Natural products are rich sources for novel chemical structures that possess potent chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic activities. We are screening for compounds that specifically kill cancer cells but not normal cells. We are also searching for compounds that can modulate the life span of human cells. In addition, we are developing novel methods to identify target genes of effective nutraceuticals.
Nutraceutical is defined as chemicals from food substances and edible natural products that exhibit anti-disease activity (e.g. cardioprotective, cancer chemopreventive etc). We have developed a cell-, genomic- and proteomic-based strategy for screening effective nutraceuticals. We are also interested in the action and molecular targets of these nutraceuticals. Recently we have demonstrated that black tea theflavins can suppress cyclooxygenase 2 (Cox-2) gene, an important gene target for pharmaceutical industry.