Natural Products Center to Host Eighth International Conference on Botanicals

OXFORD, Miss. – More than 250 scientists from around the world plan to gather in Oxford April 6-9 to discuss medicinal plants and dietary supplements at the eighth annual Oxford International Conference on the Science of Botanicals.

The event at the Oxford Conference Center is hosted by the University of Mississippi’s National Center for Natural Products Research. Before the opening ceremony, a presentation is scheduled on launching the Center for Research in Indian Systems of Medicine, or CRISM.

As part of the symposium, S. Jalaja, secretary of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoepathy, will share information on the AYUSH-Indian perspective, formal launching of the CRISM  Web site and policy support of the Government of India. Twelve scientists and delegates will accompany Jalaja.

The opening ceremony will include a presentation by the Honorable Tissa Karaliyadde, Minister of Indigenous Medicine in Sri Lanka. He will be accompanied by a delegation of scientists from Sri Lanka.

Keynote speaker Norman Farnsworth, a research professor in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy at the University of Illinois-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 one of a kind in North America where eminent scientists from the international community come together to discuss the issues related to botanicals and to improve the safety and quality of botanical products based on scientific knowledge,” said Ikhlas A. Khan, assistant director of NCNPR and program director for the Center’s Food and Drug Administration’s Center of Excellence for Botanical Dietary Supplement Research.

“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 seven 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.

Part of the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, the 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.

For more information on the conference, go to /.  For more information on research at NCNPR, go to . For more information on AYUSH, go to /. For more information on CRISM, go to .