Iqbal Imran
Doctoral Candidate

Natural Chemistry Research Grooup

Office: K204

ORCID identifier:

Areas of expertise
Tannin chemistry
Alkaline oxidation
Natural Compound Chemistry
Anthelmintic drugs


I am a doctoral candidate at the University of Turku, Finland, specialized in analytical/bioanalytical Chemistry applications, mostly in liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry and lanthanide label array techniques. My research area involves polyphenols and natural compounds, mainly tannin chemistry and their veterinary drug development application. I graduated from the University of Eastern Finland with Masters in Wood Material Science. I have also completed a Bachelor degree with honours in Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering. These advanced degrees helped me to realize my dream of being a scientist.

I have expertise in both chemistry and biosciences. I am interested in research that includes biology and chemistry. I want to solve the biological questions via analytical tools. I aim to work with a team of talented individuals and produce work that serves the institution's needs. I will continue to work on understanding the field to which I am assigned.

My PhD thesis title is "Modified proanthocyanidins and their analysis tools for the screening of potential anthelmintic drugs of natural origin."

Supervisor(s): Prof. Juha-Pekka Salminen, Doc. Maarit Karonen and Dr. Marica Engström

Funding: University of Turku, Biofuture strategy

Main aims of the PhD research

With my PhD project, I aim (1) to know how and why plant proanthocyanidins (PAs) are modified under alkaline conditions, (2) to characterize the PA oxidation products by high-resolution mass spectrometry, and (3) to know the in vitro anthelmintic bioactivity of the oxidized and non-oxidized PA-rich plant extracts. 

PAs are plant specialized metabolites that are increasingly considered responsible for many positive effects on ruminant nutrition and health. There are many underexploited PA sources available, for example, from the side streams of the wood industry. These tannins do not, as such, have optimal structures and stabilities for desired bioactivities, but their value could be increased by chemically modifying the original structures to produce new types of molecules with enhanced properties.

My research provides a thorough investigation of one possible modification route, the oxidation of natural PAs and the following change in in vitro anthelmintic activity. I studied the susceptibility of PAs from various plant sources (300 plant samples) to oxidation under alkaline conditions by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem and high-resolution mass spectrometry. In addition, I studied the in vitro anthelmintic effects of both oxidized and non-oxidized extracts against Ascaris suum nematodes during my research visit to the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


I am interested in teaching analytical chemistry and drug development applications.


Last updated on 2021-09-09 at 17:29