Recently, six of NCCAM’s outstanding natural products research grantees were invited to present posters following the 2012 Stephen E. Straus Distinguished Lecture in the Science of Complementary Health Therapies delivered by David Kingston, Ph.D. Their research presentations were a small sample of the importance and scientific merit of natural products research supported by NCCAM, and they complemented Dr. Kingston’s talk. The research covers a wide array of topics including ethnobotanicals, endophytic bacteria, and mechanisms of action of natural products.
- Joanna Burdette, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, presented her studies on phytoestrogens commonly employed for menopausal symptoms and whether the incorporation of progestins and phytoprogestins may also help to prevent hyperplasia and uterine cancers.
- Nadja Cech, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, described her most recent findings related to the efficacy of the components of a popular botanical Echinacea purpurea that is widely used against Influenza A infections.
- Julian Hurdle, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Texas in Arlington, relayed his current findings on the effects of a probiotic-derived compound’s ability to treat serious Clostridium difficile infections.
- David Pasco, Ph.D., professor in the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi, shared his progress in the isolation and understanding of immune function stimulators isolated from endophytic bacteria.
- Cassandra Quave, Ph.D., junior scientist at Emory University, illustrated her progress in developing plant-based therapies against antibiotic-resistant Staphylococccus aureus nosocomial infections.
- Donald Senger, Ph.D., principal associate professor in the Department of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, presented his work on the mechanism and prevention of tissue ischemia by molecular components obtained from the plant extracts of Barleria lupulina.
The poster presentations were well received by the NIH scientific community.