Personal profile

Personal Statement

Dr Edrada-Ebel currently heads the Natural Products Metabolomics Group (NPMG) and is currently author of more than 100 publications and two patents on the topic marine natural products. She referees articles on marine natural products on more than 10 peer-reviewed journals and is a member of the editorial board for Marine Drugs. Her expertise comprises both natural products isolation and structure elucidation with modern spectroscopic techniques. At present, she has a series of on-going projects on the application of metabolomics to identify and biotechnologically optimize the production of bioactive secondary metabolites in marine-derived microorganisms.

Research Interests

  • Natural products metabolomics to optimise production of secondary metabolites in their microbial sources as well as using metabolomics tools in targeting the isolation of bioactive metabolites from their natural sources. Collaboration has been established with Professor Ron Quinn of the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery, Griffith University and Professor  Fernando da Costa of the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo.
  • Metabolomics of microbial symbionts in collaboration with Professor Ute Hentschel of the Sponge Microbiology Group at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and partners with SeaBioTech, an FP-7 funded project.
  • Real Time Flux Modeling in Biopharmaceutical Bioprocessing, jointly co-funded by the BBSRC and the EPSRC, a collaborative research on metabolomics and fermentation work as well as further national collaborative work with Scottish medium-scale enterprises on the cultivation of marine microorganism. 
  • Metagenomic approach of optimizing the production of novel antibiotics from Streptomyces
  • Propolis project with Beevital exploring the anti-trypanosomal activity of the African Propolis collection
  • Ecological implications of the production of secondary metabolites in Crustaeceans and alternative application of utilising the waste products of the by-catch in collaboration with the Langoustine Laboratory, University of Glasgow.
  • Dereplication study and metabolomics of sponges and their endozooic microorganism obtained from the Irish and Celtic Sea (in collaboration with Prof. Alan Dobson, Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork)
  • Structure elucidation of biologically active secondary metabolites from sponges, tropical plants, and marine-derived fungi
  • Phytochemistry of biologically active secondary metabolites from tropical plants from Southeast Asia and Africa (in collaboration with Prof. Alan Harvey, SIDR)
  • Mass spectral analysis of marine-derived synthetic pyridinium polymers as novel anti-cancer drugs (in collaboration with Prof. Marcel Jaspars, University of Aberdeen)

Industrial Relevance

Multidrug resistance is now a global health problem and the situation is aggravated by the fact that no novel chemical class of antibiotics has been discovered for the last three decades. In this domain, there is an urgent need for new, innovative products and for discovering novel compounds from other sources. New discoveries are expected as several companies bet on the potential of marine compounds as one of the relevant resource for the future, provided that the biological diversity is maintained and that the compounds are produced in a sustainable way. New resources originating from marine research and the so-called blue technologies are an emerging sector. A promising growth of 10% per year is foreseen and a global market of €2.4 billion is estimated (EC, 2008). My projects will have their application on human health not only to help combat the global problem of multidrug resistance, but as well as in human medicine to find quorum sensing inhibitors against biofilm forming bacteria, and some of these which were not suited to medical usage could also find application in the maritime industry as less toxic and environmentally-friendly anti-fouling alternatives to toxic paints containing TBT. Sustainable production of compounds avoiding prolonged human impact on sensitive and endangered marine habitats is a key long term objective. My projects will utilize innovative tools of metabolomics  to strategically optimize the biotechnological production of novel antibiotics. My team will be engaged with local Scottish SMEs to which our objectives and technology will be complementary to them.

 Collaboration with SMEs funded by the KE-Hub

The company Marine Biopolymers (MBL) is focused on the biodiscovery of polymers having bioactivities such as wound healing, optic turgor in lenses and pharmaceutical additives. MBL supplies chemicals derived from marine sources, including alginates and polyphenols. MBL sees huge product opportunities arising out of the collaborative work with the group Dr. Edrada-Ebel in terms of characterisation and chemical analysis. While the potential value of compounds such as alginate and fucoidan is well recognised, their widespread use is limited by technical problems: (i) low quality and low yields from existing extraction methods; (ii) lack of higher performance purification approaches to provide products at the ‘fine chemical’ standard; and (iii) incomplete analysis and characterisation of isolated components.

The project with BryoActives LTD. focuses on identifying novel molecules from bryozoans and associated bacteria.  The bioactive functionalities of some of the samples have been established by BryoActives and will include novel antibiotics and products involved in bacterial cell-cell signalling. Accurate identification of molecules requires a combination of modern automated equipment and expertise in interpretation of results. The programme of work will involve application of analytical chemistry methods to crude and fractionated material provided by BryoActives.

Academic / Professional qualifications

Positions Held:

2015 to date Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Analysis, Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

2008 to 2014 Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Analysis, Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

2007 to 2008 NMR and MS Facility Manager, Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

2005 to 2007 Research Scientist (part-time), BioMar, Düsseldorf Life Science Centre

2001 to 2007 Senior Researcher and Instructor, Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Biotechnology, Heinrich-Heine Universität Düsseldorf

1999 to 2001 Research Fellow (Post Doctorate), Department of Chemistry, University of California Santa Cruz

1998 to 1999 Research Fellow, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Oklahoma

1989 to 1993 Instructor, College of Pharmacy, University of the Philippines

Educational Background: 

1994 – 1998  Doctorate degree in Pharmaceutical Biology, Julius Maximillians-University of Würzburg, Germany, Magna cum Laude, Dissertation: “Isolation and structure elucidation of bioactive secondary metabolites from Philippine marine sponges and soft corals.” Adviser:  Prof. Dr. Peter Proksch, Date of Graduation: 18 June 1998

1989 - 1992  Master of Science degree in Pharmacy, University of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines,  Thesis: “The biological and chemical investigation of the colored constituents of Kokoona ochracea (Elm) Merrill (Fam. Celastraceae).”

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor rerum naturalium, Isolation and structure elucidation of bioactive secondary metabolites from Philippine marine sponges and soft coral, Julius- Maximillians-Universität

Award Date: 1 Jan 1998

Master of Pharmacy, The biological and chemical investigation of the colored constituents of Kokoona ochracea (Elm) Merrill (Fam. Celastraceae), University of the Philippines

Award Date: 1 Jan 1992


  • Marine Natural Products Chemistry
  • Metabolomics
  • Biosynthesis


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