School of Pharmaceutical
Sciences of Ribeirão Preto

University of São Paulo


Histórico e Objetivos


    During the second half of the 60’s, a group of faculty members from the School of Pharmacy and Dentistry at Ribeirão Preto developed a research program in plant-derived natural products to complete the experimental portion of their own doctorate thesis. At that time, formal graduate programs were in the early stages of development and implementation, thanks to efforts of Prof. Newton Sucupira at Capes in 1965. It is worth noting that graduate programs at University of São Paulo were formally created only in 1969. The above mentioned group of faculty members consisted of Dr. José Norberto Callegari Lopes, Alfreda William Thames, Walter Vichnewski, David dos Santos Filho, Ana Maria Tucci Turco and Silvio José Sarti; Prof. João Luis Callegari Lopes joined the group in the beginning of the 70’s, a little after being recruited at the School of Philosophy, Science and Letters at Ribeirão Preto. This group formed the first cohesive research group of this College.

    Since all members of the group shared similar research interests, they joined efforts to develop the infrastructure necessary for their work, creating the Natural Products Research Nucleus of the School of Pharmacy and Dentistry at Ribeirão Preto (Núcleo de Pesquisas de Produtos Naturais da Faculdade de Farmácia e Odontologia de Ribeirão Preto, NPPN/RP) in 1973. The group focused on the isolation, structural elucidation and evaluation of the biological activity of plant-derived agents for two reasons: first, several of their members had previous experience in the field due to their training at the Center for Research in Natural Products at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; second, it was important to maintain a cohesive focus to secure significant extramural funding. During that period, the Laboratory of Chemistry of Natural Products (created and funded for some time by FAPESP) was installed at the University of São Paulo Institute Of Chemistry.  Prof. Otto Richard Gottlieb was selected the Head of the Laboratory, and under his exceptional leadership, the Laboratory achieved national and international recognition for its excellence and innovation in the field.

    Meanwhile, the Natural Products Research Nucleus of the School of Pharmacy and Dentistry at Ribeirão Preto was growing. Its members were able to secure funds from several national and international funding agencies such as FAPESP, CNPq and FORGE, as well as from private companies such as COPERSUCAR, which was essential for creating the infrastructure necessary for their research goals and PhD training. During several years, the group focused on Brazilian species of plants, especially Compositae (Asteraceae), leading to the structural elucidation of new sesquiterpene lactones, and publication of a significant number of per-reviewed manuscripts. With the implementation of the Graduate Program at the College during the 80’s, and the arrival of Profs. Drs. Dionéia Camilo Rodrigues de Oliveira, Diones Aparecida Dias, Norberto Peporine Lopes, and more recently of Profs. Drs. Hosana Maria Debonsi, Giuliano César Clososki and Leonardo Gobbo Neto, student training was intensified. Over 50 MS and 30 PhD theses were mentored by members of the group, which constitutes an important contribution towards training of qualified personnel in the field of Natural Products in Brazil