The re-emergence of natural products for drug discovery in the genomics era

Alan Harvey, Ruangelie Edrada-Ebel, Ronald J. Quinn

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

1641 Citations (Scopus)
903 Downloads (Pure)


Natural products have been a rich source of compounds for drug discovery. However, their use has diminished in the past two decades, in part because of technical barriers to screening natural products in high-throughput assays against molecular targets. Here, we review strategies for natural product screening that harness the recent technical advances that have reduced these barriers. We also assess the use of genomic and metabolomic approaches to augment traditional methods of studying natural products, and highlight recent examples of natural products in antimicrobial drug discovery and as inhibitors of protein-protein interactions. The growing appreciation of functional assays and phenotypic screens may further contribute to a revival of interest in natural products for drug discovery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111–129
Number of pages19
JournalNature Reviews Drug Discovery
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2015


  • drug discovery
  • genomics
  • natural products
  • molecular targets


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