KARACHI- “Natural products and their traditional uses can play a very important role in drug development for neglected diseases. Most of the drugs developed are largely on commercial basis rather than for the human needs. The effective use of the indigenous knowledge and resources is need of the time for the betterment of humanity. Our research is focusing to make antibiotic more effective.”Prof Dr Muhammad Iqbal Chaudhry, International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) Director, Karachi University (KU), expressed these views on Sunday, while delivering a lecture on the second day of the four-day 13th International Symposium on Natural Product Chemistry, which is being held at the IICCBS. Over 600 researchers and scientists from 40 countries are participating in this symposium, which is considered one of the most prestigious international events in the field of natural product sciences. The aim of the symposium is to bring together the leading experts in the field of natural products sciences from all around the world and from global partnership for sustainable utilisation of natural resources for the common benefits of humanity and rapid development of the countries in the south. Chaudhry said that modern drug development is a lengthy and expensive endeavour. Natural products and their traditional uses can play a very important role in drug development for neglected diseases. He said, “Pakistan has enormous treasure of medicinal plants that needs the attention of the authorities concerned because these plants are depleting. Natural product chemistry has delivered many novel chemicals with useful biological properties in the past. The journey of discovery of fascinating molecules is yet to begin, and seemingly endless treasure of chemical space is yet to be explored.” Ahsana Dar Farooq of ICCBS, in her lecture, said that an attempt has been made to explore the mechanism of pharmacological activities such as anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer, which broadly justified the traditional use of medicinal plants. Dr I P Gerothanassis, Hedvig Bolcshei, Wolf-Rainer Abraham and many others also spoke on the occasion.