School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences


Photo of Dr Asmita Sautreau

Dr Asmita Sautreau

  • Qualifications: BSc in Pharmacy, PhD, MRPharmS, SRPharmS, AFHEA
  • Role Title: Principal Lecturer
  • Address: University of Portsmouth, St Michael's Building, White Swan Road, Portsmouth, PO1 2DT
  • Telephone: 023 9284 3528
  • Email:
  • Department: School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science


I am a pharmacist from my first degree (1981) and thereafter obtained membership of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (1982). I have worked as a pharmacist over the years, but got interested in natural products as result of the PhD programme that I undertook ('Microbial Transformation of Spirostanes and Related Compounds’, 1987). My senior lecturer appointment as a member of staff in this institution was in 1988. After a number of years, in 2001 there was opportunity to obtain Membership of the Institute of Learning and Teaching (now known as Higher Education Academy), as it was called then (Currently known by Higher Education Academy). I became Principal Lecturer in 2004 after taking on the responsibility as Course Leader of the Master of Pharmacy programme. Presently, I continue professionally as an academic pharmacist, still maintain a research profile and continue my administration input for the Master of Pharmacy programme.

Teaching Responsibilities

Natural products provide an immense range of compounds, from very simple molecules, for instance monoterpenes, fatty acids and phenolic compounds such as salicylic acid, to more complex structures such alkaloids, glycosides, lignans and flavonoids. My main focus for the teaching area is natural products, as a key source of medicinal compounds.  In addition, how these compounds can be templates to provide a range of semi-synthetic derivatives that are routinely used as therapeutic agents in medicine. There is an obvious link of natural products and phytotherapy. This is illustrated with concepts of phytotherapy and examples of herbs that cross the boundary. Furthermore, I am interested in plants that are known to have a toxic profile. I also take an interest in topics relating to medicinal chemistry and illustrate mechanism-based enzyme inhibition as the finesse for controlling specific disease conditions.

I take an interest in new students that join the MPharm programme and hence are involved with a number of other interests and activities. For instance, I oversee the skills-based unit as unit co-ordinator and I am involved with Pharmaceutical Chemistry laboratory classes for level 4. I liaise and communicate with many employers to invite them to career based events for all students, such as the pharmacy careers event, information sessions for employers to provide guidance to students and many other events.


My main area of interest in the pharmaceutical context is natural products, especially those from plants which provide a huge diversity of unique structures, many of which have a niche in therapeutic and clinical treatment of various types of medical conditions.

Hence, my research area focuses on natural products with particular interest in isolating and identifying bioactive compounds from plants. These are plant secondary metabolites and identification entails bioassay-guided fractionation linked to spectroscopic and other techniques. The research projects are varied, such as study of selected plant species of the family Euphorbiaceae to control the spread of parasitic disease in particular schistosomiasis, study of specific chemotaxonomic markers, utilizing specifically biologically inherited compounds within a species to standardise herbal preparations, and investigating herbal remedies e.g. raspberry leaves as potential for treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and species related to St. John’s Wort for antimicrobial application.


Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

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