Research Clusters

HRG is currently divided into the following five research clusters that support its aims in herbal and plant research. 

Each cluster is headed by a different research or professor.


Click on the circles below to read more about each cluster:


Led by

Faculty of Arts & Social Science (FASS), Akedemi Pengajian Brunei (APB) and Institute for Biodiversity & Environment Research (IBER)

- Dr. Haji Tassim bin Haji Abu Bakar -

Few ethno botanical studies have been conducted by various facilities such as APB and FASS. Due to the rich ethno botanical knowledge amongst the local, research in this area need to be documented in terms of publications. Quatitative surveys or qualitative studies can be done.


SOASIC can also contribute in terms of the Islamic ethno botanical usage.


Brunei is rich in biodiversity study. IBER could complement this research clusters by the set–up of the Botanical Research Centre at UBD.  Field botanists from FOS/IBER could discover new medicinal plants species and add the list of the UBD Herbarium ( The researchers can also do experiments to help cultivate the medicinal plants for research purposes and help develop plant database and plant identification of herbal garden. Conservationists use botanical knowledge to help manage the botanical garden. Brunei Nature Society led by Prof Ulmar Grafe can also be involved in this group if the area are related to herbal/natural products.


Led by

Faculty of Science (FOS) 

- Dr. Lee Hoon -

The phytochemistry cluster focuses its research activities on the physico-chemical analyses, preparation of plant extracts, identification of chemically active compounds, stereo structural characterization and quantitative evaluation of bioactive natural plants of medicinal value. 

The metabolites are selected according to their bio-pharmacological interest, considering the possibilities to use them as lead compounds for the development of new drugs or as tools to investigate innovative biochemical aspects.

Cell & Molecular Biology

Led by

PAPRSB Institute of Health Science (IHS)

- Assoc Prof Dr Hjh Mas Rina Wati Hj Abd Hamid -

Several research activities in the area of immunology, microbiology, oncology and genetic study could be developed in this cluster. Treatment of cell and tissue cultures with medicinal plants will also be explored.

The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is a premier invertebrate model that has been utilised to study a wide range of topics of biomedical research including obesity, aging, toxicology, pharmaceutical and drug delivery approaches. C. elegans can be used as a model to investigate herbal extracts.


Led by

PAPRSB Institute of Health Science

- Assoc Prof Dr Anne Cunningham -

The pharmacology cluster will study the interaction of medicinal plant extracts/drugs with living systems. 
Toxicology studies (acute and chronic) will also be covered in this cluster by using animal tests to investigate the therapeutic strength or toxic dose.

Pharmacologists will then study the predicted molecular site of action (e.g. which receptors it acts on), the changes caused by the drugs in the normal function of tissues and organs, the relationship between the dose of the extracts, their effects and how they are being eliminated.

Formulation & Quality Assurance

Led by

PAPRSB Institute of Health Science

- Dr Nurolaini Kifli -

Formulation studies of the extracts, development and standardization of the product as well as pharmacokinetic study will be developed via this cluster.

This cluster will be focused on the development of herbal and/or nutraceutical products.     

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