AGYA Member

Younis Baqi

Chemistry, Pharmacy

Areas of Expertise:
Natural Products Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Drug Discovery, Rational Design

About me

I am assistant Professor of Bioorganic and Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Sultan Qaboos University. My research work focusses on the development of small molecules as selective ligands for purinergic receptors (G protein-coupled receptors), and ecto-nucleotidases inhibitors. This includes natural products isolation and synthesis of new organic compounds, including combinatorial approaches, and the analysis of structure-activity relationships. The small molecules developed are used as pharmacological tools for in vitro and in vivo studies (in collaboration). Molecular probes (e.g. fluorescent-labeled compounds and radioligands) are developed for biological and diagnostic applications (in collaboration).

A multidisciplinary specialty that interfaces Chemistry, Biology and Medicine is a unique environment to develop new drugs targeting serious diseases, e.g., Diabetes, Cardiovascular and Cancer. Through AGYA, I want to introduce the field of drug discovery and development into the Arab world.

Current projects

  • Member of the AGYA Energy, Water and Environment (EWE), Innovation & Arab and German Education Working Groups.
  • Principal-Investigator (2015 – 2017). Funding Agency: His Majesty’s (HM) Research Grant. Amount: 75,000 Omani Rials (equivalent to ~ 195,000 US dollars). Title: Investigating the anti-cancer properties of natural products isolated from date fruits of the Omani elite variety “Khalas”.
  • Co-Principal-Investigator (2014 – 2016). Funding Agency: The Research Council of Oman (TRC). Amount: 320,700 Omani Rials (equivalent to ~ 834,000 US dollars). Title: Towards a better understanding of protein-ligand interaction: The role of protein flexibility in ligand recognition, biological function, and drug binding.

Academic Career

2012 -Assistant Professor of Bioorganic and Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Sultan Qaboos University; Muscat, Oman
2009 -
Lecturer and Group Leader of Medicinal/Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the Pharmaceutical Institute, University of Bonn; Germany
2007 - 2008Postdoctoral fellowship under supervision of Prof. Dr. E. J. Corey (Nobel prize laureate for Chemistry (1990)), Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University; Cambridge/MA, USA
2008PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Institute, University of Bonn; Germany
2005 - 2007
Assistant Lecturer at the Pharmaceutical Institute, University of Bonn; Germany
2005Researcher, Interfaculty Institute for Biochemistry, University of Tübingen; Germany
2002 - 2004Researcher at the Chemistry Department, University of Jordan; Amman, Jordan
2003MSc in Natural Product Chemistry, University of Jordan; Amman, Jordan

Selected Publications

  • Baqi, Y. (2016). Anthraquinones as a privileged scaffold in drug discovery targeting nucleotide-binding proteins. Drug Discov. Today, 21, 1571-1577.
  • Baqi, Y. (2015). Ecto-nucleotidase inhibitors: recent development in drug discovery. Mini-Rev. Med. Chem., 15, 21-33.
  • Baqi, Y., Alshaibani, S., Ritter, K., Abdelrahman, A., Spinrath, A., Kostenis, E. & Müller, C. E. (2014). Improved synthesis of 4-/6-substituted 2-carboxy-1H-indole-3-propionic acid derivatives and structure–activity relationships as GPR17 agonists. Med. Chem. Comm., 5, 86-92.

see a full list of publications>


Sultan Qaboos University Applied Chemistry Division

Al-Khod 123 – Muscat Sultanate of Oman

+968 2414 1473

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