Marijuana Project Head to Deliver Pharmacy School’s Waller Lecture

Mahmoud ElSohly will speak about marijuana project founder Coy W. Waller

Mahmoud ElSohly

OXFORD, Miss. – Mahmoud ElSohly, director of the University of Mississippi’s Marijuana Project, will deliver the School of Pharmacy’s 15th Coy W. Waller Distinguished Lecture at 11 a.m. Friday (Oct. 19) at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

The lecture series was established in 2004 to recognize the founder of UM’s marijuana cultivation program and former director of the pharmacy school’s Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Coy W. Waller. ElSohly’s talk, “Building on the Legacy of Coy Waller at Ole Miss,” will celebrate Waller’s vision for the Marijuana Project and expand on research developments.

“I think Coy would be pleased about the progress we’ve made on his research projects to continue his legacy,” ElSohly said.

ElSohly assisted with Waller’s research for several years before Waller retired in 1979. Two of Waller’s major research contributions were the study of cannabinoids to treat glaucoma and working to formulate a natural remedy for poison ivy.

“Coy Waller had an ambitious vision for the pharmacy school and its Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences that informs much of the research we conduct today,” said David D. Allen, dean of the School of Pharmacy.

ElSohly received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Cairo University in Egypt, and his doctorate in 1975 from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. He joined UM in 1975 and has directed its Marijuana Project since 1981.

He has more than 40 years’ experience working with the isolation of natural products, most notably, secondary metabolites in cannabis, as well as synthetic, analytical and forensic chemistry. He has more than 30 patents and over 300 publications related to these disciplines.

The School of Pharmacy and its National Center for Natural Products Research are hosting the event, which is free and open to the public.

Cannabis plants thrive in the indoor grow room of the UM Marijuana Project. Photo by Sydney Slotkin DuPriest/School of Pharmacy

“I am pleased we can honor Dr. Waller in this way while highlighting the ways in which his work is continued at the National Center for Natural Products Research and the school,” said Ikhlas Khan, the center’s director.