Suresh Awale Associate Professor

Suresh Awale

AffiliationLaboratory of Natural Drug Discovery, Section of Natural Products & Drug Discovery, Division of Medicinal Resources, Department of Research and Development

Research fieldsNatural Products Chemistry

Campus careerPh.D.(Pharmaceutical Sciences)

Biography Academic Research Staff


2003 Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University (Ph.D.)

Job career

2004 Assistant Professor (Institute of Natural Medicine, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University)
2011 Specially Appointed Assistant Professor (Tenure-track, Frontier Research Core for Life Sciences, University of Toyama)
2015 Associate Professor (Division of Natural Drug Discovery, Institute of Natural Medicine, University of Toyama)

Research theme





Outline of the research

From Natural Products to Drug Discovery
The major research focus of our division is to discover natural anticancer agents by targeting cancer cells’ characteristic performance (e.g. tolerance to nutrient starvation) in the tumor microenvironment. Tumor cells in general proliferate very fast in an unregulated manner and are often exposed to nutrition and oxygen deficient environment due to poor and disorganized vasculature. In particular, cells of the clinically hypo-vascular tumors such as pancreatic cancers have inherent ability to tolerate the extreme environments of low nutrition and oxygen by modulating their energy metabolism (austerity). Therefore, to discover natural anticancer agents that retard this tolerance to nutrition starvation is one of the major research goals of our lab. In order to achieve this goal, we are actively engaging in the following research projects.
1. Anti-austerity strategy-based screening of traditional medicinal plants from different origins (e.g. Kampo medicines, Ayurvedic medicinal plants, etc.) utilizing human pancreatic cancer cell lines (e.g. PANC-1, MIA Paca2, KLM-1, NOR-P1, Capan-1, PSN-1, etc).
2. Discovery of anti-austerity agents from natural medicine resources through bioassay-guided isolation, identification by using state-of-the-art chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques (e.g. NMR, MS, UV, IR, CD). Successful candidates will be evaluated for their in vivo anti-tumor activity by using the pancreatic cancer mouse model.
3. Investigation of the structure-activity relationship of the active natural compounds and their mechanism of action against cell survival pathways (PI3/AKT/mTOR/Autophagy).
4. Study of the effect of anti-austerity agents against metabolism of cancer cells utilizing FT-NMR and FT-MS approach.

Thoughts on research

From Natural Products to Drug Discovery: Possibilities are Infinite


"Ashraf M. Omar, Dya Fita Dibwe, Ahmed M. Tawila, Sijia Sun, Ampai Phrutivorapongkul, Suresh Awale*
Chemical Constituents of Anneslea fragrans and Their Antiausterity Activity against the PANC-1 Human Pancreatic Cancer Cell Line
J. Nat. Prod., 2019, 82, 3133-3139.
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.9b00735 "

"Dieudonné Tshitenge Tshitenge, Torsten Bruhn, Doris Feineis, David Schmidt, Virima Mudogo, Marcel Kaiser, Reto Brun, Frank Würthner, Suresh Awale*, Gerhard Bringmann*
Ealamines A–H, a Series of Naphthylisoquinolines with the Rare 7,8′-Coupling Site, from the Congolese Liana Ancistrocladus ealaensis, Targeting Pancreatic Cancer Cells
J. Nat. Prod., 2019, 82, 3150-3164.

"Awale S.,* Dibwe D. F., Balachandran C., Fayez S. Li J., Feineis D., Lombe B.K. Bringmann G.*
Ancistrolikokine E3, a 5,8-Coupled Naphthylisoquinoline Alkaloid, Eliminates the Tolerance of Cancer Cells to Nutrition Starvation by Inhibition of the Akt/mTOR/Autophagy Signaling Pathway
J. Nat. Prod., 2018, 81, 2282-2291.
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.8b00733"

"Sun S., Phrutivorapongkul A., Dibwe D. F., Balachandran C., Awale S.*
Chemical constituents of Thai Citrus hystrix and their antiausterity activity against the PANC-1 human pancreatic cancer cell line.
J. Nat. Prod., 2018, 81, 1877-1883.
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.8b00405"

"Nguyen H.X.Nguyen M.T.T., Nguyen N.T., Awale S. *
Chemical Constituents of Propolis from Vietnamese Trigona minor and Their Antiausterity Activity against the PANC-1 Human Pancreatic Cancer Cell Line
J. Nat.Prod., 80, 2345-2352 (2017).
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.7b00375"


Drug Discovery and Development Research, Natural Products Chemistry, Antiausterity Strategy, Pancreatic Cancer Research, Cancer Metabolomics, Chemical Biology