Natural Products Center to Host Ninth International Conference on Botanicals

OXFORD, Miss. – More than 250 scientists from around the world plan to gather in Oxford next week to discuss medicinal plants and dietary supplements at the ninth annual Oxford International Conference on the Science of Botanicals.

The April 12-15 event at the Oxford Conference Center is hosted by the University of Mississippi’s National Center for Natural Products Research, which works to build an alliance of academia, government and the pharmaceutical industry to integrate research and commercialization of potentially useful natural products.

As part of the symposium, delegates for health and family welfare in the government of India will share information on that country’s policy support. Malcolm Frazier, Southeast regional food and drug director for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, will also speak on regulatory developments.

Norman Farnsworth, program director of collaborative research in the pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is keynote speaker for the opening ceremony. Farnsworth, who is also a research professor in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy at UI-Chicago, is to address the trials and tribulations of planning and conducting a Phase 2 clinical trial with the plants black cohosh and red clover.

The purpose of the conference is to review, discuss and explore methods for determining the identity, purity, quality and processing of plants.

“This conference is providing a great platform to bring scientists and regulators together from around the world for the betterment of traditional medicine and dietary supplements,” said Ikhlas A. Khan, assistant director of NCNPR and program director for the center’s FDA Center of Excellence for Botanical Dietary Supplement Research. “We are proud to host such an event every year that serves the global community.”

“The International Conference on the Science of Botanicals is an opportunity for both scientists and other interested parties to come together and learn about research being conducted in the field all over the world,” said Larry Walker, NCNPR director.

“We’re pleased that the university continues to host this unique event as it has for the past eight years.”

Topic areas include authentication, cultivation, collection and post-harvest practices for producing quality botanical plant material and incorporating chemical and toxicological methods for quality/safety assessment that are required for the preclinical evaluation of botanicals.

This year’s conference is co-sponsored by the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition with the FDA, the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica/Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-India, the Ministry of Indigenous Medicine-Sri Lanka, the American Society of Pharmacognosy and the Society for Medicinal Plant Research-GA.

Based in the UM School of Pharmacy, NCNPR is the nation’s only university research center devoted to improving human health and agricultural productivity through the discovery, development and commercialization of pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals derived from plants, marine organisms and other natural sources.

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