Pharmacy Researcher Honored with National Research Excellence Award


Ikhlas A. Khan

Miss. – Ikhlas A. Khan, professor of pharmacognosy and assistant
director of the National Center for Natural Products Research at the
University of Mississippi, has been honored with the 2009 Norman
Farnsworth Excellence in Botanical Research Award.

Director of
the natural products center’s FDA research program, Khan is the first
UM faculty member to receive the award, presented annually by the
American Botanical Council.

“I was really surprised,” Khan said.
“I was not expecting it so soon in my career. I am honored and humbled
to receive this prestigious award named for Norman Farnsworth, whom I
admire and respect and who is legendary in the field of pharmacology
and natural products.

“It is also a very personal honor to follow behind last year’s recipient, Professor Hildebert Wagner, under whom I received my doctorate. This is certainly a high point in my career.”

Khan was named the honoree at the Fourth Annual American Botanical Celebration in Anaheim, Calif. Farnsworth, co-founding trustee of the American Botanical Council, is to personally present the award April 6 during the International Conference on the Science of Botanicals in Oxford.

Khan is well deserving of this prestigious award, said Mahmoud Elsohly, UM professor of pharmaceutics and research professor at NCNPR.

“He has truly made a tremendous impact in the areas of dietary supplements and plant-based natural products, particularly in their identification and standardization,” Elsohly said. “He has brought recognition to our (National) Center for Natural Products Research on both the national and international levels.”

For more than eight years, Khan has led a team of scientists in testing, analyzing and authenticating botanical materials used in dietary supplements for more than eight years under an agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. He is also coordinator for natural products research in the university’s Center for Water and Wetland Resources.

Khan joined the UM faculty in 1992 as a research assistant professor in the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He was named the 2001 NCNPR Researcher of the Year and received the International Society for Horticultural Science Award for Meritorious Service in 2005 and the UM School of Pharmacy’s Cumberland Pharmaceuticals Inc. Faculty Research Award for 2007-08.

He frequently lectures on the science of botanicals at international conferences and meetings, and has published more than 300 articles and papers on his work. Besides his UM appointments, Khan also is director of Sino-US TCM Research Center, director of the Center for Research of Indian Systems of Medicine and adjunct professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is co-editor of Planta Medica and a foreign editor for Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

A division of the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 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 products. For more information, go to .