Renowned Pharmacognosist to Present Waller Lecture

A. Douglas Kinghorn returns to Ole Miss to discuss collaborative pharmaceutical research

A. Douglas Kinghorn

A. Douglas Kinghorn

OXFORD, Miss. – A. Douglas Kinghorn, professor and Jack L. Beal Chair in Natural Products Chemistry and Pharmacognosy at the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy, will deliver the 2014 Coy W. Waller Distinguished Lecture at the University of Mississippi.

The lecture, “Pharmacognosy as a Collaborative Pharmaceutical Science,” is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday (Nov. 21) in the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts. The pharmacy school and its Department of BioMolecular Sciences are hosting the free public event.

“I plan to point out in my talk that the discovery of new drugs and other interesting biologically active compounds from organisms such as plants, microbes and marine animals can most effectively be studied by scientists working in collaborative groups,” Kinghorn said. “This field of inquiry has a very promising future.”

Kinghorn received degrees in pharmacy, forensic science and pharmacognosy from the universities of Bradford, Strathclyde and London in the United Kingdom. He performed postdoctoral work at UM and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Kinghorn remembers his time at Ole Miss fondly.

“I worked for Dr. Norman Doorenbos, who at that time (1975) was professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacognosy,” he said. “From a professional perspective, I found my year at Ole Miss to be very valuable, since not only did I learn several new research techniques, but also I was given considerable independence to work on some grayanotoxins from rhododendron species that affect membrane sodium permeability.”

The recipient of numerous professional awards, Kinghorn has published more than 500 research articles, reviews and book chapters. His research interests are on the isolation, characterization and biological evaluation of natural products of higher plants of tropical and temperate origin. He has worked on antimicrobials, botanical dietary supplements, cancer chemopreventive agents, cancer chemotherapeutic agents and noncariogenic sweeteners and sweetness modifiers.

Kinghorn retains strong connections to the university, despite leaving Oxford some 40 years ago. He has recently served with Stephen J. Cutler, chair of the Department of BioMolecular sciences, on an external advisory committee for the Center of Research Excellence in Natural Products Neuroscience. His wife, Helen, will join him on his trip back to Ole Miss.

“We were married on July 17, 1976 at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church,” Kinghorn said. “Helen has never been back to Mississippi since we left for Chicago shortly after getting married, so she is very excited to be accompanying me when I will give this special lecture.”

Cutler said he is thrilled that Kinghorn accepted the invitation to present.

“Dr. Kinghorn is a highly distinguished researcher and his lecture will be fitting for our annual recognition of Coy Waller’s great legacy,” Cutler said.

The Coy W. Waller Distinguished Lecture series was established in 2004 to recognize the former Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences director’s contributions to the field of pharmaceutics and to the pharmacy school. Each year, a department within the school hosts the lecture, and lecturers are selected for their contributions to the host department’s discipline.

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