Natural Products and Medicinal Chemistry

The Natural Products and Medicinal Chemistry Research Group conducts research within two scientific disciplines: medicinal chemistry and bioanalytical chemistry.

Research projects in medicinal chemistry: 

  • Design and synthesis of peptides and peptidomimetics with antimicrobial, antibiofilm and anticancer activity, and inspired by antimicrobial peptides and marine natural products. 

  •  Lead-compound identification, structure activity-relationship studies, and mode-of-action studies.  

  • The group has an automatic microwave assisted peptide synthesizer, and offers master and PhD projects in the field of amino acid, peptide and peptidomimetic synthesis together with biological studies in collaboration with external partners. 


Research projects in bioanalytical chemistry include proteomics and metabolomics studies as well as targeted quantification of small molecules from a broad range of biological samples. The main focuses in the proteomics studies are clinical samples, including all steps from sample preparation to biological relevance. Currently the research group is involved in two major proteomics projects, one regarding Vitamin D treatment and one regarding development and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. Both projects focus the global proteome and utilize isobaric tagging in a bottom-up proteomic workflow. All proteomic studies are conducted in close collaboration with the Tromsø University Proteomic Platform (TUPP).

In addition to global studies the group also conducts targeted analysis from different samples ranging from cell cultures to clinical samples. Over the last years projects have included amino acid quantification, lipid analysis by ESI-MS, analysis of fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) and fatty acid picolinyl esters by GC-MS, amino glycosides, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors quantification (SSRI), leachables from dental biomaterials, and several other smaller or larger projects. The group offers masters and PhD projects in both targeted and global bioanalytical chemistry utilizing either LC-MS or GC-MS high-resolution or low-resolution technology in collaboration with external partners or in-house.

The group has also interdisciplinary projects in medicinal and bioanalytical chemistry such as studies of peptide metabolites from artificial growth hormones used in doping and metbolism of new bioactive compounds. 


From left: Senior engineer Trude Anderssen, Assoc. Prof. Guro Forsdahl, PhD candidate Marianne Paulsen, Prof. Einar Jensen, Assoc. Prof. Terkel Hansen, Prof. Morten B. Strøm, Assoc. Prof. II Terje Vasskog, PhD candidate Elizaveta Igumnova, Senior engineer Martina Havelkova. Not present:  Assoc. Prof. II Jon Våbenø, Post Doc Dominik Ausbacher, PhD candidate Armin Schniers

Contact information

Group Leader
Associate Professor Terje Vasskog

Department of Pharmacy
Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Tromsø
9037 Tromsø