Professor Rainer Ebel

Professor Rainer Ebel
Professor Rainer Ebel
Professor Rainer Ebel

Personal Chair

Email Address
Telephone Number
+44 (0)1224 272930
Office Address

Meston Room G32

School of Natural and Computing Sciences

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships

Safety Adviser for the Chemistry Department, Member of the University Health & Safety Committee

External Memberships

Member of the Scotland Regional Group for the Society of the Chemical Industry (SCI)


Research Overview

Biologically Active Natural Products

  • Structure elucidation of biologically active marine and terrestrial-derived natural products with the aid of modern spectroscopic methods, including one- and two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy and various mass spectrometric techniques. 

  • Characterisation of natural products with regard to biological activity in pharmacologically relevant assay systems.

    An endophytic fungus is a fungus that spends the whole or part of its life cycle colonizing inside the healthy tissue of the host plant, typically without causing any apparent symptoms of disease, but forming a relationship between latent phytopathogenesis to mutualistic symbiosis.

    Endophytic fungi associated with plants represent a potential new source of novel chemistry and biology to assist in solving not only human, but also animal and plant health problems.

    Current research of our group explores endophytes isolated from different medicinal plants and mangroves for pharmacologically active natural products which might prove to be suitable for specific medicinal or agrochemical applications. By the use of advanced cultivation and investigation procedures as well as chemical technology, novel natural product leads will be optimized on the basis of their biological activities to yield effective chemotherapeutic and other bioactive agents.

  • Marine microbiology, especially cultivation of marine fungi for analysis of secondary metabolite profiles.

The marine environment serves as a source not only of untapped taxonomical diversity of fungi, but also unique chemical structures of novel fungal metabolites. Marine fungi have been gaining increased attention in recent decades because of their potential as producers of biologically active secondary metabolites with therapeutic potential. Moreover, the exploration of fungi could also solve the problem of supply of marine-derived pharmacologically active substances, which normally are produced in a limited amount. Cephalosporine C is a first classical example of a b-lactam antibiotic isolated from a marine derived fungus (Cephalosporium acremonium).

  • Molecular taxonomy of marine-derived fungi as well as endophytic fungi

Isolation of endophytic or endosymbiontic fungi is limited by the phenomenon that more than 99.8 % of micro-organisms existing in nature are not amenable to currently available cultivation methods. Molecular biology techniques can be used to overcome these limitations. Fungi strains may be identified by total DNA isolation, amplification of the so-called ITS region, sequencing of the product and database search.  Complex samples consisting of multiple fungi will result in a mixture of amplification products that cannot be sequenced together. Separation, traditionally performed by cloning, nowadays can be achieved by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis that separates PCR products by their sequence-based melting behaviour.


Teaching Responsibilities

Dr Ebel teaches in the following courses: 

  • CM1021 Chemistry for the Physical Sciences 1
  • CM1512 Chemistry For The Life Sciences 2
  • CM1522 Elements Of Chemistry 2
  • CM2011 Analytical Methods In Forensic Chemistry
  • CM2514 Organic and Biological Chemistry
  • CM3534 Organic and Biological Chemistry
  • CM4025 Advanced Chemistry 1, module "Natural Products"
  • CM5039 Advanced Analytical Methodologies A