National Center for Natural Products Research

The University of Mississippi

National Center for Natural Products Research News

April 2018

Botanical Experts Gather in Oxford for International Conference

John Finley at ICSBApril 13, 2018

OXFORD, Miss. – Scientists and visitors from around the globe gathered in Oxford this week (April 9-12) for the 18th annual International Conference on the Science of Botanicals.

Organized and hosted by the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, the conference welcomed 280 registrants from universities, government and business institutions who explored the topic of synergy between natural products and human health. Participants discussed current research topics related to natural products research, development, safety, quality and regulations.

Read more: “Botanical Experts Gather in Oxford for International Conference”


March 2018

NCNPR Scientist Honored for Cannabis Research

Suman ChandraMarch 14, 2018

OXFORD, Miss. – Suman Chandra, senior research scientist in the National Center for Natural Products Research, was honored with an Outstanding Scientist Award at the International Conference on Recent Advances in Agriculture and Horticulture Sciences in New Delhi, India.

The Society of Tropical Agriculture gives this annual award to a scientist who has contributed to the study of agriculture and horticulture. Chandra works with NCNPR’s Marijuana Project, housed within the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, studying the propagation of cannabis intended for research purposes.

Read more: “NCNPR Scientist Honored for Cannabis Research”


NCNPR Receives Award to Research Common Military Dietary Supplements

Bharathi AvulaMarch 1, 2018

OXFORD, Miss. – The National Center for Natural Products Research received an award of over $225,000 from the Henry M. Jackson Foundation to study the ingredients found in popular dietary supplements used by military personnel.

As a result, NCNPR will conduct collaborative research, known as Collaborative Analytics for Safer Supplements, in conjunction with the Consortium for Health and Military Performance at the Uniformed Services University.

Read more: “NCNPR Receives Award to Research Common Military Dietary Supplements


February 2018

Natural Products Center Director Wins Lifetime Achievement Award

February 12, 2018

OXFORD, Miss. – Ikhlas Khan, director of the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, is the winner of AOAC International’s 2018 Harvey W. Wiley Award, which recognizes lifetime scientific achievement.

AOAC International develops global quality standards for microbiological and chemical materials, ranging from food to pharmaceuticals in an effort to ensure public health. Khan, who has been with the university since 1992 and directed the natural products center since 2017, has spent much of his career developing standards for dietary supplements.

Read more: “Natural Products Center Director Wins Lifetime Achievement Award”


December 2017

University Researchers Discover Key Ingredient for Skin Care Line

David Pasco and Nirmal PughDecember 11, 2017 

OXFORD, Miss. – Scientists at the University of Mississippi’s National Center for Natural Products Research spend much of their time working to discover new pharmaceutical products, botanical dietary supplements and agrichemicals. Once in a while, however, discoveries made at the center benefit something a little more cosmetic.

Among other things, ongoing NCNPR research on botanicals led to the launch of a skin care line called Sustainable Youth brand products, owned by Woodcliff Skincare Solutions Inc. The key ingredient is Alasta brand aloe product, a patent-pending ingredient that includes aloeride, an immune-enhancing extract patented by the university.

Read more: “University Researchers Discover Key Ingredient for Skin Care Line


November 2017

Natural Products Center to Collaborate with Beijing Hospital

Khan and military officials met at 302 Hospital to sign the agreement.November 28, 2017

OXFORD, Miss. – The National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi and Beijing 302 Hospital of China have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on the quality of traditional Chinese medicine.

The Institute of Chinese Herbal Medicine Beijing, located at the hospital, analyzes traditional medicines taken by hospital patients and screens for any contaminants that may have contributed to a patient’s condition. As per the agreement, NCNPR will use its technology and expertise to help with the chemistry-related needs of this analysis.

Read more: “Natural Products Center to Collaborate with Beijing Hospital


October 2017

Attendees Participate in First Natural Products Training Lab Course

Natural Products Training Lab courseOctober 30, 2017 

OXFORD, Miss. – A year and a half after its dedication, the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy and the National Center for Natural Products Research held its first course within the Natural Products Training Lab from Sep. 19-21, which covered various aspects and techniques of botanical authentication.

“I am very pleased with how the first training lab course went,” said Ikhlas Khan, NCNPR director. “This will be a great resource moving forward, and I’m looking forward to many more courses in the future.”

Read more: “Attendees Participate in First Natural Products Training Lab Course”


September 2017

UM Cancer Institute Researchers Receive International Recognition

David Pasco (right), scientist at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, with his co-researchers

September 5, 2017

OXFORD, Miss. – For two decades, David Pasco has pursued the discovery of plants that can enhance a person’s immune system.

Pasco, a pharmacognosist, is a longtime researcher and associate director of the University of Mississippi’s National Center for Natural Products Research and director of the Drug Discovery Core at the University of Mississippi Medical Center Cancer Institute.

Read more: “UM Cancer Institute Researchers Receive International Recognition”


August 2017

NCNPR Director Named Honorary Member of Pharmacognosy Society

Ikhlas Khan, director of the National Center for Natural Products Research

August 18, 2017

OXFORD, Miss. – Ikhlas Khan, director of the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, has been named an honorary member of the American Society of Pharmacognosy.

Pharmacognosy, the study of medicinal drugs made from plants and other natural sources, is at the heart of Khan’s more-than-25-year career at the natural products…

Read more: “NCNPR Director Named Honorary Member of Pharmacognosy Society”


NCNPR Signs Collaboration Agreement with Australian University

August 10, 2017

The National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy has signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Institute of Complementary Medicine in Australia, making the NCNPR part of research collaborations on every inhabited continent.

The agreement will allow the two entities to work together on research and other scholarly…

Read more: “NCNPR Signs Collaboration Agreement with Australian University”


June 2017

NCNPR Director Wins Medicinal Plants Award

Ikhlas Khan, director of the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy

June 16, 2017

OXFORD, Miss. – Ikhlas Khan, director of the National Center for Natural Products Research at the UM School of Pharmacy, will receive the Outstanding Contribution Award in Traditional Chinese Medicine Analysis and Standards from the Society for Traditional Chinese Medicine Pharmaceutical Analysis.

The award recognizes Khan’s work at the NCNPR on quality assessment methods…

Read more: “NCNPR Director Wins Medicinal Plants Award”


May 2017

Natural Products Center, USDA Team to Create Natural Insect Repellents

Research scientists work to find natural products that can be used as insect repellents at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy.

May 3, 2017

OXFORD, Miss. – A decades-long partnership between the Natural Products Utilization Research Unit at USDA and the National Center for Natural Products Research at the UM School of Pharmacy is looking to nature to develop environmentally safe chemicals to manage pests.

The collaboration includes roughly a dozen research projects dedicated to creating natural agrochemicals, such as insecticides, fungicides and herbicides. Charles Cantrell, a research…

Read more: “USDA and NCNPR Partner to Create Natural Insect Repellents”


April 2017

UM Natural Products Center Director Wins Prestigious Botanical Award

April 4, 2017

OXFORD, Miss. – Ikhlas Khan, director of the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississppi School of Pharmacy, was honored Monday (April 3) night with the 2016 Mark Blumenthal Herbal Community Builder Award from the American Botanical Council.

The presentation came at the 17th annual International Conference on the Science of Botanicals, hosted by NCNPR this week at the Oxford Conference Center.

The American Botanical Council focuses on using science-based and traditional information to promote and educate about the responsible use of herbal medicine. The Mark Blumenthal Herbal Community Builder…

Read more: “UM Natural Products Center Director Wins Prestigious Botanical Award”


March 2017

School of Pharmacy Hosts International Botanical Conference

March 31, 2017

OXFORD, Miss. – Oxford is again the destination for scientists and other visitors from around the world gathering to discuss the ancient, yet rapidly evolving, study of botanical medicines.

The 17th annual International Conference on the Science of Botanicals is set for April 3-6 at the Oxford Conference Center. The National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy…

Read more: “School of Pharmacy Hosts International Botanical Conference”


January 2017

Ikhlas Khan Becomes NCNPR Director

Ikhlas Khan, NCNPR director at the University of Mississippi School of PharmacyJanuary 24, 2017

OXFORD, Miss. – Ikhlas Khan became director of the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy on Jan. 1.

After receiving his doctorate in pharmacy from the Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology in Munich Germany, Khan joined the School of Pharmacy in 1988 as a postdoctoral research fellow and became NCNPR’s associate director in 2015. Founded in 1995, NCNPR is one of the

Read more: Ikhlas Khan Becomes NCNPR Director


December 2016

UM Natural Products Center Designated as Center of Excellence

December 30, 2016

OXFORD, Miss. – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has renewed the National Center for Natural Products Research’s designation as a Center of Excellence in recognition of its work in botanical dietary supplement research. This is the 15th consecutive year the NCNPR has received this recognition.

As part of its partnership with the FDA, which began in 2001, the NCNPR focuses on developing…

Read more: UM Natural Products Center Designated as Center of Excellence


Larry Walker Retires as NCNPR Director

December 23, 2016

OXFORD, Miss. – On Dec. 31, Larry Walker retires as director of the National Center for Natural Products Research after 35 years of service to the University of Mississippi.

Walker began his career at Ole Miss in 1981 as a research assistant professor in the School of Pharmacy. In 1987, he led a natural products discovery biological screening program, setting him up…

Read more: Larry Walker Retires as NCNPR Director


USDA Renews Drug Discovery Grant for Natural Products Center

December 21, 2016

OXFORD, Miss. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has renewed a grant for the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy for the discovery and development of bioactive products that have potential to become pharmaceuticals, agrichemicals or alternative crops for small farmers.

The grant project, “Discovery and Development of Natural Products for Pharmaceutical and…

Read more: USDA Renews Drug Discovery Grant for Natural Products Center


USDA Mosquito Repellent Research Featured in “Chemical and Engineering News”

December 14, 2016

OXFORD, Miss. – Chemical and Engineering News, a journal of the American Chemical Society, interviewed natural products chemist Kumudini Meepagala about her research of natural products-based mosquito repellent. Meepagala works at the USDA, which partners with the School of Pharmacy’s National Center for Natural Products Research. The ongoing research hopes to produce a repellent that lasts longer and is more environmentally friendly than DEET…

Read more: USDA Mosquito Repellent Research Featured in “Chemical and Engineering News”


Natural Products Training Center Featured in “HerbalGram”

HerbalGram journalDecember 1, 2016

HerbalGram, the journal of the American Botanical Society, profiled the Natural Products Training Center, a newly-dedicated space of 3,000 square feet in the Thad Cochran Research Center for the purpose of testing natural products. The Natural Products Training Center is the result of a partnership between the National Center for Natural Products Research and Waters Corporation…

Read more: “Natural Products Training Center Featured in ‘HerbalGram'”


August 2016

NCNPR Scientists Awarded for Parasitic Diseases Research

Babu Tekwani research award

August 12, 2016

OXFORD, Miss. – Babu Tekwani, principal scientist in the University of Mississippi’s National Center for Natural Products Research and professor of pharmacology in the School of Pharmacy, was honored for his outstanding research contributions to global health drug discovery in tropical parasitic diseases at an international conference in León, Spain, on July 15.

He received the Distinguished Scientist Award at the inaugural…

Read more: “NCNPR Scientists Awarded for Parasitic Disease Research”


June 2016

School Honors Four at Faculty Retreat

June 17, 2016DSC_1314

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy honored four of its faculty members for their excellence in and commitment to research, teaching and service at its annual faculty retreat in June.

Dr. Donna West-Strum, professor and chair of Pharmacy Administration, won the Faculty Instructional Innovation Award for her..

Read more: “School Honors Four at Faculty Retreat”


May 2016

Ikhlas Khan Receives UM Distinguished Researcher Award

May 14, 2016Khan-580x326

OXFORD, Miss. – External recognition is always appreciated, but being honored internally by peers is far better. So says Ikhlas A. Khan, who received the University of Mississippi’s 2016 Distinguished Research and Creative Achievement Award on Saturday, May 14.

Read more: “Ikhlas Khan Receives UM Distinguished Researcher Award”


April 2016

UM Dedicates Natural Products Training Center 

April 14, 2016SKB_2757-AG-768x512

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy and National Center for Natural Products Research, in partnership with Waters Corp., dedicated a state-of-the-art natural products training center including laboratories, an informatics suite and lecture space on Wednesday, April 13.

Read more: “UM Dedicates Natural Products Training Center”


January 2016

Horticulturist Applies Knowledge from Farm to Garden

January 18, 2016

As a senior research and development horticulturist for the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy’s Maynard W. Quimby Medicinal Plant Garden, Ed Lowe brings years of farming knowledge to the table.

“Growing up in the Mississippi Delta, I was able to learn a lot about farming and the fundamentals of how it all works,” Lowe said. “Dr. Charles Burandt (former research botanist for the National Center for Natural Products Research) hired me in 2003 to work at the medicinal plant garden based on my 10 years of farming experience as well as my studies in farm management.”

Read more: “Horticulturist Applies Knowledge from Farm to Garden”


December 2015

Plant Physiologist Keeps Project Growing

December 17, 2015

Since 1995, the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy‘s inaugural research center has been When senior research scientist Suman Chandra first came to the University of Mississippi’s National Center for Natural Products Research in 2001, he had no idea that he would be involved in one of the most pivotal programs in the School of Pharmacy’s history.

Chandra, who has extensive training in medicinal plant physiology and biotechnology, carries out a variety of research activities dealing with cannabis as part of the Marijuana Project.

Read more: “Plant Physiologist Keeps Project Growing”


National Center for Natural Products Research Marks 20th Anniversary

December 10, 2015

Since 1995, the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy‘s inaugural research center has been setting the bar in the areas of natural products chemistry, botanical supplements development and marijuana research – and more.

“We’re delighted to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the National Center for Natural Products Research this year,” said Larry A. Walker, NCNPR director. “This is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on our growth and successes over the past two decades.”

The center was created to discover, develop and commercialize natural products as pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. It is the only university-affiliated research center devoted to improving human health and agricultural productivity through the discovery, development and commercialization of pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals derived from natural products.

Read more: “National Center for Natural Products Research Marks 20th Anniversary”