The Centre for Natural Products Research and Drug Discovery or CENAR was established by the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during the fourth quarter of 2003. CENAR was set up by researchers from University of Malaya working in various different fields related to natural products and drug discovery but with a common  vision and mission.


Natural products including bacteria, fungi and plants, continue to provide the most productive source of leads for new medicines such as statins, immunosuppressants and anticancer agents. However, less than 10% of this vast natural resource has been tested for biological activity, yet nearly half of the top 20 selling drugs owe their origins to natural products, as do many drugs now in development.
Malaysia is endowed with rich biodiversity containing about 70% of the plant species found worldwide. However, a large proportions of these natural resources remained untapped. Natural products research involves multiple disciplines including new technologies such as Combinatorial Chemistry and Molecular Biology. University of Malaya has a long tradition of drug related research, both basic and applied, involving various scientific fields such botany, phytochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology. Thus, Center for Natural Products Research and Drug Discovery or CENAR was established  to provide mechanisms for interdisciplinary collaborations within the University of Malaya, and stimulate interactions with other institutions of higher learning and the industry.

To discover new natural products-based leads from biological compounds isolated from Malaysia's tropical forests and seas by

  • Establishing a highly diverse natural product library (plants, fungal, microbial)
  • Developing a wide range of assays for primary and secondary high throughput screening
  • Incorporating new analytical methods to identify, characterize and quantify secondary compounds from natural products 
Vision & Mission

To become the center of excellence for research into natural products and drug discovery in the region.

To advance drug discovery from natural products by supporting and providing mechanisms for interdisciplinary collaborations within the University, as well as stimulating interactions with others institutions and relevant industry.

Contact Us

Please feel free to contact us if you need any services or consultations: 

Prof. Dr. Mohd. Rais Mustafa
Head of CENAR,
Department of Pharmacology,
Faculty of Medicine,
University Malaya,
50603, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel No.: 603-7967 4952
Email: rais@um.edu.my

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Last Update: November 26, 2017