The research group for natural product chemistry at Lund University, headed by Professor Olov Sterner, is studying bioactive secondary metabolites isolated from various relevant natural sources. We are currently working mainly with extracts from Latin American plants, that have traditional uses for the treatment of various illnesses. Isolated metabolites are characterized chemically, primarily by NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry, as well as biologically. Interesting metabolites are further investigated by the synthetic preparation of derivatives and analogues, and the relationships (SARs) between chemical structure and biological activity are determined with the use of computational techniques. When sufficient SAR data are available, a model can be constructed which can be used for design of compounds having desired properties The research is conducted in collaborations with biologists and medical researchers, who assay and determine the biological activity of our compounds in an array of in vitro-tests. The goal of the research is 1) to increase our understanding of biological events on the molecular level, and 2) to and to develop new drug candidates that are potentially useful. The focus is currently anticancer and CNS-active compounds.