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Nepenthes Research in Bioanalytical Chemistry


Nepenthes distillatoria


The NECPS was approached by laboratory from Northeastern University in 2008 to help cultivate nepenthesin from Nepenthes distillatoria plants.

Nepenthesin helps a tropical pitcher plant digest prey similar to how pepsin helps humans digest protein.

The long term goal of this research is to use nepenthesin, instead of pepsin, to help analyze HIV proteins in order to gain additional information about their folding dynamics. This information has the potential to be used in drug development.

The goal is for a person with HIV to lead an otherwise long and healthy life without ever having the symptoms of AIDS.

Please contact Dave Sackett at for more information on this project.

More volunteers from the NECPS are wanted to help grow Nepenthes distillatoria to improve the production of nepenthesin.

For more information on the project visit the project website at