Centre for Drug Research USM

Academic Staff

Professor Dr. Mohd. Nizam Mordi


Prof Nizam e2

BSc (Hons) (UKM), MSc (USM), PhD (Manchester)

Contact Information:
E-mail: mnizam@usm.my
Telephone: +604-653 2145
Address: Centre for Drug Research, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang

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Mohd Nizam is a Professor of Medicinal Chemistry. He started his research endeavor with natural product screening as a platform to find lead compounds for several diseases. A breakthrough materialized after his group successfully isolated mitragynine, an alkaloid from the kratom medicinal plant. Now his research horizon circulated in drug design and discovery, in which heterocyclic compounds become his particular interest. By integrating a computer-aided drug design and artificial intelligence, his group has successfully designed and synthesized various analogs of medicinal importance. These analogs were tested primarily for analgesia, addiction, anticancer, antidepressant and Parkinson’s. Some analogs have shown a multiple-fold increase of bioactivity against their respective reference compounds from the current treatment. He consistently motivates undergraduate and postgraduate students to study medicinal chemistry and enjoy the challenge associated with the discovery of novel compounds. His research focus has opened more research opportunities and collaborations in drug discovery, development, and preclinical studies with national and international partners.

Current Research Projects:

  • Design, synthesis and mechanism of action of novel indole analogs for opioid-like activity
  • The design and synthesis of novel monofunctional and bifunctional intercalating anticancer compounds
  • Design and  synthesis  of chemical  library  focused on  neurodegenerative disorder


Current PhD students (as main supervisor)

  • Waleed Abdullah Ahmad Alananzef
  • Siti Mazleena Mohamed
  • Mazlin Mohideen
  • Mohammed Oday Ezzat




  1. Yusof, S.R., Mohd Uzid, M., Teh, E.H., Hanapi, N.A., Mohideen, M., Mohamad Arshad, A.S., Mordi, M.N., Loryan, I., Hammarlund-Udenaes, M. (2018) Rate and extent of mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine blood-brain barrier transport and their intra-brain distribution: the missing link in pharmacodynamic studies. Addict Biol. 2018 Aug 8. doi: 10.1111/adb.12661. [Epub ahead of print]
  2. Ramu Meesala, Ahmad Saifuddin Mohamad Arshad, Mallikarjuna Rao Pichika, Mohd Nizam Mordi, Sharif Mahsufi Mansor (2018) tert-Butylhydroperoxide-mediated oxidation of carbazole-3-carboxyaldehydes. Synlett, 29(8), 1084-1086.
  3. Mohideen, M., Kamaruzaman, N.A., Meesala, R., Rosli, M.M., Mordi, M.N., Mansor, S.M. (2017) Synthesis and crystal structure of 2,9-bis(2-fluorobenzyl)-β-carbolin-2-ium bromide. Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst., 650 (1), 81-86.
  4. Mohideen, M., Kamaruzaman, N.A., Rosli, M.M., Mordi, M.N., Mansor, S.M. (2017) Synthesis, crystal structure, and biological evaluation of ethyl 9-(2-fluorobenzyl)-1-phenyl-9 h-pyrido[3,4-b]indole-3-carboxylate as anticancer agent. Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst., DOI: 10.1080/15421406.2017.1358014DOI: 10.1080/15421406.2017.1358014.
  5. Irfan, H.M., Asmawi, M., Khan, N.A., A., Mordi, M.N. (2017) Anti-diabetic activity-guided screening of aqueous-ethanol Moringa oleifera extracts and fractions: Identification of marker compounds. Trop J Pharm Res., 16 (3), 543-552.
  6. Shafaei, A., Sultan Khan, M.S., Aisha, A.F.A., Abdul Majid, A.M.S., Hamdan, M.R., Mordi, M.N., Ismail, Z. (2016) Flavonoids-rich Orthosiphon stamineus extract as new candidate for Angiotensin I-converting enzyme inhibition: a molecular docking study. Molecules, 21 (11), 1500.
  7. Meesala, R., Arshad, A.S.M., Mordi, M.N., Mansor, S.M. (2016) Iodine-catalyzed one-pot decarboxylative aromatization of tetrahydro-β-carbolines. Tetrahedron, 72 (52), 8537-8541.
  8. Al-Qattan, M.N., Mordi, M.N., Mansor, S.M. (2016) Assembly of ligands interaction models for glutathione-S-transferases from Plasmodium falciparum, human and mouse using enzyme kinetics and molecular docking. Comput Biol Chem., 64, 237-249.
  9. Teik Beng Goh, Rhun Yian Koh, Mun Fei Yam, Mat Easa Azhar, Mohd. Nizam Mordi, Sharif Mahsufi Mansor (2015) 5-Methoxytryptamine reacts with natural food flavour to produce 6-methoxy tetrahydro-β-carbolines: In vitro investigation of their antioxidant value and cytotoxicity properties. Food Chem., 183, 208-216
  10. Goh, T.B., Mordi, M.N., Mas Haris, M.R., Mansor, S.M. (2015) NMR structural assignments for four new 6-methoxy-tetrahydro-β-carboline derivatives. Magn Reson Chem., 53 (10), 857-859
  11. Goh, T.B., Mordi,  M.N., Mansor, S.M. (2015) Mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS) as a tool in the Maillard reaction optimisation and characterisation of new 6-methoxy-tetrahydro-β-carboline derivatives. Sains Malaysiana, 44 (1), 127-137.
  12. Meesala, R., Arshad, A.S.M., Mordi,  M.N., Mansor, S.M. (2014) A facile synthesis of (carbazolyl) formamidines. Tetrahedron Letters, 55 (51), 7023-7025
  13. Goh, T.B., Yian, K.R., Mordi,  M.N., Mansor, S.M. (2014) Antioxidant value and antiproliferative efficacy of mitragynine and a silane reduced analogue. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev., 15 (14), 5659-5665.
  14. Meesala, R., Ezzat, M.O., Mordi, M.N., Mansor, S.M. (2014) Synthesis of novel pyridocarbazoles analogues of ellipticine. Synlett, 25 (15), 2176-2178.
  15. Meesala, R., Mordi,  M.N., Mansor, S.M., Mustaqim, M. (2014) Synthesis and crystal structure analysis of 9-phenyl-β-carboline.  Molecular Crystals and Liquid Crystals, 605 (1), 125-134
  16. Meesala, R., Mordi, M.N., Mansor, S.M. (2014) Copper-catalyzed protodecarboxylation and aromatization of tetrahydro-β-carboline-3-carboxylic acids. Synlett, 25 (1), 120-122.
  17. Goh, T.B., Meesala, R., Mordi,  M.N., Mansor, S.M. (2014) Unexpected reduction of indole double bond in mitragynine using N-butylsilane and catalytic tris (pentafluorophenyl) borane. Synthetic Communications: International Journal for Rapid Communication of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, 44 (9), 1291–1295
  18. Goh, T.B., Mordi, M.N., Mansor, S.M. (2013) Demethylation of mitragynine picrate with BBr3 and C12H25-SH/NaOMe: A new entry for ester derivatives preparation based on position Carbon 9. Asian Journal of Research in Chemistry, 6 (9), 863-867.
  19. Khaled Alakhali, Yahaya Hassan, Nornisah Mohamed, Mohd. Nizam Mordi (2013) Pharmacokinetic of simvastatin study in Malaysian subjects. IOSR Journal of Pharmacy, 3 (1), 46-51.
  20. Annegowda, H.V., Tan, P.Y., Mordi, M.N., Ramanathan, S., Hamdan, M.R., Sulaiman, M.H., Mansor, S.M. (2012) TLC-bioautography-guided isolation, HPTLC and GC-MS-assisted analysis of bioactives of Piper betle leaf extract obtained from various extraction techniques: In vitro evaluation of phenolic content, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. Food Analytical Methods , 6 (3), 715-726.
  21. Annegowda, H.V., Gooi, T.S., Awang, S.H.H., Alias, N.A., Mordi, M.N., Ramanathan, S., Mansor, S.M. (2012) Evaluation of analgesic and antioxidant potency of various extracts of Cinnamomum iners bark. International Journal of Pharmacology, 8 (3), 198-203.
  22. Annegowda, H.V., Mordi, M.N., Ramanathan, S., Hamdan, M.R., Mansor, S.M. (2012) Effect of extraction techniques on phenolic content, antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of Bauhinia purpurea: HPTLC determination of antioxidants. Food Analytical Methods, 5 (2), 226-233.
  23. Al-Obaidi, O.H.S., Ezzat, M.O., Mordi M.N. (2012) Isolation and biological activity study of some active substances and elements quantification of the water, alcoholic and oil extracts of Cuminum cyminum. Sci Int. (Lahore), 24 (1), 27-29.
  24. Goh, T.B., Mordi, M.N., Mansor, S.M., Mohd Mustaqim Rosli, Fun, H.K. (2012) 6-Methoxy-1-(4-methoxyphenyl)-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-9H-b-carbolin-2-ium acetate.  Acta Crystallogr Sect E Struct Rep Online, 68 (Pt 5), o1483
  25. Goh, T.B., Mordi, M.N., Mansor, S.M., Rosli, M.M., Fun, H.K. (2012) Bis(6-methoxy-1-methyl-2,3,4,9-tetrahydro-1H-b-carbolin-2-ium) tetrachloridozincate (II) dihydrate.  Acta Crystallogr Sect E Struct RepOnline, 68 (Pt 4), m464–m465.
  26. Ezzat, M.O., Mordi, M.N. (2012) Theoretical study of phthalane oxidation and effect of substituents by using Hyperchem program. African Journal of Pure and Applied Chemistry, 6 (8), 119-122
  27. Mohd Ali, N.I., Annegowda, H.V., Mansor, S.M., Ismail, S., Ramanathan, S., Mordi, M.N. (2012) Phytochemical screening, antioxidant and analgesic activities of Croton argyratus ethanolic extracts. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 6 (21), 3724-3731.
  28. Ezzat, M.O., Al-Obaidi, O.H.S., Mordi, M.N. (2011) Theoretical study of proton transfer for 1,8-Bis(N,N-Dimethylamino)Napthalene (DMAN) by Hyperchem program. Sci Int. (Lahore), 23 (2), 103-105.
  29. Goh Teik Beng, Mohamad Razak Hamdan, Mohammad Jamshed Siddiqui, Mohd Nizam Mordi, Sharif Mahsufi Mansor (2011) A simple and cost effective isolation and purification protocol of mitragynine from Mitragyna speciosa Korth (Ketum) leaves. The Malaysian Journal of Analytical Sciences, 15 (1), 54-60
  30. Ezzat, M.O., Al-Obaidi, O.H.S., Mordi, M.N. (2011) Theoretical study of benzylic oxidation and effect of para- substituents by using Hyperchem Program. J Proteomics and Bioinform., 4, 113-115.
  31. Sahgal, G., Ramanathan, S., Sasidharan, S., Mordi, M.N., Ismail, S., Mansor, S.M. (2011) In vitro and in vivo anticandidal activity of Swietenia mahogani methanolic seed extract. Trop Biomed., 28 (1), 132–137.
  32. Hamsar, M.N., Ismail, S., Mordi, M.N., Ramanathan, S., Mansor, S.M. (2011) Antioxidant activity and the effect of different parts of Areca catechu extracts on Glutathione-S-Transferase activity in vitro. Free Radicals and Antioxidants, 1 (1), 28-33
  33. Tyson, P., Hassanzadeh, A., Mordi, M.N., Allison, G., Marquez, V., Barber, J. (2011) Erythromycin B: conformational analysis and antibacterial activity. Med Chem Commun., 2, 331-336.
  34. Annegowda, H.V., Anwar, L.N., Mordi, M.N., Ramanathan, S., Mansor, S.M. (2010) Influence of sonication on the phenolic content and antioxidant activity of Terminalia catappa L. leaves. Pharmacognosy Res., 2 (6), 368-373
  35. Annegowda, H.V., Mordi, M.N., Ramanathan, S., Mansor, S.M. (2010) Analgesic and antioxidant properties of ethanolic extract of Terminalia catappa L. Leaves. Int Journal of Pharmacology, 6 (6), 910-915
  36. Annegowda, H.V., Ween Nee, C., Mordi, M.N., Ramanathan, S., Mansor, S.M. (2010) Evaluation of phenolic content and antioxidant property of hydrolysed extracts of Terminalia catappa L. Leaf. Asian Journal of Plant Sciences, 9 (8), 479-485.
  37. Mustaffa, F.., Indurkar, J., Ismail, S., Mordi, M.N., Ramanathan, S., Mansor, S.M. (2010) Analgesic activity, toxicity study and phytochemical screening of standardized Cinnomomum iners leaves methanolic extract. Pharmacognosy Res., 2 (2), 76-81
  38. Mustaffa, F., Indurkar, J., Ismail, S., Mordi, M.N., Ramanathan, S., Mansor, S.M. (2010) Antioxidant capacity and toxicity screening of Cinnomomum iners standardized leaves methanolic extract. International Journal of Pharmacology, 6 (6), 888-895
  39. Sahgal, G., Ramanathan, S., Sasidharan, S., Mordi , M.N., Ismail , S., Mansor, S.M. (2010) Brine shrimp lethality and acute oral toxicity studies on Swietenia mahagoni (Linn.) Jacq. seed methanolic extract. Pharmacognosy Res., 2 (4), 215-220.
  40. Azizi, J., Ismail, S., Mordi, M.N., Ramanathan, S., Said, M.I., Mansor, S.M. (2010) In vitro and in vivo effects of three different Mitragyna speciosa Korth leaf extracts on phase II drug metabolizing enzymes – glutathione transferases (GSTs). Molecules, 15 (1), 432-441
  41. Al-qattan, M.N., Mordi, M.N. (2010) Site-directed fragment-based generation of virtual sialic acid databases against influenza A hemagglutinin. J Mol Model., 16 (5), 975-991.
  42. Al-qattan, M.N., Mordi, M.N. (2010) Docking of sialic acid analogues against influenza A hemagglutinin : A correlational study between experimentally measured and computationally estimated affinities. J Mol Model., 16 (5), 1047-1058

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Centre for Drug Research,
Universiti Sains Malaysia,
11800 USM, Penang, Malaysia.
Tel : +604-658 3444/ +604-653 3888 Ext. 3272  |   Faks : +604-656 8669
E-mail :  dir_cdr@usm.my