Oliver Grundmann, PhD

Distance Education Programs
Department of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy
University of Florida

Research Interests

My main research interests focus on the discovery of natural products for the treatment of a variety of diseases. Either the natural product itself can be utilized as a new treatment modality or it can serve as a precursor for the development of new medications. During the last years I have spent much time exploring the structure of an anxiolytic present in the leaves of the plant Apocynum venetum or "Venetian dogbane".

During my time as a postdoctoral associate at the University of Arizona in 2008 I was able to gain some insight into the mechanisms involved in radiation-induced salivary gland damage. Radiation therapy is commonly used to treat patients with head and neck cancer and as a side effect cause functional and structural changes in salivary glands which significantly impacts the quality of life for patients.

A new collaboration in 2009 with the Colleges of Nursing and Medicine at the University of Florida gives me the exciting opportunity to work on complementary and alternative treatment approaches for the therapy of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and gastrointestinal cancers.

Another, much different, research interest is concerned with the development of online distance education courses specifically in the area of health and human sciences such as Forensic Sciences, Medicine, and Pharmacy. By connecting my current teaching philosophy and responsibility for the Forensic Science and Pharmaceutical Chemistry Distance Education Programs at the University of Florida with the development of new courses, I'm interested in how online courses might contribute to the future learning environment. This is especially interesting for students who wish to go back to school to advance their careers but are limited in their ability to suspend their job or private obligations such as a family. As education and the social environment becomes more and more globalized, students seek and explore options around the globe to advance their knowledge and careers while getting to know other cultures. One goal of our current efforts is to provide students from around the world with such a learning experience from the comfort of their home and usual social and professional environment. The impact of such a new learning perspective are yet mostly unexplored.

Science in action

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UF Forensicscience blog
The blog of the Forensic Science Distance Education Program at UF keeps you updated on the latest news in Forensics