Research activity

Pharmaceutical Technology; Natural Product Research - Traditional Medicine Inspired Drug Discovery & Development, Scientific Validation and Documentation

Dr. Pulok K. Mukherjee has made significant contributions in traditional medicine inspired drug discovery and development from natural resources. He has been working on development of metabolomic approaches for validation of traditional medicine for quality control, pharmaco-vigilance, safety surveillance, risk assessment, marker profiling and related aspects. This is based on leveraging innovations in traditional Indian medicine, particularly on rationally designed, carefully standardized, synergistic traditional herbal formulations and botanical drugs for their scientific validation on evidence based approaches. Dr. Mukherjee has been working on marker and biomarker profiles of herbs relating to method development for quality control and standardization of different herbal formulations and their evaluation. His works on exploring natural products for Alzheimer’s diseases based on Acetyl cholinesterase inhibitors is very important. He has been working on development of safety profile of Indian herbs and poly-herbal formulation through metabolism mediated herb-drug interaction. He also has developed techniques for value added herbal formulation – herbosomes to increase the bioavailability of therapeutically potent plant secondary metabolites and patented. The work of Dr. Mukherjee has been appreciated by several manufacturing units and the products developed are being marketed. Several Industry-institute collaborations have been made and MOU has been signed in this regard on product/process development in the area of natural products.

His efforts on evidence based scientific studies on evaluation of the holistic medicine are useful bio-prospecting tools for the traditional medicine based drug discovery programme so as to make them available from ‘Farm to Pharma’. Based on these works, he has to his credit 174 publications in peer reviewed impact journals, several patents and 20 books/book chapters on evaluation of botanicals. His research publications have cumulative Impact Factor of 186.43. As per Scopus database his work has H-Index- 31; which has been cited for over 3324 times in 2551 reputed journals and documents. Google Citations database indicate that his works has H-Index- 41, i10-index -126; which has been cited for over 7630 times. His books on “Quality Control on Herbal Drugs” and “Evaluation of Herbal Medicinal Products” are very useful for the industries and researchers, which have been cited for over 800 times.

Dr. Mukherjee has been working for promotion of traditional Indian medicine to a great extent by dissemination of knowledge in the area of natural products particularly on promoting national/international collaboration and cooperation. He has delivered over 200 lectures in different international and national podium on leveraging innovations in traditional Indian medicine particularly on its validation for the safety, quality and efficacy with the evidence based scientific claims. He has organized several potential national and international conferences, workshops, seminars with the involvement of the scientists all over the world. His works on systematic data mining of the existing formulations and single herbs can certainly help the drug discovery from natural resources.

Major contributions of Dr. Mukherjee on development of natural health products [NHP] are as followings:

  • Dr. Mukherjee has been working on acetyl cholinesterase [AChE] inhibitors from Indian medicinal plants for development of leads for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). He has developed several bioactivity guided isolation techniques for natural AChE inhibitors. He has worked on evaluation and exploration of acetyl cholinesterase activity for several Indian medicinal plants which has been reported in reputed impact journals. Dr. Mukherjee and his group has established new methods and screening techniques for the development of acetyl cholinesterase inhibitors from Indian medicinal plants and have screened a group of medicinal plants and spices for their potential therapeutic efficacy. Screening of various Indian medicinal plants has been reported in high impact journals (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). This may be helpful in exploring natural health products effective against Alzheimer’s disease [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; Bhadra, et al., 2012, Natural Product Research 26 (16), 1519-1522. Dr. Mukherjee and his research group has been continuing on screening of several other potential plants for their potentials in Alzheimer disease through several projects sponsored by University Grants Commission and Department of Science and Technology, India.

  • Dr. Mukherjee has developed techniques for value added herbal formulation – ‘Herbosomes’ to increase the bioavailability of therapeutically potent plant secondary metabolites with lower half life. Herbosomes are a value added herbal formulation for better absorption and therapeutic potentials has been developed by Dr. Mukherjee and his group. This is a concept on metabolomic approaches for herbal formulation development, which is unique in its nature as most of the secondary metabolites have very less half life. Dr. Mukherjee and his group has developed an improved process of preparing herbosomes, which is a value added herbal drugs delivery system to sustain the action and also to increase their bioavailability of several therapeutically important phytomolecules like curcumin, quercetin, naringenin, hesperetin etc. [Mukherjee et al 2011 Food Research International, 44: 1088-1093; Maiti et al 2010, Journal of Science and Food Agriculture, 90: 43–51; Maiti et al. 2006, J. Pharmacy and Pharmacology 58: 1227-1233; Maiti et al. 2007, International J. Pharmaceutics 330: 155-163; 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; Mukherjee Patent No: 00056/KOL/2006].

  • Dr. Mukherjee has contributed a lot for the development of marker profiles of herbs related to analytical techniques for several herbs with therapeutic importance. This work has been reported through his book on “Quality Control of Herbal Drugs-an approach for evaluation of phytomedicine” [ISBN 81-900788-4-4] and edited volume “GMP for botanicals” [ISBN 81-900788-5-2], which has received worldwide impact. He has contributed for 20 books and book chapters on various aspects of quality perspectives and evaluation of medicinal plants. He has been working till then in this field for development of quality control profile of herbal medicine through HPTLC, HPLC and different other analytical techniques. His work on the development of marker and bio marker profiles of the herbals is of immense importance and need of the day for the standardization and evaluation of Phytomedicine in every aspects of quality dosage development from natural resources. His work on the development of marker and biomarker profiles of the herbals for the standardization and evaluation of phytomedicine has resulted several impact publications (Mukherjee et al, 2011, Drug Information Journal, 45: 1-14; Mukherjee et al, 2010 Phytochemical Analysis (in press); Pandit et al, 2010; Biomedical Chromatography (in Press), Gantait et al, 2010. J AOAC International 93(2):492-5; Kumar et al, 2008 Phytochemical Analysis, 19(3):244-50; Mukherjee et al, 2006, Drug Information Journal, 40: 131-139; Rai et al, 2006 J. Separation Science 29: 2292-5; Tamizmnai et al, Hamdard Medicus 4: 95-100 etc) Mukherjee et al., 2012, Microbiological Research, 2012, DOI: 10.1016/j.micres.11.002, Mukherjee et al., 2012, Fitoterapia DOI: 10.1016/j. fitote.10.003, Mukherjee et al., 2012, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2012, 143, 424-434, Mukherjee et al., 2012, Microbiological Research, DOI: 10.1016/j.micres.2012.11.002, Chaudhary et al., 2012, Oriental Pharmacy & Experimental Medicine 12, 273–277, Gantait, et al., 2012, Natural Product Research 26 (3), 216-222.

  • Dr. Mukherjee has been working on various parameters related to drug safety with special emphasis to botanicals including an overview on pharmacovigilance, safety study, risk management on drug and pharmaceuticals including natural health products and dietary supplements. He has been working on safety evaluation of herbs and polyherbal formulation through metabolism mediated herb-drug interaction, which is one of his potential approaches in the field of pharmacovigilance 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 afltoxins and mostly for the evaluation of CYP450 enzyme predominance. Dr. Mukherjee and his group are involved in assessing the safety of herbs through various models on drug modulating enzymes. He worked as visiting scientist at the School of Pharmacy, London at the Centre for Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy, University of London with Prof. Michael Heinrich for safety evaluation of natural products and their metabolisms in 2007 through Biotechnology overseas fellowship. Dr. Mukherjee experienced in pharmacovigilance study of drugs in the Industrial perspectives from CDS Safety Inc., New Jersey, USA, June – July, 2005 through TEQIP programme of Jadavpur University.

    Dr. Mukherjee worked as chairman and speaker for the 42nd meeting of the Drug Information Association (DIA), Philadelphia, USA, June, 2006 and 43rd meeting of the Drug Information Association (DIA), Atlanta, Georgia, USA, June 2007, for the session on “Exploring Safety of Botanicals in Complementary and Alternative Medicine”. Dr. Mukherjee was the Chairman, Scientific committee for the International conference [2009] on “Herbal Medicine –Evaluation of Quality, Efficacy and Safety” held on February 26-28, 2009 at Bangalore, India. Some potential publications has been made in this area by Dr. Mukherjee and his group (Pandit et al 2012, Food Research International, 45 (1): 69–74; Pandit et al 2012 Phytotherapy Research, [In Press] doi: 10.1002/ptr. 3426; Pandit et al 2011, JPC - Journal of Planar Chromatography - Modern TLC; 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 et al 2008, Indian Journal of Traditional knowledge, 7 (3): 379-383; Mukherjee and Houghton, 2009. Evaluation of Herbal Medicinal Products - Perspectives of Quality, Safety and Efficacy” Pharmaceutical Press, Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, UK), Pandit, et al., 2012, Food Research International 2012, 45 (1), 69–74, Mukherjee et al., 2011, Phytomedicine 9 (1), 64-73.

  • Dr. Mukherjee has 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. He worked on isolation and quantification of ‘Betulinic acid’ from the rhizome of Nelumbo nucifera, which is a potential steroidal triterpenoid compound possessing antitumor, anti-HIV activity and found to possess significant anti-inflammatory activity against different edema model. An international 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, many pharmaco-therapeutic activities of the constituents and different extracts of rhizomes have been evaluated. This includes Immunomodulatory potential [Mukherjee et al, 2010, Phytochemical Analysis, 21: 556-560; Mukherjee et al, 2010, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 128 (2), 490–494; Mukherjee et al, 2010, Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology, 2010, 32(3): 466-472]; hypoglycaemic [Mukherjee et al, 2009, Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 61(4): 407–422; Mukherjee et al., 1997, J. Ethnopharmacology 58: 207-213], anti-inflammatory (Mukherjee et al., 1997, Planta Medica 63: 367-369) psychopharmacological (Mukherjee et al., 1996, J. Ethnopharmacology 54: 63-67), diuretic (Mukherjee et al., 1996, Phytotherapy Research 10: 424-425), antidiarrhoeal (Mukherjee et al., 1995, Indian J. Pharmacology, 27: 262-264), antipyretic (Mukherjee et al., 1996, Indian J. Experimental Biology 82: 274-276) Mukherjee et al., 2012,Food Chem. Toxicol., 2011, 49(12), 3142-53, Maity et al., 2012, Indian Journal of Pharmacology, 2012. 2012, 44(5), 584-587, Nema et al., 2012, Toxicology and Industrial Health DOI: 10.1177/0748233712468015 activities have been reported.

  • Dr. Mukherjee and his group in the field of phytotherapy includes phytochemical, phyto-pharmacological, antimicrobial and antiallergic evaluation of different plant species including Moringa oleifera, Cassia tora, Azadirachta indica, Leucas lavandulaefolia, Drymaria cordata, Cassia fistula, Ficus recemosa, Asparagus recemosus, Baliospermum montanum, Curculigo orchioides, Albizia lebbeck, Indian Hypericum species and different other plant species of Indian folklore and traditional medicine; all these phytotherapeutic aspects has been published in reputed peer reviewed impact 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], Nurul, et al., 2011, International Immunopharmacology 11 (11), 1766-1772, Maity et al., 2012, Natural Product Research, 26 (20), 1939–1941.

  • Dr. Mukherjee and his group have been working on development of leads from natural resources like antiageing. Several components have been screened and evaluated in this context for their hyaluronidase, elastase, and matrix-metalloproteinase inhibitory activities have been carried out. This work is being explored by the industrial partner Parker Robinson Ltd, Kolkata through the Department of Science & Technology, Govt of India and Industry sponsored project at the Jadavpur University. Several research work has been done in this aspects (Mukherjee et al, 2011, Natural Matrix-Metalloproteinase Inhibitors - Leads from Herbal Resources in: Bioactive Natural Products, Elsevier Science Publishers, Amsterdam; 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; Maity et al, 2011, Natural Product Research (DOI:10.1080/14786419.2011.619189).

  • Dr. Mukherjee and his groups have been working to identify the potentially active anti-allergic molecules from medicinal plants for clinically approved lead. Dr. Mukherjee worked as visiting scientists at School of Health science, Tokushima University, Japan with the Fujii Otsuka Award - 2007, for International Education and Research Exchange. Dr. Mukherjee and his group is working 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. The work is being carried forward to the DST-JSPS joint research program between our group in India and Tokushima University, Japan through support from Department of Science and Technology, India and JSPS, Japan. [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].

  • Dr. Mukherjee has 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. Dr. Mukherjee has been working in this field and has performed well defined ethnobiological studies on 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 (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).

  • Dr. Mukherjee and his group have been working on development of leads from natural resources as antiageing. Several components has been screened and evaluated in this context for their hyaluronidase, elastase, matrix-metalloproteinase inhibitory activities [Mukherjee et al 2011, Phytomedicine 19, 64-73; Nema et al, 2011, Archives of Dermatological Research 303, 247–252; Maity et al, 2011, J Ethnopharmacology 137, 1300–1305; Maity et al, 2011, Natural Product Research (DOI:10.1080/14786419.2011.619189). This work is being explored by the industrial partner Parker Robinson Ltd, Kolkata through the Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India and Industry sponsored project at the Jadavpur University.

    Anti oxidant evaluation of different herbal drugs has been made and reported (Mukherjee et al, 1998 Natural Product Sciences 4: 234-237; Rai et al, 2006 Journal of Ethnopharmacology 104:322–327; Raja et al., 2007 Journal of Ethnopharmacology 109: 41–47). Two antistress formulations has been developed and evaluated from Indian medicinal plants, patent on which has been taken (Mukherjee 929/ Kol/2005). This is being explored by Indian National Drug Company, Kolkata for suitable manufacturing and marketing possibilities. Work on traditional medicines in India like the Ayurvedic texts include thousands of single or polyherbal formulations, these have been rationally designed and have been in therapeutic use for many years. Sufficient pharmaco-epidemiological evidence, based on actual clinical use, can be generated to support their safety and efficacy. The work of Dr. Mukherjee in this area can offer a smart strategy for new drug candidates to facilitate discovery process and also for the development of rational synergistic botanical formulations.

    His work on development of integrated approaches for drug development from Indian traditional medicine 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. 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.