Universiteit Leiden

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Institute of Biology Leiden

Bioactive Molecules

Bioactive Molecules is one of the four research themes of the Institute of Biology Leiden.

All living systems are assembled from nature’s repertoire of small, medium, and large organic molecules. The Bioactive Molecules research theme focuses on the study, discovery and development of novel bioactive compounds obtained from Nature's biodiversity. We aim for new insights into the role of these molecules in the natural environment, and how they affect the complex biological processes relevant to health and disease.


The strengths of the Bioactive Molecules research include:

Access to New Molecules:

By synthesis:
  • Small molecules (drug-like compounds, MW <500 Da)
  • Medium-large sized molecules (peptides and proteins)
Isolation from natural sources:
  • Bacterial and fungal metabolites
  • Plant extracts

Access to (Bio)Activity Assays:

  • Anti-bacterial, Anti-fungal assays
  • Biochemical assays (i.e. enzyme inhibition assays)
  • Biophyscial assays (studying ligand-receptor binding)

Keywords: synthesis, semi-synthesis, isolation, structure elucidation, activity assays


The IBL is organised in three multidisciplinary clusters: Animal Sciences, Plant Sciences and Microbial Sciences. Each cluster brings its qualities to the research theme Bioactive Molecules to improve research and to strengthen the collaborations within and outside the institute. See for more information on the clusters' contribution to Bioactive Molecules:


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