Speaker Biography

Dina Hajjar

University of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Title: Bio-prospecting of natural resources in Saudi Arabia for new potential bioactivity


Dina Hajjar, Department of Biochemistry, faculty of Science, Center for Science and medical research, University of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia



Natural products offer a unique opportunity to discover new active compounds due to their chemical structure and their biodiversity.  From ancient years natural products are in several medical applications. New approaches to advance the drug discovery path are required to innovate the invention of new leads compounds. Saudi Arabia natural resources have not been widely inspected with regard to their biological activities. Here, we discuss the hidden potential of Saudi Arabia’s natural resources namely terrestrial medicinal plants.

Saudi Arabian traditional plants were chemically extracted and fractionated using Solid Phase Extraction method (SPE). Ziziphus mucronata, one of the tested plants from the Jeddah region, showed Ziziphus mucronata has inhibitory effects on cell proliferation and causes cell cycle disruption activity. Moreover, using histone H2AX phosphorylation as a marker for DNA damages revealed that the tested compounds possibly induced DNA double stranded breaks. Further experimental evidence suggests an inhibitory effect on Topoisomerase II making it a suitable candidate for further evaluation as a potential lead for the treatment of cancer.