Marine biota: a ripe resource for effective, new drugs

Published 16 January, 2024

Dear Colleagues,

Water covers over three-quarters of the Earth’s surface and provides natural habitats for a wide range of living organisms with different physiological adaptations. The marine environment harbors more than 80% of the world’s biodiversity; however, research on these marine organisms remains scarce and largely unexplored.

The genetic diversity within the aquatic system yields a rich chemical diversity, giving rise to novel bioactive natural products that possess unique structural and chemical properties not found in terrestrial species. These products, including small molecules and peptides, hold immense potential for new drug development. Furthermore, the aquatic ecosystem not only offers abundant ecological resources but also serves as a reliable tool for identifying new cellular targets suitable for therapeutic intervention. Aquatic model organisms facilitate rapid screening and characterization of novel bioactive compounds and their pharmacological targets/mechanisms. Given the vast array of organisms and unexplored aspects of aquatic life, the possibilities for discovering new drug candidates from marine biota are vast.

From a multidisciplinary perspective, the topic “Marine biota: a ripe resource for effective, new drugs” provides an up-to-date overview of drug discovery from marine resources and through aquatic organisms, with a focus on intelligent exploitation of marine resources using traditional or emerging techniques. Papers addressing the bioactivity and safety of aquatic products, as well as those exploring pharmacology, pathology, immunology, and biomedical research related to aquatic organisms, are welcome.

By Prof. Simon Ming-yuen Lee, Prof. John P. Giesy, Prof. Guangyi Fan, Prof. Mourad A. M. Aboul-Soud, Dr. Guiyi Gong, Prof. Seongjin Hong

Guest Editors


Aquatic organisms, natural products, peptides, medaka, zebrafish, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, drug development, omics.

Important deadlines

Submission close: 30th December 2024

Expected time to first decision: 4 weeks after submission

Open access (OA) fee: Waived

Submission instructions

Please read the Guide for Authors before submitting. All submissions should be made via the online editorial system.

Guest Editors

Prof. Simon Ming-yuen Lee


Department of Food Science and Nutrition, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China

Prof. John P. Giesy


Emeritus Distinguished Professor  & Former Canada Research Chair in Environmental Toxicology

Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, Toxicology Program Faculty, Toxicology Centre, University of Saskatchewan

Prof. Zhenbin Wu


Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, China

Prof. Guangyi Fan


BGI Research, Shenzhen, China

Prof. Mourad A. M. Aboul-Soud


Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences
College of Applied Medical Sciences
King Saud University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Dr. Guiyi Gong


Department of Food Science and Nutrition, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China

Prof. Seongjin Hong


Department of Marine Environmental Science, Chungnam National University, South Korea

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