Tandem Project

Bioactive Properties of Dates: Linking Traditional and Regenerative Medicine

Over the past ten years, the Gulf countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – have increasingly highlighted dates as a vital element of Arab cultural heritage and a versatile local resource for sustenance, income generation and medicinal use. Linking traditional and regenerative medicine at the crossroads of chemistry and health sciences, AGYA members Mohamed Alhamdani and Amro Babiker Eltayeb together with AGYA alumnus Younis Baqi conduct the project ‘Investigating the Bioactive Properties of Natural Products of GCC Origin’, in which they analyse the medical potential of dates for fighting cancer. ‘The fruit of the date palm possesses high nutritional and therapeutic value, with a significant amount of antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiproliferative properties’, says Baqi. Among these, antioxidants, for example, can react with and neutralize ‘free radicals’, thus preventing them from causing damage and diseases such as cancer. Going forward, Baqi hopes to explore the use of dates in other areas of medicine as well as in the development of diverse natural health products. ‘Dates are a superfood with many possible nutritional, commercial and medicinal uses. Therefore, cross-cutting research is essential to unlocking their incredible potential’, he says.

This is the ninth part of the project. So far, collected information about the date palm tree as well as preliminary results have been published in several articles.

Members in Charge

Mohamed Saiel Saeed Alhamdani

Molecular Biology
Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum

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Younis Baqi

Chemistry, Pharmacy
Sultan Qaboos University Applied Chemistry Division

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Amro Babiker Hassan Eltayeb

Environmental Studies
King Saud University College of Food & Agriculture Sciences

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DATE and Venue of the project

28 February – 31 December 2020

Muscat, Oman
Bonn & Heidelberg, Germany
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Funding Scheme

Tandem Project



Countries Involved

Germany, Oman, Saudi Arabia

Disciplines Involved

Pharmaceutical Chemist, Molecular Biology, Food Safety & Waste Management


Photo by Kamira - stock.adobe.com

Find more information here

  • Al Alawi, R., Alhamdani, M., Hoheisel J., Baqi Y. (2020). 'Antifibrotic and tumor microenvironment modulating effect of date palm fruit (Phoenix dactylifera L.) extracts in pancreatic cancer'. In: Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, Volume 121. Read article
  • Ismail, Ahmed Hussein, Ahmed Mutanabbi Abdula, Ivan H.R. Tomi, Ali Hussein R. Al-Daraji and Baq, Y. (2019). 'Synthesis, Antimicrobial Evaluation and Docking Study of Novel 3,5- Disubstituted-2-Isoxazoline and 1,3,5-Trisubstituted-2-Pyrazoline Derivatives'. In: Medicinal Chemistry 15: 1. Read more
  • Baqi, Y., Müller, C. (2019). 'Antithrombotic P2Y12 receptor antagonists: recent developments in drug discovery'. In: Drug Discovery Today, Volume 24, Issue 1, 325-333, ISSN 1359-6446. Read more
  • Younis Baqi et. al. (2018). 3-(2-Carboxyethyl)indole-2-carboxylic Acid Derivatives: Structural Requirements and Properties of Potent Agonists of the Orphan G Protein-Coupled Receptor GPR17, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 61 (18), 8136-8154. Read more
  • Baqi, Y. et al. (2017). ‘Date Palm Tree (Phoenix dactylifera L.): Natural Products and Therapeutic Options’. In: Frontiers in Plant Sciences, 8:845. Read article

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