Dr Sianne Schwikkard


I completed my PhD in Natural Products Chemistry at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa in 1998. The complexity and beauty of natural compounds fascinated me and has led to a life-long pursuit of both novel compounds from plant sources as well as the synthesis of these compounds. Plants can produce a range and diversity of chemical entities unparalleled by synthetic efforts and displaying an unsurprising range of biological activities. My research career was developed through a post-doctoral fellowship at Virginia Tech under Professor David Kingston, followed by a post-doctoral position at the Rand Academic University under Professor Fanie Van Heerden. I spent a short 18 months working in the petrochemical industry for  Sasol Technology before relocating to the UK and working for Professor Keith Jones at Kingston University. 

I spent 11 years as a part-time lecturer at Kingston University and research associate at Surrey University before I joined Kingston University full time in September 2015.

While at the University of Surrey, I was awarded a Daphne Jackson Fellowship and I have maintained links with the Daphne Jackson Trust.

Academic responsibilities

Senior lecturer


  • PhD (Natural Products, University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa)
  • MSc
  • BSc (Hons)
  • BSc
  • FHEA

Teaching and learning

My background in natural products and synthetic organic chemistry has allowed me the opportunity to teach across all three departments in the School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy and Chemistry.  This had given me an appreciation for the challenges faced by students across the school.

Having lived and worked in three different countries in very different parts  of the world (South Africa, America and UK) gives me a broad experience and sympathy for students from a diverse range of backgrounds, facing a diverse range of challenges in their education.

Having completed the AFHEA and the FHEA has provided me with the necessary skills to engage and challenge different students with different educational needs.

I was the lead for the Personal Tutor Scheme for the Department of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Science from 2018-2023. The personal and tailored support a personal tutor can provide for a student has a positive impact on their university experience and can significantly impact on their academic success.  In addition it is essential that the academic staff acting as personal tutors have adequate support as the role can be challenging. It was my privilege to work with colleagues across the department to develop an excellent program of support for our students.

Keeping on the fore front of my research field positively impacts on my teaching as I am better able to inspire my students with relevant and novel research in their chosen fields of study.  Teaching should always include cutting edge research in the field to ensure that students are aware of new developments and challenges.

I am currently admissions tutor for the Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences and work closely with our recruitment and outreach team.  In addition I have established a collaboration with the EDT (Engineering Development Trust).  This is an organisation working to promote STEM subjects and encourage school leavers to consider STEM careers. This has allowed our staff to deliver workshops and lectures to school leavers throughout the UK.

Qualifications and expertise

  • FHEA

Undergraduate courses taught


I have an interest in bioactive natural products, both isolated from plant sources as well as their synthetic analogues. My two main areas of research are eye diseases characterised by neovascularisation and the development of new drugs targeting drug resistant bacteria. I have a particular interest in compounds known as homoisoflavonoids, isolated primarily from the Hyacinthaceae (Asparagaceae).  These compounds have a range of interesting biological activities including anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-angiogenic effects.  They have been identified as potential new sources of treatment for macular degeneration and other eye diseases characterised by angiogenesis. 

My work on macular degeneration is carried out in collaboration with the University of Surrey and the Glick Eye Institute, University of Indiana.  The work has been highlighted by this article in the Daily mail:


In addition, I am collaborating with Professor Raid Alany and Dr Ali Al-Kinani to look at the effect of these compounds on diseases of the cornea.  

Together with Dr Alison Kelly of Kingston University (microbiology) we are investigating the effect of natural products and synthetic analogues of natural products on antibiotic resistant bacteria. We are looking at compounds isolated from East African Croton species as well as curcumin and piperidone derivatives.

An ongoing and highly productive collaboration with the Jodrell laboratory and the Royal Botanical gardens, Kew has allowed me to investigate interesting and under researched plant species as well as allowing my students to experience this world class laboratory.

I am first supervisor for 2 PhD students and 1 MRes student and second supervisor for 3 PhD students.  I have 2 completions for MSc by research as first supervisor and 1 as second supervisor as well as 3 PhD completions as second supervisor (University of Surrey and Kingston University) and 1 as first supervisor.

Qualifications and expertise

  • Natural Products Chemistry
  • Synthesis of Natural products
  • Chromatography
  • Spectroscopy

Areas of specialism

  • Natural products Chemistry
  • Synthesis of Natural products
  • Chromatography
  • Spectroscopy

Scholarly affiliations

  • MRSC

Research student supervision

Main supervision

Other supervision


Number of items: 23.


Denison, Hannah J., Schwikkard, Sianne L., Khoder, Mouhamad and Kelly, Alison F. (2023) Review: The chemistry, toxicity and antibacterial activity of curcumin and its analogues. Planta Medica, ISSN (print) 0032-0943 (Epub Ahead of Print)

Al-Qaysi, Zinah, Beadham, Ian, Schwikkard, Sianne, Bear, Joseph, Al-Kinani, Ali and Alany, Raid (2023) Sustained release ocular drug delivery systems for glaucoma therapy. Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery, ISSN (print) 1742-5247

Baheran, Sanaz Sadig, Alany, Raid G., Schwikkard, Sianne, Muen, Wisam, Salman, Lena Namaan, Freestone, Nicholas and Al-Kinani, Ali A. (2022) Pharmacological treatment strategies of pterygium : drugs, biologics, and novel natural products. Drug Discovery Today, p. 103416. ISSN (print) 1359-6446 (Epub Ahead of Print)

Langat, Moses K., Mayowa, Yisau, Sadgrove, Nicholas, Danyaal, Mohammed, Prescott, Thomas A. K., Kami, Teva, Schwikkard, Sianne, Barker, James and Cheek, Martin (2022) Multi-layered antimicrobial synergism of (E)-caryophyllene with minor compounds, tecleanatalensine B and normelicopine, from the leaves of 'Vepris gossweileri' (I. Verd.) Mziray. Natural Product Research, 36(10), pp. 2447-2457. ISSN (print) 1478-6419

Coban, Tomris, Robertson, Cameron, Schwikkard, Sianne, Singer, Richard and LeGresley, Adam (2021) Synthesis and evaluation of bis(imino)anthracene derivatives as G-quadruplex ligands. RSC Medicinal Chemistry, 5, pp. 751-757. ISSN (online) 2632-8682

Langat, Moses K., Dlova, Ncoza C., Mulcahy-Ryan, Lauren E., Schwikkard, Sianne L., Opara, Elizabeth I., Crouch, Neil R., Hiles, Jacob D. and Mulholland, Dulcie A. (2021) The effect of isolates from 'Cassipourea flanaganii' (Schinz) alston, a plant used as a skin lightning agent, on melanin production and tyrosinase inhibition. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 264, p. 113272. ISSN (print) 0378-8741

Whitmore, Hannah, Sishtla, Kamakshi, Knirsch, Walter, Andriantiana, Jacky L., Schwikkard, Sianne, Mas-Claret, Eduard, Nassief, Sarah M., Isyaka, Sani M., Corson, Timothy W. and Mulholland, Dulcie A. (2020) Bufadienolides and anti-angiogenic homoisoflavonoids from 'Rhodocodon cryptopodus', 'Rhodocodon rotundus' and 'Rhodocodon cyathiformis'. Fitoterapia, 141, p. 104479. ISSN (print) 0367-326X

Schwikkard, Sianne, Whitmore, Hannah, Sishtla, Kamakshi, Sulaiman, Rania S., Shetty, Trupti, Basavarajappa, Halesha D., Waller, Catherine, Alqahtani, Alaa, Frankemoelle, Lennart, Chapman, Andy, Crouch, Neil, Wetschnig, Wolfgang, Knirsch, Walter, Andriantiana, Jacky, Mas-Claret, Eduard, Langat, Moses K., Mulholland, Dulcie and Corson, Timothy W. (2019) The antiangiogenic activity of naturally occurring and synthetic homoisoflavonoids from the Hyacinthaceae (sensu APGII). Journal of Natural Products, 82(5), pp. 1227-1239. ISSN (print) 0163-3864

Takou, Dieudonne M., Kamdem Waffo, Alain F., Langat, Moses K., Wansi, Jean D., Mulcahy-Ryan, Lauren E., Schwikkard, Sianne L., Opara, Elizabeth I., Mas-Claret, Eduard and Mulholland, Dulcie A. (2019) Melanin production inhibitors from the West African 'Cassipourea congoensis'. Planta Medica International Open, 6(02), e50-e56. ISSN (online) 2199-157X

Schwikkard, Sianne, Whitemore, Hannah, Corson, Timothy, Sishtla, Kamakshi, Langat, Moses K., Carew, Mark and Mulholland, Dulcie A. (2018) Antiangiogenic activity and cytotoxicity of triterpenoids and homoisoflavonoids from 'Massonia pustulata' and 'Massonia bifolia'. Planta Medica, 84, pp. 638-644. ISSN (print) 0032-0943

Aldhaher, Areej, Langat, Moses, Ndunda, Beth, Chirchir, Denis, Midiwo, Jacob O., Njue, Alice, Schwikkard, Sianne, Carew, Mark and Mulholland, Dulcie (2017) Diterpenoids from the roots of 'Croton dichogamus' Pax. Phytochemistry, 144, pp. 1-8. ISSN (print) 0031-9422

Schwikkard, Sianne, Alqahtani, Alaa, Knirsch, Walter, Wetschnig, Wolfgang, Jaksevicius, Andrius, Opara, Elizabeth, Langat, Moses, Andriantiana, Jackie and Mulholland, Dulcie (2017) Phytochemical investigations of three Rhodocodon (Hyacinthaceae Sensu APG II) species. Journal of Natural Products, 80(1), pp. 30-37. ISSN (print) 0163-3864

Schwikkard, Sianne L. and Mulholland, Dulcie A. (2014) Useful Methods for Targeted Plant Selection in the Discovery of Potential New Drug Candidates. Planta Medica, 80(14), pp. 1154-1160. ISSN (print) 0032-0943

Mulholland, Dulcie A., Schwikkard, Sianne L. and Crouch, Neil R. (2013) The chemistry and biological activity of the Hyacinthaceae. Natural Product Reports, 30(9), pp. 1165-1210. ISSN (print) 0265-0568

Morgan, David H., Schwikkard, Sianne L., Dixon, John T., Nair, Jerald J. and Hunter, Roger (2003) The effect of aromatic ethers on the trimerisation of ethylene using a chromium catalyst and aryloxy ligands. Advanced Synthesis & Catalysis, 345(8), pp. 939-942. ISSN (print) 1615-4150

Schwikkard, Sianne and van Heerden, Fanie R. (2002) Antimalarial activity of plant metabolites. Natural Product Reports, 19(6), pp. 675-692. ISSN (print) 0265-0568

Mulholland, Dulcie A., Schwikkard, Sianne L., Sandor, Peter and Nuzillard, Jean M. (2000) Delevoyin C, a tetranortriterpenoid from Entandrophragma delevoyi. Phytochemistry, 53(4), pp. 465-468. ISSN (print) 0031-9422

Mulholland, Dulcie A., Randrianarivelojosia, Milijaona, Lavaud, Catherine, Nuzillard, Jean-Marc and Schwikkard, Sianne L. (2000) Limonoid derivatives from Astrotrichilia voamatata. Phytochemistry, 53(1), pp. 115-118. ISSN (print) 0031-9422

Schwikkard, Sianne, Zhou, Bing-Nan, Glass, Thomas E., Sharp, Jessica L., Mattern, Michael R., Johnson, Randall K. and Kingston, David G. I. (2000) Bioactive Compounds from Combretum erythrophyllum. Journal of Natural Products, 63(7), pp. 1045-1046. ISSN (print) 0163-3864

Schwikkard, Sianne, Zhou, Bing-Nan, Glass, Thomas E., Sharp, Jessica L., Mattern, Michael R., Johnson, Randall K. and Kingston, David G. I. (2000) Bioactive Compounds from Combretum erythrophyllum. Journal of Natural Products, 63(4), pp. 457-460. ISSN (print) 0163-3864

Mulholland, Dulcie A., Schwikkard, Sianne L. and Randrianarivelojosia, Milijaona (1999) Limonoids from Astrotrichilia voamatata. Phytochemistry, 52(4), pp. 705-707. ISSN (print) 0031-9422

Schwikkard, Sianne L., Mulholland, Dulcie A. and Hutchings, Anne (1998) Phaeophytins from Tapura fischeri. Phytochemistry, 49(8), pp. 2391-2394. ISSN (print) 0031-9422

Conference or Workshop Item

Schwikkard, S., James, E. E., Mulholland, D. A., Knirsch, W., Corson, T., Opara, E. and Jaksevicius, A. (2015) Novel, bioactive homoisoflavonoids from a Madagascan Rhodocodon species (Hyacinthaceae, sensu APG II). In: 63rd International Congress and Annual Meeting of the Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research (GA2015); 23 - 27 Aug 2015, Szeged, Hungary. (Unpublished)

This list was generated on Sun Jul 14 06:54:53 2024 BST.

Professional practice, knowledge exchange and impact

I am currently serving on the committee assessing the applications for the RSC Research Fund.

I have maintained links with the Daphne Jackson Trust and have given a number of talks at events they have organised on employability and getting people back to work in research after a career break.  The Trust provides Fellowships for people who have had to take a career break to allow them to restart their research career.  It provides vital opportunities for people to update their skills and allow them to complete on an equal playing field.

Leadership and management

I am the Admissions Tutor for the Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

University responsibilities

  • Admissions Tutor for Department of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Science