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Chairman: Prof. Dr. Iqbal Azhar


Pharmacognosy derives its origin from two Greek words, pharmakon meaning drug, and gnosis meaning knowledge. The department of Pharmacognosy was established in 1973 as a component of the Faculty of Pharmacy. Today it has grown into a well-established department that is the backbone of pharmacy education in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
It is the study of natural bioactive substances obtained from terrestrial and marine plants, animals, microbes and minerals for their physical, chemical, biochemical and biological properties, their taxonomy and ethnobiology.
It is one of the major areas of Pharmaceutical sciences; today a highly interdisciplinary science which include parts of botany, organic chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, zoology, anthropology, geography, ethnomedicine, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals, biotechnology etc. This discipline covers wide range of topics such as sources of natural products, their chemical composition, medicinal value, distribution, ethno-pharmacological profile, biosynthetic pathways, isolation, evaluation, quality control, standardization etc.
Pharmacognosy learning encompasses identification of plant drugs, phytochemistry, extraction methods, separation, purification, identification and structure elucidation of natural products, phytotherapy, biologics, allergens, nutraceuticals, cosmeceutical and toxic manifestation of natural products.
Research in Pharmacognosy provides for the discovery of lead compounds for drug development, new methods of analysis for drugs, toxins and herbal preparations.
In Pakistan there has always been a growing interest in medicinal plants and their active chemical constituents are utilized in the modern system of medicine – allopathy and also in traditional system of medicine – Unani and homeopathic systems. Traditionally, most of the population depends on natural sources of medicine. A vast majority does not have excess to modern medicine hence there is a huge scope to develop cheap drugs from locally available recourses to meet the needs of the country.
The Department offers to assists the undergraduates to earn a Pharm. D. degree and guide the young scientific investigators to earn either M.Phil./ Ph. D. degree in the field of Pharmacognosy. We further project that these trained undergraduates will be equipped to bring a better promise of tomorrow in pharmaceutical industry (manufacturing/quality control, drug development) or hospital pharmacy, hospital and, clinical pharmacy, research and development.
To fulfill the national requirement, Department of Pharmacognosy strives to provide professionals who could work in any Pharmaceutical industry or can be instrumental in modernizing herbal drug industry on scientific bases. Our graduates have an array of opportunities to work.