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Porter, Elaine

Job title: 

Research Biochemist

Jodrell Laboratory
Sustainable Uses
Joined Kew: 


Qualifications and appointments: 
  • BSc, Applied Biology, Hatfield Polytechnic, 1990
  • PhD, Birkbeck College, Univ. London, 2004
  • Sessional Lecturer, GEDS, Birkbeck College 2003-

Chemical fingerprinting and isolation of plant-derived compounds using various techniques for authentication, chemotaxonomic and applied projects.

Plants used in Traditional Medicines and by various companies in herbal preparations are extracted and analysed using various chromatographic techniques. The purpose of authentication of plant material used in TCM is to contribute data to various Pharmacoepias. Many projects are undertaken in collaboration with industrial and academic partners. Numerous methods are applied to characterize, identify and isolate plant-derived compounds with potential pharmaceutical and agrochemical activity. Plant-derived compounds, especially flavonoids, polyhydroxyalkaloids and alkaloids can be utilized in chemosystematics, with particular interest for studies in Myrtaceae, Passifloraceae and Amaryllidaceae. Other duties include the co-ordination of the day-to-day running of the Sustainable Uses Group laboratory, induction and training of visitors and new staff to the section, Health and Safety duties, co-management of undergraduate student(s) and updating the plant accessions databases, used to record information about the all plants studied within the section.

Selected publications: 

Fang, R., Veitch, N.C., Kite, G.C., Howes, M-J., Porter, E.A. & Simmonds, M.S.J. (2011). Glycosylated constituents of Iris fulva and Iris brevicaulis. Chem. Pharm. Bull. 59(1): 124-128.

Stevenson, P.C. Muyinza, H. Hall, D.R. Porter, E.A. Farman, D.I., Talwana, H. & Mwanga, R.O.M. (2009). Chemical basis for resistance in sweetpotato Ipomoea batatas to the sweetpotato weevil Cylas puncticollis. Pure Appl. Chem. 81(1): 141-151.

Kite, G.C., Porter, E.A. & Simmonds, M.S.J. (2007). Chromatographic behaviour of steroidal saponins studied by high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Journal of Chromatorgraphy A 1148(2): 177-183.

Kite, G.C., Porter, E.A., Denison, F.C., Grayer, R.J., Veitch, N.C., Butler, I. & Simmonds, M.S.J. (2006). Data-directed scan sequence for the general assignment of C-glycosylflavone O-glycosides in plant extracts by liquid chromatography-ion trap mass spectrometry. Journal of Chromatography A 1104: 123–131.

Nikolova, M.T., Grayer, R.J., Genova, E. & Porter, E.A. (2006). Exudate flavonoids from Bulgarian species of Salvia. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 34: 360-364.