Professor Berit Smestad Paulsen
Project leader Norway
She has a PhD in Organic Chemistry from Royal Holloway College, University of London, UK, in 1972. The focus of the thesis was structure and biosynthesis of algal polysaccharides. After returning to School of Pharmacy, the focus has been on both low and high molecular weight compounds from plants of pharmaceutical and medicinal interest. This has involved studies on poppy alkaloids, carbohydrate containing allergens and bio active polysaccharides from both algae, fungi and land plants, the latter primarily on plants containing polysaccharides that may have an effect on the immunesystem.
Focus now is on Malian and South African plants having a use that indicate that the immunesystem is involved, amongst these against both internal and external wounds and also as immunostimulants e.g. being used by HIV/AIDs patients.
One of the goals is to pinpoint the bio active sites of the polysaccharides, as well as produce knowledge on the polysaccharides present in the plants so that they can be part of the information needed in order to produce necessary documentation for the registration of Improved Traditional medicines in Mali.
These studies also involve collaboration with research groups at Med.Fak. UiO as well as groups in UK, China, Mongolia and Iceland.
Berit Smestad is professor in Pharmacognosy at school of Pharmacy, University of Oslo, and has published more than 150 articles in international scientific journals.
A link to the UiO presentation of Berit Smestad Paulsen is found here.