Dr. Muraleedharan G Nair, Professor and Sr Asc to the CANR Dean
January 1, 1987
CChem., FRSC., Royal Society of Chemistry, London, 1999
Ph.D., University of the West Indies, Organic Chemistry, 1984
M.Sc., University of Calicut, Analytical Chemistry, 1974
B.Sc., University of Calicut, Chemistry, 1972
Expertise and Research Interests
Nair's laboratory, the Bioactive Natural Products and Phytoceuticals Laboratory at Michigan State University, conducts discovery, isolation, and identification of phytochemicals in plants that are potential candidates as functional food and phytomedicines/alternative medicine/botanical drug. The disease targets include cancer, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD), musculoskeletal disease, obesity, type-2 diabetes, inflammation and parasitic/microbial diseases. Product discovery including efficacy, toxicity, mode of action and dosage of identified phytochemical(s) and facilitate commercialization of such products as phytomedicines or functional food are also part of our research program. The phytochemicals of interest are also being investigated for animal and plant health. The core of our research is bioassay-directed discovery, purification and chemical characterization of natural products using preliminary anticancer, antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial, nematicidal, and insecticidal assays. Another component of this research focuses on bioactive phytochemicals to enhance food quality and nutritional/functional food value to fresh and processed foods.
Summary of Qualifications
Dr. Nair is a Senior Associate to the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Professor and the Principal Investigator of the Bioactive Natural Products and Phytoceuticals Laboratory in the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University. He is also a Visiting Professor at King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He is an accomplished natural products chemist with extensive experience in mechanism-based bioassays and extraction, isolation, purification, structure elucidation and chemical synthesis of natural products from plants and microorganisms. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) and Chartered Chemist (CChem), UK, a Distinguished Faculty of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University and memebr of the National Academy of Inventors. Dr. Nair coordinate the Middle East and South Asian Platform in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University. His laboratory conducts bioassay-directed discovery of bioactive natural products from plant, microbes and marine organisms. He taught chemistry for about 12 years at undergraduate level in Jamaica and India. Nair hosted and mentored numerous international researchers, professors, post-doctoral fellows, MS and Ph.D. students and is actively involved in promoting and conducting natural products research internationally. Dr. Nair is involved in the Academic Governance at Michigan State University; peer reviewer of numerous scientific journals; reviewer of state, federal and international funding agencies; Editorial Board Member of scientific journals Phytomedicine, Phytochemical Analysis, and Agriculture; Editorial Advisory Board memebr of Journal of Spices and Aromatic Crops and Pesticide Research Journal; author or co-author of more than 217 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles, 147 published scientific abstracts, inventor or co-inventor of more than 54 US patents and 34 international patents; founder and President of Natural Product Technologies, an S corporation; founder, President and CEO of an agricultural company, VAMTech LLC., merged with Plant Health Care Inc., PA in 2004; founder, Partner and Chief Technology Officer of PhytoHealth, LLC, founder, Partner of V-PET Plc., Kerala, India and founder, Partner and Chief Scientific Officer of Natural Therapeutics, LLC, Ann Arbor, MI. Dr. Nair is an experienced reseasrcher in applied and basic research on bioactive natural products and its commercialization in the agricultural, pharmaceutical and nutraceuticals/botanical drug markets. For example, he spearheaded the Michigan tart cherry research and it led to several cherry products in the market with human and animal health benefits. Agricultural products that are sold in the market under trade names Mycoform® and Myconate® (by PHC, Inc.) are technologies developed in his laboratory at MSU and commercialized by VAMTech. Another product developed in his laboratory is in the market to treat onychomycosis or toe nail fungal disease. Several natural products developed or being developed in his laboratory are under evaluation as human health products by Natural Therapeutics, LLC, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dr. Nair's experience in public-private partnership, teaching, research, business management and leadership in the international arena continues to assist him in building and sustaining institutional relationships.