Department of Natural Products and Alternative Medicine

About the Department

The Department of Natural Products and Alternative Medicine focuses on the study of natural products extracted from plants, animals, and microorganisms. Our primary activities include isolating active substances from their natural sources, researching their chemical and biological effects, exploring their uses, and investigating derivatives. Additionally, we work on isolating bioactive microbial products through physiological and genetic improvement.
Our department covers various aspects of complementary and alternative medicine and stays updated with the latest developments in evidence-based herbal medicine. We also aim to promote and advance scientific and technological innovations in biotechnology as applied to pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, cosmetics, and vaccines.
Our core focus lies in the study of natural plant and animal products used in medical drug treatment. We delve into various aspects, including their production, classification, chemical properties, biological effects, and applications.
Furthermore, we keep abreast of the latest developments in the field of evidence-based herbal medicine, which is a branch of alternative medicine.


The Department of Natural Products and Alternative Medicine at the College of Pharmacy, King Abdulaziz University aspires to have a pioneering role in the field of education, research and community services locally and at the level of Arab countries in the field of natural medical products and biotechnology.


The department is dedicated to producing highly skilled undergraduate and postgraduate graduates, conducting vital research, and supporting pharmaceutical services within the Saudi community.
The mission of the Department of Natural Products and Alternative Medicine is to serve the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the global community by enhancing individual health through the integration of basic medical sciences with natural product science, with a particular focus on plants, medicinal herbs, and their derivatives. Additionally, the department aims to advance pharmaceutical sciences related to natural products by conducting research based on biotechnical evidence, following the scientific principles of herbal medicine.
Collaborating with other departments in the College of Pharmacy, the Department of Natural Products and Alternative Medicine aims to graduate students capable of working effectively within medical teams to provide the highest quality of medical services. Our curriculum also provides a comprehensive education on medicinal herbs, covering their chemical properties, biological effects, toxicological risks, interactions with other drugs, and the study of biotechnology.


• Teaching the science of natural products to students at the highest level, in addition to preparing graduates of the Doctor of Pharmacy degree to conduct research in clinical sciences.
• Providing an environment that helps students gain the support and experience that qualifies them to work in fields after graduation.
• Continuing to conduct research according to a systematic plan that focuses on drug development.

Department courses
Code Course Credit Hours Credit Hours
First Term Second Term
Theoretical Practical Theoretical Practical
NP 301 Natural Products 3 1 0 0
NP 411 Pharmaceutical Biotechnology 0 0 1 1
Research Facilities

The department boasts a well-equipped infrastructure featuring modern research devices and equipment. We procure chemicals for each ongoing research project, and funding for these endeavors is generously provided by the Deanship of Scientific Research at the university, the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, or other approved legal funding bodies. Our facilities are strategically allocated across various laboratories to accommodate diverse research activities while prioritizing safety.
Some examples of the available devices and equipment include a high-performance liquid chromatography device (Agilent) for analysis and separation, rotary evaporators (Buchi), Chromatotron medium-pressure liquid chromatography device (Buchi), vacuum freeze-drying ovens, UV spectrometers, ultra-low temperature freezers (-80°C), milling machines, and various other resources located in the central laboratory. These laboratories offer graduate students easy access throughout their research program studies.

Research Activities and Projects

Faculty members in the Department of Natural Products and Alternative Medicine primarily focus their research efforts on the following areas:

  • -separating biologically active compounds using a range of chromatographic techniques
  • -elucidating their structural composition through various chemical methods and spectroscopic techniques, including mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
  • -Study of Saudi medicinal plants in terms of their effect on tumors, HIV, diabetes, antioxidants and the heart.
  • -Quality control of herbal products
  • Discovery of new medicines from marine organisms in the Red Sea
  • -Marine biotechnology and plant tissue culture
  • -Marine toxins
  • -Semisynthesis of marine natural products
  • -اMarine ecology and chemical defense in marine invertebrates
  • -Microbiological transformation

Last Update
1/28/2024 10:03:27 PM