Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology


5 West 3.6


Tel: +44 (0) 1225 386789 


Dr Michael Rowan 


Phytochemistry Research

My research field is Phytochemistry; the investigation of the chemical constituents of plants. Working in a Department of Pharmacy, I am naturally interested in the plant kingdom as a rich source of novel, biologically active chemicals which may be useful medicinal agents in their own right, new chemical tools for biological research or "lead compounds" for medicinal chemistry research. Wherever possible, I collaborate with workers in other disciplines whose interests lie in the biological activities of these compounds; biologists, biochemists, clinicians and scientists in the pharmaceutical industry.

Over the last five years I have worked on:
  1. Irritant diterpenoid esters from plants of the family Euphorbiaceae.
  2. Neurotoxic diterpenoid alkaloids from Delphinium and Aconitum.
  3. Phytoalexins in Theobroma cacao.
  4. Allergenic compounds from a variety of common plants.

I am currently developing a new line of research into calystegins and other polyhydroxylated alkaloids which inhibit a number of enzymes involved in carbohydrate biochemistry.

All these studies involve extraction and separation of compounds using chromatographic and other techniques followed by chemical structure elucidation by a combination of advanced spectroscopic methods. I also develop appropriate analytical techniques such as HPLC and gas chromatography which support both chemical and biological studies.


Thitilertdecha, P., Rowan, M. G. and Guy, R. H., 2015. Topical formulation and dermal delivery of active phenolic compounds in the Thai medicinal plant - Clerodendrum petasites S. Moore. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 478 (1), pp. 39-45.

Rungsimakan, S. and Rowan, M. G., 2014. Terpenoids, flavonoids and caffeic acid derivatives from Salvia viridis L. cvar. Blue Jeans. Phytochemistry, 108, pp. 177-188.

Thitilertdecha, P., Guy, R.H. and Rowan, M.G., 2014. Characterisation of polyphenolic compounds in Clerodendrum petasites S. Moore and their potential for topical delivery through the skin. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 154 (2), pp. 400-407.

Elmasry, M. S., Blagbrough, I. S., Rowan, M. G., Saleh, H. M., Kheir, A. A. and Rogers, P. J., 2011. Quantitative HPLC analysis of mebeverine, mesalazine, sulphasalazine and dispersible aspirin stored in a Venalink monitored dosage system with co-prescribed medicines. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 54 (4), pp. 646-652.

Blagbrough, I. S., Bayoumi, S. A. L., Rowan, M. G. and Beeching, J. R., 2010. Cassava: an appraisal of its phytochemistry and its biotechnological prospects. Phytochemistry, 71 (17-18), pp. 1940-1951.

Bayoumi, S. A. L., Rowan, M. G., Beeching, J. R. and Blagbrough, I. S., 2010. Constituents and secondary metabolite natural products in fresh and deteriorated cassava roots. Phytochemistry, 71 (5-6), pp. 598-604.

Thitilertdecha, P., Akkarasereenont, P., Laohapand, T., Rowan, M. G. and Guy, R. H., 2010. Formulation optimisation for the topical delivery of active agents in traditional medicines. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 62 (10), pp. 1272-1273.

Bayoumi, S. A. L., Rowan, M. G., Beeching, J. R. and Blagbrough, I. S., 2008. Investigation of biosynthetic pathways to hydroxycoumarins during post-harvest physiological deterioration in cassava roots by using stable isotope labelling. ChemBiochem, 9 (18), pp. 3013-3022.

Bayoumi, S. A. L., Rowan, M. G., Blagbrough, I. S. and Beeching, J. R., 2008. Biosynthesis of scopoletin and scopolin in cassava roots during post-harvest physiological deterioration: The E-Z-isomerisation stage. Phytochemistry, 69 (17), pp. 2928-2936.

This list was generated on Sat Oct 21 23:53:56 2017 IST.

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