The Research Group for the Investigation and Valorization of Marine Natural Products (MarineNatProd-GR) is based at the Section of Pharmacognosy and Chemistry of Natural Products of the Department of Pharmacy of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and is led by Professor Vassilios ROUSSIS, Professor Olga TZAKOU and Associate Professor Efstathia IOANNOU.


Efstathia IOANNOU


Vassilios ROUSSIS


The MarineNatProd-GR group has extensive experience in the isolation and structure elucidation of bioactive metabolites mainly from marine macro- and microorganisms, as well as in metabolomic analyses for bioprospection. The group’s research activities also include chemical modifications and biotransformations of natural products, biological activity evaluation, isolation of biopolymers and their use for biomedical applications. The MarineNatProd-GR group has received funding from several national and European grants and has long experience in the implementation and management of research projects.


In particular, the research interests of the MarineNatProd-GR include:

  • Isolation and structure elucidation of secondary metabolites mainly from marine, but also terrestrial macroorganisms, aiming at the assesement of their biological activity or their ecological role.

  • Isolation of symbiotic, endophytic or epiphytic, as well as free-living microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) from the marine environment (sediments or macroorganisms) aiming at the isolation and structural characterization of their secondary metabolites.

  • Biotransformations of bioactive natural products using marine-derived microorganisms aiming at the production of analogues and their biological activity evaluation thereof, as well as their structure-activity relationship study.

  • Development of methodology based on GC-MS and LC-DAD-MS and NMR and in-house databases aiming at the metabolomic fingerprinting of marine organisms.

  • Chemical interconversions of secondary metabolites aiming at the production of semisynthetic analogues for structure elucidation purposes or/and their biological activity evaluation.

  • Investigation of the process of biofouling in the marine environment aiming at the development of ecologically friendly marine paints.

  • Isolation of marine polysaccharides and other biopolymers and development of methodology aiming at the production of new biomaterials for biomedical applications.

  • Evaluation of the biological (e.g. antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, antifouling) activity of extracts and / or secondary metabolites.


The scientific infrastructure available at the MarineNatProd-GR group includes all necessary instruments for chemical analysis and structure elucidation of secondary metabolites, namely HPLC, MPLC and GC systems, GC-MS and LC-MS-MS systems, FT-IR and UV-Vis spectrophotometers, polarimeters, etc. and has access to multinuclear NMR spectrometers. Additionally, the MarineNatProd-GR group has appropriate facilities for microbiological work and bioassays (eg. laminar flow hoods, orbital shakers, incubators, plate reader, lyophilizers), several microscopes, including a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), equipment for characterization of biopolymers (TGA, DSC, DLS), as well as equipment for field work and bioassays (vessel equipped with remote operated video cameras and vehicle, hydraulic winches and sediment corers, etc). Furthermore, the MarineNatProd-GR group has created and curates a MicroBank of more than 1,500 bacterial and 500 fungal marine derived strains from the East Mediterranean.


The systematic investigation of marine organisms from the Greek seas as a source of bioactive metabolites was initiated from Professor Vassilios ROUSSIS and the late Professor Constantinos VAGIAS in the mid-90s.

Constantinos VAGIAS