Research activity

Based on this work Prof. Mukherjee and his group has published more than 220 publications in peer reviewed reputed journals with impact factor based on his works on different aspects of Natural product research. He has contributed 20 book chapters and authored, edited 7 books on different aspects of quality control, validation, clinical study, safety documentation on herbs and herbal formulations for their promotional purpose.

Major contributions of Prof. Mukherjee and his group on medicinal plant research and other natural products are as followings:

Prof. Mukherjee and his research group has been working on the production and chemical processing of economically important Medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) particularly on the bio-prospecting of plants and their constituents. Our work on metabolomic analysis for development of MAPs is useful for their value addition, reinforcement and sustainable development. We aim to strengthen the chemical and therapeutic claims of MAPs in Indian traditional system of medicine through scientific evaluation and evidence based validation through biological and chemical sciences. We have been working on several translational aspects for MAPs for their assessment through bio-analytical techniques, bioassay guided isolation, enzyme inhibition, pharmacological and microbiological assays. Research contributions by me and my team along with the translational aspects in the field of MAPs with the products/process developed along with the publications made, is being highlighted as follows:

Translational Research approach for development of Processes/ products from MAPs:

  • - Anti-ageing formulation developed in collaboration with Parker Robinson Pvt. Ltd., Kolkata, which is being marketed.

    - Another research finding on anti-hyper pigmentation has been opted by Emami Ltd., Kolkata for the development of “Varnya” formulation.

    - One of our technologies has been transferred to Albert David Ltd., Kolkata for quality evaluation and standardization of herbal products.

    - Research findings of our group have also been acclaimed by several other industries including Indian National Drug Company Ltd, Kolkata, Ulysses Pharmaceutical Pvt. Limited, Andhra Pradesh, Pure Lotus Partners Inc., Springville, Utah, USA etc.

  • My group has generated new idea and nurture innovation to develop cutting technology for quality evaluation and scientific validation of medicinal plants. We have established technologies for value added herbal formulation – ‘Herbosomes’ to increase the bioavailability of therapeutically potent bio-actives from medicinal plants having lowered half life. This value added herbal formulation has been developed for better absorption and therapeutic potentials of bio-actives, which has been patented.

    - “A Process of Preparing a Herbal Composition for the Management of Insomnia/Stress and Product thereof’’- P. K Mukherjee, S. Rai, Kakali Mukherjee and KFH Nazeer Ahamed, B.P. Saha and S. Roy Chowdhury, Indian Patent No –221881.

    - “A Process of Preparing Herbosomes with Andrographolide having Better Hepato protective Activity and Product thereof” P. K. Mukherjee, Kuntal Maiti, Kakali Mukherjee and BishnuPada Saha; Indian Patent No- 234595.

  • We have been working on the exploration and development of the synergy in medicinal and aromatic plants with Traditional Medicine inspired approaches. This work focused on the combinatory and synergistic interactions of compounds and drugs made from traditional Indian medicinal plants through network pharmacology, validation of biological activity, omics techniques, multilevel systemic interaction with targets gene, protein, pathways. We have performed a well-defined work on “Studies on Rhizomes of Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. (Family- Nymphaeaceae)” relating to phytochemical, pharmacological, antimicrobial studies on its rhizomes, leading to several potential publications and patent made by CSIR:

    - “A Process for Isolation of Betulinic Acid useful as Anti-HIV, Anti-tumoral and Melanoma-Specific Cytotoxic Agent” - Pulok K. Mukherjee, M. Pal and B.P. Saha by Intellectual Property Management Division, CSIR, New Delhi (International patent – No- WO03011891).

  • We have been working on the development of marker profiles of herbs related to analytical, bio-analytical techniques for MAPs with therapeutic importance. Our work focused on the development of quality control profile of MAPs through HPTLC, HPLC, LC-MS/MS, GC/MS etc. We have performed metabolomic analysis of MAPs for metabolite profiling and identification of major phyto-constitutents. We have been able to developed several techniques for Assessment of herbal drugs through bio-analytical techniques, bioassay guided isolation, enzyme inhibition, pharmacological, microbiological, antiviral assays and safety related quality issues. Our work on UPLC-QTOF-MS analysis of some medicinal plants and their bioactive constituents along with the development of marker and biomarker profiles of the MAPs for the standardization and evaluation have resulted several impact publications [Biswas et al., 2019, JPC - Journal of Planar Chromatography - Modern TLC 32(2):121-126; Sharma et al., 2019, Journal of AOAC International, DOI: 10.5740/jaoacint.19-0290; Chanda et al., 2018, Phytochemical Analysis, 30(2):148-155; Biswas et al., 2019, Journal of Planar Chromatography, 32: 1 (1-6); Chanda et al., 2019, Biomedical Chromatography, 33(4): e4463; Mukherjee et al., 2016, Current Science, 111 (1624-1630); Chanda et al., 2014, Natural Product Research, 28;21 (1926-1928); Mukherjee et al., 2013, Fitoterapia, 84, 227–236; Mukherjee et al., 2012, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2012, 143, 424-434; Mukherjee et al, 2011, Drug Information Journal, 45: 1-14; Mukherjee et al, 2010 Phytochemical Analysis, 21(6):556-60; Pandit et al, 2010; Biomedical Chromatography, 2011, 25, 959-962, Gantait et al, 2010. J AOAC International 93(2):492-5].

    Prof. Mukherjee and his team has developed an electronic probe device (e-nose) with the help of Raman and Infrared spectroscopy which can have promise added benefits, like in situ detection and evaluation of medicinal plants and products having adulterants and contaminants without the requirement of reagents, portability, and reduced cost. The identified and characterized marker metabolites can be taken for therapeutic and agricultural beneficial purposes to correlate with the hybrid AI and embedding IoT based instrument derived indices, which can further help to screen a wide variety of medicinal plants from all over the world, still unexplored according to therapeutic and agricultural purposes.These technologies will also be helpful in the different research fields and industries including aroma & essential oil, tea, food, wood industries etc. Based on this approach, Prof. Mukherjee and team have published few publications in peer reviewed impact journals [Sing et al., 2021; Frontiers in Pharmacology, https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2021.629833; Sing et al; 2021; Phytochemical Analysis, doi.org/10.1002/pca.3080].

    Based on the expertise, I have authored/edited several books, which provides new information on the research and development of MAPs - through cultivation of high yielding verities to phyto chemistry to value added formulation development, with major emphasis on the quality evaluation and validation of natural resources for preventative or healing purposes. It has been documented through the book on “Quality Control and evaluation of Herbal Drug” published by Elsevier [ISBN 978-0-12-813374-3]; edited volume “Evidence based validation of herbal medicine” published by Elsevier [ISBN 978-0-12-800874-4]; and “Evaluation of Herbal Medicinal Products - Perspectives of Quality, Safety and Efficacy” published by Pharmaceutical Press, Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, [ISBN 978-0-85368-751-0], which has been acclaimed worldwide.


Bio-prospecting of natural resources MAPs for development of therapeutically potent lead, value added products based on Traditional Medicine inspired approaches

  • We have been working on the development of leads from botanicals and formulate value added product for skin whitening based on Ayurvedic concept. These research findings are being explored by Industrial partner Emami Ltd., Kolkata through a collaborative research project on “Varnya formulation” leading to product development. Several research findings have been published in several reputed impact journals. [Mukherjee et al., 2018, Journal of Herbal Medicine, doi.org/10.1016/j.hermed.2018.09.002; Biswas et al., 2017, Food Chemistry, 232 (689-696); Biswas et al., 2016, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 192 (283-291); Biswas et al., 2016, Natural Product Research, 30 (1451-54); Biswas et al., 2015, Industrial Crops and Products, 74 (319–326)]

  • We have been working on the development of botanicals leads having anti-ageing potential. Several components have been screened and evaluated in this context for their hyaluronidase, elastase, and matrix-metalloproteinase inhibitory activities. This work has been explored by the industries through the Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India and Industry sponsored project at the Jadavpur University. Our research findings have been reported in reputed peer reviewed journal. Products have been developed, marketed and technology transferred to the industrial partner Parkar Robinson Pvt. Ltd., Kolkata. [Maity et al, 2012, Natural Product Research, 26, 1939–1941; Mukherjee et al., 2011, Studies in Natural Products Chemistry, Elsevier Science Publishers, 91-113; Mukherjee et al., 2011, Phytomedicine 19, 64-73; Nema et al., 2011, Archives of Dermatological Research 303, 247–252; Maity et al, 2011, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 137, 1300–1305].

  • We have developed and patented the techniques for value added herbal formulation – ‘Herbosomes’ to increase the bioavailability of therapeutically potent plant secondary metabolites having lower half life. Herbosomes are a value added herbal formulation developed by our group for better absorption and therapeutic potentials. We have developed an improved process of preparing herbosomes, which is a value added herbal drugs delivery system to sustain the action and also to increase the bioavailability of several therapeutically important phytomolecules like betulinic acid, ursolic acid, catechine, ferulic acid, curcumin, quercetin, naringenin, hesperetin etc., which has been published in reputed journals and also patented. [Mukherjee Patent No: 00056/KOL/2006; Biswas et al., 2019, Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy 45(6), 946-958, Harwansh et al., 2017, Journal of Molecular Liquids, 237, 361-37; Harwansh et al., 2016, Journal of Photochemistry & Photobiology, B: Biology, 160 (318–329); Harwansh et al., 2015, Life Sciences 141(202–211); Bhattacharyya et al., 2014, Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology, 130 (293–298), Bhattacharyya et al., 2013, Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 94 (1380-1388), Mukherjee et al., 2011, Food Research International, 44: 1088-1093; Maiti et al 2010., Journal of Science and Food Agriculture, 90: 43–51; Mukherjee et al, 2009, J. Pharmacy and Pharmacology 61: 407–422; Maiti et al., 2009, AAPS PharmSciTech., 10 (3) : 943-950 ; Venkatesh et al., 2009, Food Chemistry 57 (11): 4559–4565].

  • We have performed a well-defined work on “Studies on Rhizomes of Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. (Family-Nymphaeaceae)” relating to phytochemical, pharmacological, antimicrobial studies on its rhizomes leads to several potential publications and patent has been made by CSIR (International patent – No- WO03011891) entitled “A Process for Isolation of Betulinic Acid useful as Anti-HIV, Anti-tumoral and Melanoma-Specific Cytotoxic Agent”. Based on the traditional and folklore uses, extract of several MAPs along with their active phyto-constituents have evaluated for their pharmaco-therapeutic activities. Our group has been working in the field of medicinal plant research including phytochemical, phyto-pharmacological, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-leshmenia, hypoglycaemic, antiallergic and immune modulatory evaluation of different plant species including Moringa oleifera, Cassia tora, Azadirachta indica, Dilenia indica, Boswellia serrate, Leucas lavandulaefolia, Drymaria cordata, Cassia fistula, Ficus recemosa, Asparagus recemosus, Baliospermum montanum, Curculigo orchioides, Albizia lebbeck etc along with their active phyto-constitutents and research findings has been reported in reputed peer reviewed impact journals [Goswami et al., 2019, Phytomedicine, 51(94–103); Goswami et al., 2016, Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 15 (474-481); Sill et al., 2016, International Immuno-pharmacology, 30 (18-26); Sarkar et al., 2014, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 154 (170-175); Sarkar et al., 2015, Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 67 (951-962); Thakur et al., 2015, Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 14 (658-663); Mukherjee et al., 2013, Microbiological Research, 168 (238–244); Venkatesh et al 2011, Planta Medica, 77: 1–3; Venkatesh et al., 2010 Pharmaceutical Biology, 2010, 48(11): 1213-7; Venkatesh et al., 2009, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 126: 434-436; Venkatesh et al., 2010, Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology 32(2): 272-276; Venkatesh et al 2010.,, Pharmaceutical Biology, 1-5], Nurul et al., 2011, International Immunopharmacology 11 (11), 1766-1772, Maity et al., 2012, Natural Product Research, 26 (20), 1939–1941; Mukherjee et al., 2010, Phytochemical Analysis, 21: 556-560; Mukherjee et al., 2010, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 128 (2), 490–494; Mukherjee et al., 2009, Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 61(4): 407–422].

  • My research group has been working to identify the potentially active anti-allergic molecules from medicinal plants for clinically approved lead. We have screened and evaluated several medicinal plants in search of novel lead, including the investigation of different parameters including ß-hexosaminidase inhibition release, estimation of interleukins expression in RBL-2H3 cells followed by the mRNA expression profile and suppression of HDC gene. Research outcomes through this collaborative program between Tokushima University, Japan and Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India have been reported in reputed journals. [Venkatesh et al., 2011, Planta Medica, 77: 1–3; Venkatesh et al., 2010 Pharmaceutical Biology, 2010, 48(11): 1213-7; Venkatesh et al., 2009, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 126: 434-436; Venkatesh et al., 2010, Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology 32(2): 272-276; Venkatesh et al., 2010, Pharmaceutical Biology, 1-5].

  • Our research for development of leads from MAPs against cognitive disorder especially acetyl cholinesterase [AChE] inhibitors for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), is one of the major research highlights of our team. We have developed several bioactivity guided isolation techniques for screening of natural AChE inhibitors through the evaluation of anti-acetyl cholinesterase activity. We have evolved several screening techniques for the development of acetyl cholinesterase inhibitors from MAPs and spices for their potential therapeutic efficacy. This study has been resulted with the publication in high impact journals. [Dalai et al., 2013, Oriental Pharmacy and Experimental Medicine, 14 (31-35); Bhadra et al., 2012, Natural Product Research, 26 (16): 1519-1522; Bhadra et al., 2011, Fitoterapia (82): 342–346; Satheesh et al., 2009, Phytotherapy Research, 24 (4): 629-631; Satheesh et al., 2009, Phytomedicine, 17 (3): 292-295); Mukherjee et al., 2011, Mini Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry (11), 247-262; Mukherjee et al., 2007, Behavioural Brain Research, 178 (2):221-228; Mukherjee et al., 2007, Planta Medica, 73: 285-288; Mukherjee et al., 2007, Phytomedicine 14(4): 289-300; Mukherjee et al., 2007, Phytotherapy Research, 21(12), 1142-1145].

  • We have been exploring the synergistic actions/effects of medicinal and aromatic plants and their active compounds, including the mechanistic principles of synergy and the use of network analysis. This is an effective and suitable modern bioinformatics approaches to develop phyto-pharmaceuticals from botanicals. This work focused on the combinatory and synergistic interactions of compounds and drugs made from traditional Indian medicinal plants through network pharmacology, validation of biological activity, omics techniques, multilevel systemic interaction with targets gene, protein, pathways.

    This is very helpful in translational research to develop multi-target approaches, which are increasingly applied to treat complex diseases with herbal medicine. Further it helps to elucidate the combinatory actions in context of the theoretical basis, experimental design and quantification of synergy. Based on this concept, we have published few articles in reputed journals [Banerjee et al., 2019, Phytomedicine (accepted); Mukherjee et al.,2018, Synergy, 7:30-33]. I am also associated with the Synergy forum, University of Bonn, Germany for promotion of medicinal plants through metabolomic studies with their chemical and biological perspectives.

  • My team has been working on various parameters related to drug safety with special emphasis to MAPs including an overview on pharmacovigilance, safety study, risk management on drug and pharmaceuticals including value added formulations and dietary supplements. Our research work on safety evaluation of herbs and polyherbal formulation through metabolism mediated herb-drug interaction, is one of his potential approaches in the field of pharmaco-vigilance study on herbal medicines. These safety prospects include the CYP450 modulating enzyme mediated interaction of herbal medicine and presence of contaminants such as heavy metals, persistent pesticides and mostly for the evaluation of CYP450 enzyme predominance. We are involved in assessing the safety of MAPs through various models on drug modulating enzymes. Some potential publications has been made in reputed journal area by our team [Bahadur et al., 2017, Synergy, 4 (1–7); Bahadur et al., 2016, Indian Journal of Pharmacology, 48 (576-81), Ahmmed et al., 2016, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 78 (34–39). Kar et al., 2017, Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 97 (333-340); Ahmmed et al., 2015, Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 14 (614-619); Ahmed et al., 2015, Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 14 (614-619); Bahadur et al., 2015, Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 14 (643-649); Kar et al., 2015, Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 14 (626-631); Harwansh et al., 2014, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 153 (674–681); Pandit et al 2012, Food Research International, 45 (1): 69–74; Mukherjee et al., 2011, Phytomedicine 9 (1), 64-73; Ponnusankar et al 2011, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 133 (1), 120-125; Ponnusankar et al., 2011 Phytotherapy Research, 25, 151–154. Mukherjee et al 2011, Drug Information Journal, 45: 1–14; Mukherjee et al 2010, Chinese Herbal Medicines, 2(1): 1-15; Mukherjee et al., 2010, Drug Information Journal, 40: 131–139; Mukherjee and Houghton, 2009. Evaluation of Herbal Medicinal Products - Perspectives of Quality, Safety and Efficacy” Pharmaceutical Press, Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, UK].

  • I have worked as an Asst. Professor at J. S. S. College of Pharmacy, Ooty, underwent research on screening, isolation, formulation, evaluation and standardization of herbal drugs and allied approaches since September 1997 to December 2001 for Post Graduates and research studies. We have worked on well-defined ethnobiological studies in the Nilgiri hills, South India, which has explored so many traditional medicines from herbal resources being used by the tribal people from time immemorial. The ethnography, phytochemical and therapeutic uses as well as the anthropological perspectives of the traditional medicine has been studied and reported accordingly in scientific journals. [Rajan et al, 2002, Phytotherapy Research 16: 98-116); Vijayan et al 2003, Phytotherapy Research, 17: 952-956; Mukherjee et al., 2002, Phytotherapy Research, 16: 692-695; Mukherjee et al., 2001, Fitoterapia, 72: 558-560; Mukherjee et al., 2001, Phytomedicine 8(5): 331-337; Mukherjee et al., 2000, J. Ethnopharmacology, 70 (3): 315-321].

  • Me and my team has been working extensively on dissemination of knowledge for promotion of ethnopharmacology, ethno-medicine and Medicinal and aromatic plant research at large. several very effective and successful International/ National conferences/ workshops/symposiums/ congress with the involvement of the renowned scientists and resource persons all over the world has been organized by my group to develop national international collaborations and coordination in the field of MAPs; details of the same has been discussed earlier:

  • Prof. Mukherjee and his group is working on development of integrated approaches for drug development from Indian traditional medicine, which has worldwide impact for their promotion and on traditional medicine inspired drug discovery as well as to help in generating data to put these products on national health program. Several National/International collaborations have been with Indian and foreign universities and industries with Jadavpur University based on this concept and memorandum of understanding has been signed in this context. The research group is collaborated with the industries viz. Parker Robinson Limited (Pharmaceutical Division), Emami Ltd., Kolkata, Indian National Drug Company Ltd, Ulysses Pharmaceutical Pvt. Limited. The group has also been working with several institutions viz. University of Bonn, Germany University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa , Mae Fah Luang University, Chiang Rai, Thailand, Belo Horizonte, Faculty of Pharmacy, Brazil, University of Illinois, Chicago, USA, South African Medical Research Council (MRC), Cape Town, King's College London, Leiden University, The Netherlands, Tokushima University, Japan, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorke, Uttarakhand, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research (NIPER), Kolkata through several MoUs. Dr. Mukherjee has been engaged with the development of international coordination in the field of herbals worldwide, thus the contribution of Dr. Mukherjee in this area can help in development of standardized, synergistic, safe and effective traditional herbal formulations with robust scientific evidence, which can also offer faster and more economical alternatives in health care for the community at large. His research career has been outstanding, including globally acclaimed contributions for development of natural products including Ayurveda, ethnopharmacology, herbal drug technology. Thus Dr. Mukherjee has contributed a lot in the field of herbal research within the short span of his career.