UM Professor Honored by Czech University for Research Contributions

Samir Ross receives Silver Medal from Brno University in recognition of natural products research

Samir Ross displays his silver medal from faculty in the Czech Republic.

OXFORD, Miss. – Samir Ross, professor of pharmacognosy and research professor in the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Mississippi, was recently awarded a Silver Medal from the University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno in the Czech Republic.

The highest award given by the faculty of pharmacy at the university, the medal is awarded to researchers and scientists who have contributed greatly to the area of natural products research. Ross traveled to the Czech Republic June 4-11 to accept the prestigious award.

“I was recognized for my research in the area of isolation, identification and biological evaluation of secondary metabolites obtained from natural sources,” Ross said. “These included plants, macro- and microfungi, endophytes and marine organisms. I’ve been working in this area for almost four decades.”

While visiting Brno University, Ross presented two seminars on anti-infective agents from plants, mushrooms and endophytes, and one other titled “Cannabis: Old plant, new chemistry and new potential activities.”

Over the course of his career, Ross has produced more than 200 publications and owns 11 patents related to his research. His other awards include a Gold Medal presented in 2012 by Kazakh National Medical University in Kazakhstan.

Larry Walker, director of the National Center for Natural Products Research, said that Ross has contributed greatly to the training of students and development of research programs in natural products research at several international universities.

“He is known here for his pioneering work on marijuana,” Walker said. “For years, he has worked with Dr. Mahmoud ElSohly and isolated dozens of new compounds from Cannabis. He also worked on several antiviral, anti-tuberculosis and anti-inflammatory components from mushrooms.”

Walker said that Ross’ award evidences international collaboration, which is important to the success of UM programs.

“This amplifies our program’s recognition and prestige,” he said. “We have a growing number of trainees coming from around the world, supported by funding from their governments, who make contributions to our research efforts and often extend our collaborations internationally.”

Ross credits the university for supporting his research.

“The School of Pharmacy and the National Center for Natural Products Research gave me a tremendous amount of support for my research,” he said. “They supported me financially as well as through encouragement. They offer me all the facilities needed to carry out my research, and I am very thankful for their support.”

By Erin Garrett