Prof. E. Dilip de Silva

Senior Professor of Organic Chemistry, Chair in Organic Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Natural Products Reserch Group 2015-2016

We have a group of talented and motivated researchers including doctoral students, masters students and undergraduates.

Endophytic Fungi

Endophytic Fungi lives within a plant for at least part of its life. They are capable of producing medicinaly importnat secondary metabolites.

Marine Algae

Sri Lanka being a tropical country provide habitats to a large number of marine algae. Secondary metabolites isolated from marine algae have shown a high level of pharmacological potential.


In bio-assay guided fractionation bio-assays are conducted against clinically important bacteria and fungi in each step of purification of extracts.



Please visit Prof. Dilip de Silva’s ResearchGate profile to see an up to date list of publications. Link

44. Solanioic Acid, an Antibacterial Degraded Steroid Produced in Culture by the Fungus Rhizoctonia solani Isolated from Tubers of the Medicinal Plant Cyperus rotundus, P. B. Ratnaweera, D. E. Williams, B. O. Patrick, E. D. de Silva,* and R. J. Andersen* Org. Lett., 2015, 17 (9), 2074–2077

43. Antimicrobial activities of endophytic fungi obtained from the arid zone invasive plant Opuntia dillenii and the isolation of equisetin, from endophytic Fusarium sp. P. B. Ratnaweera, E. D. de Silva*, D. E. Williams and R. J. Andersen, BMC Complement Altern. Med., 2015, 15, 220, doi:10.1186/s12906-015-0722-4

42. Dhilirolides E–N, Meroterpenoids Produced in Culture by the Fungus Penicillium purpurogenum Collected in Sri Lanka: Structure Elucidation, Stable Isotope Feeding Studies, and Insecticidal Activity, R. M. Centko, D. E. Williams, B. O. Patrick, Yasmin Akhtar, M. A. G. Chavez, Y. A. Wang, M. B. Isman, E. D. de Silva, and R. J. Andersen, J. Org. Chem., 2014, 79 (8), 3327–3335.

41. Inhibition of phagocytic and intracellular killing activity of human neutrophils by aqueous and methanolic leaf extracts of Ixora coccinea, R. Wickramasinghea, R.R. Kumaraa, , E. D. De Silva, W.D. Ratnasooriyac, and S. Handunnetti, J. Ethnopharmacol., 2014, 153(3), 900–907.

40. Helvolic acid, an antibacterial nortriterpenoid from a fungal endophyte, Xylaria sp. of orchid Anoectochilus setaceus endemic to Sri Lanka, P. B. Ratnaweera, D. E. Williams, E. D. de Silva,∗ R. L.C. Wijesundera, D. S. Dalisay, and R. J. Andersen, Mycology. 2014, 5(1), 23–28.

39. Dhilirolides A – D, Meroterpenoids Produced in Culture by the Fruit-infecting fungus Penicillium purpurogenum Collected in Sri Lanka, E.D. de Silva, D.E. Williams, D.R. Jayanetti, R.M. Centiko, B.O. Patrick, R.L.C. Wijesundera and R.J. Andersen, Org. Lett., 2011, 13 (5), 1174-1177.

38. A Comparison of the Cytotoxic  potential of standardized aqueous and ethanolic extracts of polyherbal mixture comprised of Nigella sativa(seeds),Hemidesmus indicus(root) and Similax glabra(rhizome), S.R. Samarakoon, I Thabrew, P.B. Galhena, E. D. de Silva, K.H. Tennekoon, Pharmacognosy Research, 2010, 2 (6), 335 – 342

37. Isolation of 2-Pyridone Alkaloids from a New Zealand Marine-Derived Penicillium species, E.D. de Silva, A. Geiermann, M.I. Mitova, P. Kuegler, J.W. Blunt, A.L.J. Cole and M.H.G. Munro, J. Nat. Prod. 2009, 72, 477 – 479

36. Oppositines A and B, Sesquiterpene Pyridine Alkaloids from a Sri Lankan Pleurostylia opposita, E.L. Whitson, S.M.V. Damayanthi Mala, C.A. Veltri, T. S. Bugni, E.D. de Silva and C.M. Ireland, J. Nat. Prod. 2006, 69, 1833 – 1835

35. Lanostane Triterpenoids from the Sri Lankan Basidiomycete Ganoderma applanatum, E.D. de Silva, S.A. van der Sar, R.G.L. Santha, R.L.C. Wijesundera, A.L.J. Cole, J.W. Blunt and M.H.G. Munro, J. Nat. Prod. 2006, 69, 1245 – 1248

34. Lanostane-Type Triterpenoids from the Fungus Ganoderma applanatum Collected in Sri Lanka, E.D. de Silva, R.G.L. Santha, R.L.C. Wijesundera, A.L. Cole, J. Blunt, M.G.H. Munro in Herbal Medicine, Phytopharmaceuticals and other natural products: Trends and Advances, L.S.R. Arambewela, S. Wimalasena, N. Gunawardena, Eds; Centre for Science and Technology of the Non-Aligned and other Developing countries (NAM S & T Centre): New Delhi, India and Institute of   Chemistry, Ceylon, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2006, pp 233 – 237

33. β-Orcinol depsidones from the Lichen Usnea sp. from Sri Lanka, S. Kathirgamanathar, D.E. Williams, R.J. Andersen, K. Bombuwela, Dilip de Silva and V. Karunaratne, Natural Products Research 2005, 19(7), 695 – 701

32. Trends and Shifts in Institutional Productivity: Natural Products Chemistry Research in Sri lanka, G. Yapa, M.A.T de Silva and E.D. de Silva, Research Evaluation 2004, 13(3), 167 – 174

31. Anticancer Agents from Unique Product Sources, Chris M. Ireland , William Aalbersberg , Raymond J. Andersen , Semiramis Ayral-Kaloustian , Roberto G.S. Berlinck , Valerie Bernan , Guy Carter , Alice C.L. Churchill , Jon Clardy , Gisela P. Concepcion , Dilip E. De Silva , Carolyn Discafani, Tito Fojo , Philip Frost , Donna Gibson , Lee M. Greenberger, Michael Greenstein , Mary Kay Harper, Robert Mallon , Frank Loganzo , Maria Nunes , Marianne S. Poruchynsky , Arie Zask, Pharmaceutical Biology 2003, 41 (supplement I) 15 – 38

30. Interactive Peer Review as a Productive Evaluation Process, M.A.T. de Silva, G. Yapa and E.D. de Silva, Research Evaluation 2002, 11(3), 119 – 128

29. An Association between the Butterfly Talicada nyseus and the Lichen Leproloma     sipmanianum as Evidenced from Chemical Studies, V. Karunaratne, K. Bombuwela, S. Kathirgamanathar, V. Kumar, D.N. Karunaratne, K.B.Ranawana, D.S.A. Wijesundara, A. Weerasooriya and E.D. de Silva, Current Science, 2002, 83(6), 741 – 745

28. Rosmarinic acid and methyl rosmarinate from Heliotropium indicum, S.A. Deraniyagala, D.G. Udugamasooriya, E.D. de Silva, D.E. Williams and R. J. Andersen, J. Trop. Med. Plants, 2002, 3 (01), 25

27. Synthetic Transformations of the Eleutherobin Reveal New Features of its Microtubule-Stabilizing Phamacophore, R. Britton, E. D. de Silva, C. M. Bigg, L. M. McHardy, M. Roberge and R. J. Andersen, J. Am. Chem  Soc. 2001, 123, 8632-8633

26. Papuamides A – D, HIV-Inhibitory and Cytotoxic Depsipeptides from the Sponge Theonella mirabilis and Theonella swinhoei Collected in Papua New Guinea, P.W. Ford, K.R. Gustafson, T.C. McKee, N. Shigematsu, L.K. Maurizi, L.K. Pannell, D.E. Williams, E.D. de Silva, P. Lassota, T.M. Allen, R. Van Soest, R.J. Andersen and M. R. Boyd, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1999, 121, 5899 – 5909

25. Ambewalamides A and B, Antineoplastic Epidithiapiperazinediones Isolated from the Lichen Usnea sp., D.E. Williams, K. Bombuwala, E. Lobkovsky, E.D. de Silva, V. Karunaratne, T. Allen, J. Clardy and R.J. Andersen, Tetrahedron Lett. 1998, 39, 9579 – 9582

24. Cytotoxic Alkaloids from the Flatworm Prostheceraeus villatus and its prey Clavellina lepidiformis, J.M. Kubanek, D.E. Williams, E.D. de Silva, T.M. Allen and R.J. Andersen, Tetrahedron Lett. 1995, 36 (35), 6189 – 6192

23. Cytotoxic Peptides from the Marine Sponge Cymbastela sp., J.E. Coleman, E.D. de Silva, F. Kong, R.J. Andersen and T.M. Allen, Tetrahedron 1995, 51 (39), 10653 – 10662

22. New Natural Products from Marine Invertebrates, R.J. Andersen, D.L. Burgoyne, D.E. Williams, F. Kong, E.D. de Silva, S. Miao, T.M. Allen, C.F.B. Holmes, D. Chen and M. Kent, Gazzeta Chimmica Italiana 1993, 123, 293 – 299

21. Trididemnic Acids A and B, Aromatic Alkaloids from the Norteastern Pacific Ascidian Trididemnum sp., E.D. de Silva, S. Miao, R.J. Andersen and J. Clardy, Tetrahedron Lett. 1992, 333, 2917 – 2920

20. Motuporin, A Potent Protein Phosphatase Inhibitor Isolated from the Papua New Guinea Sponge Theonella swinhoei Gray, E.D. de Silva, D.E. Williams, R.J. Andersen, Heide Klixe, C.F.B. Holmes and T.M. Allen, Tetrahedron Lett. 1992, 33, 1561 – 1564

19. Neamphine, a Cytotoxic Sulfur Containing Aromatic Heterocycle, Isolated from the Marine Sponge Neamphius huxlei, E.D. de Silva, J. Racock, R.J. Andersen, T.M. Allen, J. Clardy and L. Brinen, Tetrahedron Lett. 1991, 32, 2707 –2710

18. Chromodorane Diterpenes from the Tropical Dorid Nudibranch Chromodoris cavae, S.A. Morris, E.D. de Silva and R.J. Andersen, Can. J. Chem. 1991, 69, 768 – 771

17. Terpenoid Metabolites from Skin Extracts of Four Sri Lankan Nudibranchs in the Genus Chromodoris, E.D. de Silva, S.A. Morris, S. Miao, E. Dumdei and R.J. Andersen, J. Nat. Products 1991, 54, 993 – 997

16.Antimicrobial Constituents of a Sponge-Nudibranch Pair from Sri Lanka, N.K. Gulavita, P.J. Scheuer and E.D. de Silva, Bioactive Compounds from Marine Organisms, Eds. Thompson, R. Sarojini and R. Nagabhushanan, Oxford and IBH Publishing Computer. Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi 1991, 229 – 233

15. Geographical Variation in Defensive Chemicals from Pacific Coast Dorid Nudibranchs and Some Related Marine Molluscs, D.J. Faulkner, T.F. Molinski, R.J. Andersen, E.J. Dumdei and E.D. de Silva, Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 1990, 97C, 233 – 240

14. Terpenoids from Selected Marine Invertebrates, R.J. Andersen, E.D. de Silva, E.J. Dumdei, P.T. Northcote, C. Pathirana amd M. Tishler, Recent Advances in Phytochemistry (24) Biochemistry of Mevalonic Acid Pathway to Terpenoids 1990, Ed. G.H.N. Towers and H.A. Stafford, 265 – 282

13. Geodiamolides C to F, New Cytotoxic Cyclodepsipeptides from the Marine Sponge Pseudaxina sp., E.D. de Silva, R.J. Andersen and T.M. Allen, Tetrahedron Lett. 1990, 31, 489 – 492

12. Xanthyletin and Xanthoxyletin from a Gorgonian Echinogorgia sp., L.M.V. Tillekeratne, E.D. de Silva, M.P.D. Mahindaratne, F.J. Schmitz, S.P. Gunesekera and P. Alderslade, J. Nat. Products 1989, 52, 1303 – 1304

11. Chromodoralide A, A Rearranged Diterpene with a New Carbon Skeleton from an Indian Ocean Chromodoridae, E.J. Dumdei, E.D. de Silva, R.J. Anedrsen, M.I. Choudhary and J. Clardy, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1989, 111, 2712 – 2713

10. Lankalapuol A and B: Two cis-Eudesmanes from Sea Hare Aplysia dactylomela, B. Baker, L.Ratnepala, M.P.D. Mahindaratne, E.D. de Silva, L.M.V. Tillekeratne, J.H. Jeong, P.J. Scheuer and K. Seff, Tetrahedron 1988, 44, 4695 – 4701

9. Chemistry of Marine Organisms of Sri Lanka: Lipid and Triterpenoid Constituents of an Unidentified Holothurian, B.M.R. Bandara, A.A.L. Gunathilaka, S.D.G.S. Samaranayake, E.D. de Silva and L.M.V. Tillekeratne, J. Natn. Sci. Coun. Sri Lanka 1987, 15(1), 101 – 108

8. Nitrogen Bisaboline Sesquiterpenoids from Marine Invertebrates, N.K. Gulavita, E.D. de Silva, M.R. Hagoden, P.Karuso, P.J. Scheuer, G,D. VanDuyne and J. Clardy, J. Org. Chem. 1986, 5136 – 5137

7. Effects of Extracts of Some Sri Lanka Alcyonacean Soft Corals on the Motility of Rat Sperm in vitro, G.K. Liyanage, D.W. Ratnesooriya, L.M.V. Tillekeratne, M. Mahendron and E.D. de Silva, IRCS Med. Sci. 1986, 721 – 722

6. The Structure Determination of a New Cembranoid Diterpene from the Soft Coral Lobophytum cristigalli (Coelenterata, Octocorollia, Alcyonacea), B.F. Bowden, J.C. Coll, M.S.L. de Costa, M.F. Makay, M. Mahendron, E.D. de Silva and R.H. Willis, Aust. J. Chem. 1984, 37, 545 –552

5. Studies of Australian Soft Corals xxxi:  Novel Furanosesquiterpenes from Several Sinularian Soft Corals (Coelenterata, Octocorallia, Alcyonacea), B.F. Bowden, J.C. Coll, E.D. de Silva, M.S.L. de Costa, P.J. Djura, M. Mahendron and D.M. Tapiolas, Aust. J. Chem. 1983, 36, 371 – 376

4. Srilankenyne, A New Metabolite from the Sea Hare Aplysia oculifera, E.D. de Silva, R.E. Schwartz, P.J. Scheuer and J.N. Shoolery, J. Org. Chem. 1983, 48, 395-396

3. Furanoterpenoids from the Dorid Nudibranch Cassella atromarginata, E.D. de Silva and P.J. Scheuer, Heterocycles 1982, 17, 167 – 170

2. Three New Sesterterpenoid Antibiotics from the Marine Sponge Luffariella variabilis (Polejaffe), E.D. de Silva and P.J. Scheuer, Tetrahedron  Lett. 1981, 22, 3147 – 3150

1. Manoalide, An Antibiotic Sesterterpenoid from the Marine Sponge Luffariella variabilis (Polejaffe), E.D. de Silva and P.J. Scheuer, Tetrahedron Lett. 1980, 21, 1611 – 1614