. The research was funded by LMT. Project value 330.9 thousand. Lt.
- Project by Prof. V. Jakštas "Selection of buckwheat breeds and cultivation conditions, development of technology for increasing the functional components" (No. SVE-14003), 2014-2015. Project value 365 thousand. Lt.
- Project by Prof. V. Jakštas BIOKOMPLEKSAS; SV5-6-1; MTEPI-L-15005. Funding Sources: LUHS Science Foundation. Duration 2015 – 2015. Project value is 21 thousand Eur. The share of the LUHS is 11.4 thousand.
- Project by Prof. V. Jakštas "Biopolymers for the transport of bioactive compounds (BIOPERNAŠA)",foundation: LMT. Duration 2015 – 2018. Project value 100 thousand EUR, Contract No. MIP-055/2015.
- Project by Prof. V.Jakštas MEDiKOMPLEKSAS; BN16-60 / SV5-0060. Funding Sources: LUHS Science Foundation. Duration 2016 - 2016 Project Contract No. BN16-60 / SV5-0060. Project value 19,5 thousand. Eur.,
- Project by Prof. V. Jakštas The development of euboetically multifunctional nutraceuticals (EUNUTRITECH). 01.2.2- LMT-K718-01-0062. Total project value, 699,966,93 Eur. LMT according to measure No. 01.2.2-LMT-K-718 "Targeted research in the field of smart specialization", "High-level research group research" (SMART). Duration 2017 – 2021.
- Project by Prof. N. Savickienė. Horizon 2020, MERA.NET project "Engineering and functionalization of transmission to periodontal inflammation surfaces system with Pelargonium Sidoides active substance " (PELARGODONT) 2017 - 2019 Project Contract No. SM-ERA.NET-17-2 Project Value - 556 546 Eur.
The scientists of the department collaborate with Lithuanian scientific and higher education institutions:
- Researchers of VMU Botanical Garden medicinal herbs section analysing the conditions of cultivation of introduced and cultivated plants in Lithuania.
- Collaboration with scientists of the Lithuanian Institute of Horticulture in researching medicinal herbal raw materials.
- Collaborates with the scientists of the KTU Department of Food, researching the qualitative and quantitative composition of essential oils of medicinal plant raw materials, participating in joint projects.
- The effect of dry extracts of medicinal herbal raw materials on the function of rats' mitochondria is studied together with the Institute of Neuroscience Laboratory of Biochemistry.
- Together with the scientists of the Department of Biochemistry and the Institute of Biological Systems and Genetics of LUHS, examining the effects of herbal extracts and biologically active compounds on inflammatory mediators.
- Together with the staff of the Animal Research Center of LUHS, in vivo studies of biologically active compounds - lectins.
- Together with scientists of Institute of Biotechnology of Vilnius University and the Department of Garden Plant Genetics and Biotechnology of Lithuanian Institute of Horticulture, for the isolation of herbal protein from herbal raw materials and purification of these compounds.
- The Institute of Experimental Botany of the Byelorussian State Academy V. F. Kuprevich.
- Riga Stradin University Biochemistry Laboratory.
- Polymer Research Center at the Polish Academy of Sciences.
- Latvian Organic Synthesis Institute.
- Krakow Jagiellonian University.
- Italian Piemonte Orientale University.
- Italian University of La Sapienza
UAB pharmacy „Širdažolė“ (chromatographic analysis, consultations)
State Aleksandras Stulginskis University (Mass Spectrometry Research Services)
UAB „Švenčionių vaistažolės“ (Research Services)
MB Probiomas (spectrophotometric and mass spectrometric studies)
UAB „ Ferentis“
UAB Innovative Pharma Baltics
- Prof. S. Trumbeckaitė for the poster "Coffeic acid feneethyl ester protects rat's mitochondria from ischemic damage" won 1st prize at the EAU Baltic Conference, Vilnius, 2014.
- Prof. S. Trumbeckaitė became the laureate of the LSMU competition "LSMU Mature Scientist 2012" (1st place) in 2012.
- Prof. V. Jakštas: 2013 LSMU Young Scientist Laureate (2nd place), 2016 LSMU Young Scientist Laureate (1st place).
- PhD student G. Balčiūnaitė was awarded with a special award from ThermoFisher Scientific for the outstanding scientific report "Isolation and fractionation of root proteins of Echinacea with hemaglutinating activity". The National Doctoral Conference "Science for Health 2016", Kaunas.
- PhD student G. Balčiūnaitė was awarded for the best poster "Hemagglutinin from Echinacea purpurea L. root separation and identification" "11th International Scientific Conference Vital Nature Sign 2017" Vilnius.
- PhD student G. Balčiūnaitė was awarded for the best poster „Hemagglutinin fraction from Echinacea purpurea L. (Moench) roots impact on mice immune response in vivo“ „8th International Conference „Science and Practice“,Kaunas,2017.