Department of BioMolecular Sciences
The University of Mississippi

Dr. Jordan K. Zjawiony

Posted on: August 27th, 2014 by akhayes
Professor Emeritus of Pharmacognosy


  • Ph.D. Technical University of Lodz, Poland 1974
  • M.Sc. Technical University of Lodz, Poland 1965
  • B.S. Technical University of Lodz, Poland 1965


  • Professor Emeritus of Pharmacognosy

Career Highlights:

Dr. Zjawiony received his B.S. and M.Sc. in Chemistry from the Technical University of Lodz, Poland in 1965, and the Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in 1974 from the same University. He joined the Institute of Organic Chemistry of the Technical University in Lodz in 1965 as a Research Assistant to become later in 1968 a Senior Research Assistant. In 1975 he was promoted to Assistant Professor at the same Institute. In 1978 he came to the United States as a Postdoctoral Fellow, under the Fogarty International Fellowship to work in the area of beta-adrenergic antagonists in the Gerontology Research Center, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1988 he was awarded the Fulbright Grant for a research project in the field of new cardiovascular drugs, which was performed in the United States. In 1989 he joined The University of Mississippi, where he became Associate Professor of Pharmacognosy and Research Associate Professor in the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1992. In 1999 he was promoted to Professor of Pharmacognosy and Research Professor in the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences.


Dr. Zjawiony’s main research interest is focused on natural product chemistry with emphasis on compounds isolated from psychoactive plants and fungi and their interactions with CNS receptors.

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Research in Progress

Dr. Zjawiony’s main research interest is focused on natural products chemistry of biologically active constituents of psychoactive plants and fungi. The strong emphasis in current research is placed on discovery and development of new kappa-opioid ligands from hallucinogenic plants. Dr. Zjawiony’s research group is developing new derivatives and analogs of salvinorin A, the major active component of hallucinogenic plant Salvia divinorum. Salvinorin A is the first known non-alkaloidal kappa-opioid receptor agonist with potency equal to the synthetic hallucinogen, LSD. Chemical modifications of the structure of salvinorin A may provide new ligands to kappa-opioid receptor, especially new antagonists that may serve as models for the development of new drugs for CNS disorders.

Another project in progress is oriented toward the synthesis of aplysinopsin analogs as new agents interacting with serotonin receptors. This work originated from a natural product aplysinopsin isolated from marine sponges. Synthesis of new analogs of this natural product produces compounds with selective affinity to to 5HT2A and 5HT2C subtypes of serotonin receptors responsible for controlling depression and obesity, respectively.

Dr. Zjawiony is involved in several collaborative projects such as synthesis and identification of new affinity ligands to kappa-opioid receptors (with Dr Bryan Roth, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), pharmacology of natural products from psychoactive plants and fungi (with Dr. Raffaele Capasso, University of Naples, Italy), identification of bioactive secondary metabolites from mushrooms (with Dr. Krzysztof Grzywnowicz, M. Curie-Sklodowska University, Lublin, Poland), and steroidogenesis and neuroendocrinology of the skin and connective tissue (with Dr. Andrzej Slominski, University of Tennessee in Memphis).

Search Dr. Zjawiony‘s publications