NCCIH’s natural products portfolio represents roughly half of our overall extramural funding, so we’re fortunate to be able to host events featuring exciting research in the arena.
On Monday, June 12, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. ET, we will welcome Dr. Roger Linington to Lipsett Amphitheatre on the NIH campus to speak on “Integrating Chemical and Biological Profiling for the Functional Annotation of Complex Natural Product Mixtures.” His lecture, part of NCCIH’s Integrative Medicine Research Lecture Series, is open to the public and will be streamed and archived online at videocast.nih.gov. Registration is not needed.
Dr. Linington is associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Canada Research Chair in High-Throughput Screening and Chemical Biology at Simon Fraser University, in British Columbia, Canada. As co-principal investigator of the Center for High-throughput Functional Annotation of Natural Products, one of two Centers for Advancing Natural Products Innovation and Technology (CANPIT) jointly funded by NCCIH and the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, he and his group are developing new methods for unbiased chemical characterization of natural product mixtures. They have also been creating new informatics tools to relate the presence or absence of specific metabolites to observations of biological phenotypes in profiling assays. Together, these systems provide a broad perspective on the biological roles of all metabolites in complex samples.
- At the June 2 meeting of the National Advisory Council on Complementary and Integrative Health, we hosted four speakers, selected from among principal investigators of NCCIH research centers, in a session called “Moving the Needle in Natural Products Research: Where Are We? What Are the Next Steps?” We had a number of exciting projects that we could have chosen from to demonstrate the great work being supported in this area. We decided to focus on our natural product centers, which are the flagship programs NCCIH currently supports in natural products research.
- Dr. Richard van Breemen, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Pharmacy, discussed the history of the Botanical Center at his institution and its influence on commercial and research sectors. Its focus is the safety and mechanisms of action of botanicals used by American women to maintain health and quality of life, especially during menopause.
- Dr. John MacMillan represented our CANPIT at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas. His team is pushing the envelope by developing exciting new tools using high-throughput phenotypic assays to help assign mechanisms of action for natural products in an unbiased fashion.
- Dr. Mary Paine, Washington State University College of Pharmacy, Spokane, co-leads our Center of Excellence for Natural Product-Drug Interaction Research. Dr. Paine’s work addresses an important priority area for NCCIH and includes development of clear guidelines for research in this topic area in order to establish the clinical relevance of interactions.
- Dr. Guido Pauli presented on our CANPIT at University of Illinois at Chicago, which seeks to coordinate and disseminate knowledge and good research practices across the natural products community as a way to avoid some of the traps, including nonspecific biological activity, associated with frequently-identified natural products such as curcumin.
Our Council meetings are not videocast, but you can find out more about these centers in the links above and in minutes that will be posted shortly after the next Council meeting in October.