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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

My research is multi-disciplinary, including ethnobotany, ethnopharmacology, microbiology and cell biology. Ethnopharmacological data, in other words knowledge of the traditional medicinal uses of plants in African countries, is used for increasing the possibilities of finding extracts and compounds with antimicrobial activities from the studied plants. At the moment, various human pathogenic strains of bacteria and yeasts are used for the screening of plant extracts and compounds for their antimicrobial effects.

My first years as a teacher at the university I spent teaching systematic-ecologic botany in Department of Botany, University of Helsinki from 1993-2001. Later, starting from 2000, I have teached pharmaceutical biology, ethnopharmacology and phytotherapy at Division of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, University of Helsinki. Moreover, I have also teached about higher plants as producers of antimicrobial compounds at University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu.

Curriculum vitae

I studied systematical-ecological botany at the Botany department, University of Helsinki. At an early stage I was introduced to work on medicinal plants in Division of Pharmacognosy, University of Helsinki together with prof. Raimo Hiltunen and prof. Heikki Vuorela. Later I specialized on an African medicinal plant family, Combretaceae. For my doctoral thesis work I made an ethnopharmacological expedition to Tanzania to collect Combretum and Terminalia trees. During this trip herbalists were interviewed on traditional medicinal uses of Terminalia and Combretum species we showed them. Later, back in the laboratories in Division of Pharmaceutical Biology, University of Helsinki as well as in Folkhälsan research institute, Biomedicum the plant material was analyzed for antimicrobial effects (with my supervisors Prof. Pia Vuorela and Prof. Raimo Hiltunen) as well as for antiproliferative effects on cancer cell lines (with prof. Herman Adlercreutz). I got my doctoral degree in January 2008. In september 2008 I decided to continue this work as my postdoctoral project with the aim to characterize new antibacterial, antifungal and anti-cancer compounds from selected species of Terminalia and Combretum in co-operation with prof. Raimo Hiltunen and prof. Heikki Vuorela. Later I started to collaborate with prof. Riitta Julkunen-Tiitto from University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu in order to investigate ellagitannin and ellagic acid composition in Terminalia species using HPLC-QTOF-MS. This collaboration continues. In May 2012 my project received some new, interesting Terminalia species collected in Sudan by my doctoral student. We have found a series of antimicrobial extracts and compounds from these species and Salih is completing her doctoral thesis on this data. Moreover, with Salih, we have made some preliminary studies on antimicrobial extracts in Xeromphis nilotica and Gardenia lutea. As a new part of the project, which started in spring 2017, extracts of Piper guineense are investigated for their antimicrobial effects and active compounds. 

Keywords

  • 317 Pharmacy
  • Terminalia, Combretum, antimicrobial, cytotoxic, ellagitannins, stilbenes

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.

Publications 2002 2019

An ethnobotanical survey and antifungal activity of Piper guineense used for the treatment of fungal infections in West-African traditional medicine

Mgbeahuruike, E. E., Fyhrqvist, P. J., Holm, Y. M., Vuorela, H. J. & Amandikwa, C., 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 229, p. 157-166

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Alkaloid-rich crude extracts, fractions and piperamide alkaloids of Piper guineense possess promising antibacterial effects

Mgbeahuruike, E. E., Fyhrqvist, P. J., Vuorela, H. J., Julkunen-Tiitto, R. & Holm, Y. M., 2018, (Submitted) In : Antibiotics. 7

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Epidihydropinidine, the main piperidine alkaloid compound of Norway spruce (Picea abies) shows promising antibacterial and anti-Candida activity

Fyhrqvist, P., Virjamo, V., Hiltunen, E. & Julkunen-Tiitto, R., Feb 2017, In : Fitoterapia. 117, p. 138-146 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

LC-MS/MS Tandem Mass Spectrometry for Analysis of Phenolic Compounds and Pentacyclic Triterpenes in Antifungal Extracts of Terminalia brownii (Fresen)

Salih, E. Y. A., Fyhrqvist, P. J., Abdalla, A. M. A., Abdelgadir, A. Y., Kanninen, M. T., Sipi, M. H., Luukkanen, M. O., Fahmi, M., Elamin, M. H. & Ali, H. A., Dec 2017, In : Antibiotics. 6 , 18 p., 37.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access
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Projects 2008 2020

Isolation and characterization of antimicrobial compounds from African medicinal plants

Fyhrqvist, P. J., Laakso, I., Vuorela, H. J., Julkunen-Tiitto, R., Salih, E. & Mgbeahuruike, E. E.

01/09/200831/12/2020

Project: Research project

Activities 1999 2016

XXVIII International Conference on Polyphenols

Pia Johanna Fyhrqvist (Poster Presentation), Enass Salih (Poster Presentation), Into Johannes Laakso (Attendee), Heikki Juhani Vuorela (Attendee), Riitta Julkunen-Tiitto (Attendee)
11 Jul 201615 Jul 2016

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

63rd International Congress and Annual Meeting of the Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research (GA)

Pia Johanna Fyhrqvist (Poster Presentation)
23 Aug 201527 Aug 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

62nd International Congress and Annual Meeting of the Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research (GA)

Pia Johanna Fyhrqvist (Poster Presentation)
31 Aug 20144 Sep 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Peer review of manuscript (Journal)

Pia Johanna Fyhrqvist (Reviewer)
18 Mar 201322 Mar 2013

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Peer review of manuscript (Journal)

Pia Johanna Fyhrqvist (Reviewer)
5 Apr 201310 Apr 2013

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts