Natural Products Training Laboratory

The University of Mississippi

NPTL Instructors

Dr. Bharathi Avula

Senior Research Scientist In the National Center for Natural Products Research
662-915-6969
bavula@olemiss.edu

Dr. Bharathi Avula is currently employed as a Senior Scientist at the National Center for Natural Products Research of The University of Mississippi. Her doctorate research has been in the field of pharmaceutical analysis and spent over a decade in development and validation of analytical and bio-analytical methods. She has expertise in several analytical techniques in a broad range of analytical instrumentation [HPLC/UHPLC with PDA/ELS/ FLR/SQD/QDa/QToF-MS/QqQ-MS detectors, ICP-MS, GC/FID//MS, SFC-UV-MS, Capillary Electrophoresis (CE), UV-Visible spectrophotometer, and TLC densitometer (HPTLC)] that covers a wide spectrum of applications in the field of natural products, biological samples and pharmaceuticals. This expertise involves the qualitative and quantitative characterization of chemical constituents from natural products, chemical profiling, standardization of botanicals/dietary supplements, adulterants identification and pharmacokinetic studies using various types of analytical techniques.

She has authored over 150 peer reviewed publications in journals such as Food Chemistry, Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, Journal of Separation Science, Drug Testing and Analysis, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Drug Metabolism & Disposition, Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry and contributed to book chapter on TLC/HPTLC utility in assessment of the quality of botanicals. She is actively involved in training of FDA inspectors on the analytical techniques used for authentication of botanicals and detection of adulterants in dietary supplement preparations.

 

Dr. Suman Chandra

Senior Research Scientist in the National Center for Natural Products Research
662-915-6954
suman@olemiss.edu

Dr. Chandra received his M.Phil. degree in Environmental Plant Physiology and Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from The High Altitude Plant Physiology Research Center, HNB Garhwal University (A central University), India. He worked at The High Altitude Plant physiology Research Center and GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, India from 1992 to 2000. Dr. Chandra joined The University of Mississippi in 2001 and currently working as Senior Research Scientist at The National Center for Natural Product Research, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (RIPS), School of Pharmacy. His research interest includes conservation, cultivation and improvement of medicinal plants, and effects of climatic changes on physiology and secondary metabolites of medicinally important plants.

 

Dr. Amar Chittiboyina

Assistant Director of the National Center for Natural Products Research and Senior Research Scientist in Medicinal Chemistry
662-915-1572
amar@olemiss.edu

Dr. Chittiboyina holds appointment as Assistant Director at the National Center for Natural Products Research, University of Mississippi, with a broad background in organic chemistry, with specific training and expertise in medicinal chemistry. Dr. Chittiboyina has several international patents and has contributed to book chapters on medicinal chemistry and safety of phytochemicals. He has authored over 100 peer reviewed publications in journals such as Journal of Organic Chemistry, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Hypertension, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of Natural Products and Chemical Research in Toxicology involving many aspects of natural and biologically active compounds; biogenesis of secondary metabolites; synthesis and structure activity relationships (SAR); development of non-animal alternative methods in toxicology and application of computer-aided drug design techniques.

Dr. Chittiboyina received his PhD degree from the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India, followed by postdoctoral training at the, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Mississippi. Dr. Chittiboyina serves as consultant for several small biotech companies and well versed in project management, grantsmanship and technology transfers aspects.

 

Dr. Mahmoud A. ElSohly

Research Professor of the National Center for Natural Products Research and Professor of Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery

662-915-5928
melsohly@olemiss.edu

Mahmoud A. ElSohly is a Research Professor at The National Center for Natural Products Research, and Professor of Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery, School of Pharmacy, University of Mississippi (UM) and is the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Marijuana Project at UM.  He is also the President and Laboratory Director of ElSohly Laboratories Incorporated, an analytical forensic drug testing and a product development laboratory.  He received his undergraduate and Masters from Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt and his Ph.D. in 1975 from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Pharmacy, Pittsburgh, PA.  He has been with the University of Mississippi since 1975 and has been the Director of the NIDA Marijuana Project since 1981. He has over 40 years’ experience working with the isolation of natural products (notably cannabis secondary metabolites), synthetic, analytical and forensic chemistry.   He has more than 30 patents and over 300 publications in these areas of science. Dr. ElSohly is also a member of many professional organizations such as American Society of Pharmacognosy, American Chemical Society, American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Society of Forensic Toxicologist, International Cannabinoids Research Society, International Association of Cannabinoid Medicines to name a few.  

Some of his honors are: Alexander O. Gettler Award from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) Toxicology Section, (2016) for his work in Toxicology, IACM Special Award for his Major Contributions to the Re-introduction of Cannabis as a Medicine from the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (2015), The Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Cannabinoid Research Society (2013), The University of Mississippi’s Distinguished Research and Creative Achievement Award (2013), The University of Pittsburgh Legacy Laureate Award (2011), The University of Mississippi’s School of Pharmacy Researcher of the Year Award (2011), and The University of Pittsburg, School of Pharmacy Distinguished Alumnus Award (2002).

 

Dr. Hemant Lata

Senior Research Scientist in the National Center for Natural Products Research
662-915-5724
hlata@olemiss.edu

Hemant Lata is working as a Senior Research Scientist, at National Center for Natural Products Research (NCNPR), School of Pharmacy, The University of Mississippi. She obtained her Ph.D. (Plant Physiology) from High Altitude Plant Physiology Research Center, HNB Garhwal University, India, MS (Biotechnology) from Guru Nanak Dev University, India and BS (Botany Hons.) from University of Delhi, India. Before joining NCNPR, in 2000, Dr. Lata obtained Post Doctoral Training from Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Cytogenetics, Department of Botany, University of Delhi.

During Ph.D., Dr. Lata worked on Podophyllum commonly known as May apple (produces a podophyllotoxin, which is an important compound for cancer treatment). After joining National Center for National Product Research, Dr. Lata continued on this project which was supported by US Department of Agriculture. She has developed and published micropropagation protocols for several highly valuable medicinal plants i.e. Podophyllum hexandrum, Podophyllum peltatum, Goldenseal, Cimicifuga, Echinacea, Stevia rebaudiana, Cannabis sativa etc. For last 15 years Dr. Lata has been working on screening, conservation, micropropagation and multiplication of different varieties of Cannabis sativa.  She has more than 75 publications and two edited books (Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg) in her credit. Dr. Lata’s research interest includes – cell, tissue and organ culture of medicinally important plants; cryopreservation and alternative techniques for short and long term storage of plant germplasm; evaluation of micropropagated plants for secondary metabolites and genetic stability.

 

Dr. Jon F. Parcher

Research Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and Biochemistry
662-915-5426
chjfp@olemiss.edu

Dr. Parcher received his Ph. D. degree from the University of Colorado and a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He was the Margaret McLean Coulter Professor of Chemistry at Ole Miss until retirement. He taught classes in instrumental analysis (chromatography, mass spectrometry, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry) and was awarded the Cora Lee Graham Award for Outstanding Teaching of Freshmen. Dr. Parcher served as visiting professor at both the University of Georgia and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was a Program Officer for two years at the National Science Foundation in Washington D.C. He has served as a senior advisor with the National Center for Natural Products Research since retirement.

 

Dr. Mohamed Radwan

Senior Research Scientist and NIDA Project Quality Control Manager

662-915-1708
mradwan@olemiss.edu

Dr. Mohamed Radwan is a Senior Research Scientist at the National Center for Natural Products Research (NCNPR), School of Pharmacy, University of Mississippi, USA. He is also a Quality Control Manager of the Marijuana Project at The University of Mississippi. He has a Bachelor’s, Master and Ph.D. in Pharmacy, University of Alexandria, Egypt. He joined the NCNPR in 2005. Dr. Radwan has authored more than 85 peer-reviewed scholarly articles in peer-reviewed international Journals, 3 Book Chapters and 2 patents. His research focuses on the Chemistry of medicinal agents form plant, marine and fungi sources with special emphasis on Cannabis Chemistry, and Analysis. He has experience in isolation and structure elucidation of Natural Products as well as handling various analytical instrumentations such as NMR, IR, UV, HPLC, GC/FID, GC/MS and CD. Also, Dr. Radwan has experience in the production of Cannabis extract and cannabinoids under GMP guidelines.   

 

Dr. Vijayasankar Raman

Research Scientist in the National Center for Natural Products Research
662-915-1018
vraman@olemiss.edu

Dr. Vijayasankar Raman is a botanist with extensive training and experience in the identification and authentication of plants. He has broad understanding in plant taxonomy, morphology, anatomy, floristics, ethnobotany and medicinal plants, and has vast experience in the documentation, collection and identification of plants. He received his Ph.D. degree from the Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Alwarkurichi, India. He has collected, processed and identified several thousands of herbarium specimens and trained a number of students and teachers on herbarium techniques and methods of species identification. He is a member of the Medicinal Plant Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission and has actively involved in the conservation of threatened medicinal plants. He has co-authored four books, book chapters and published more than sixty peer-reviewed research articles.

Dr. Raman is a Research Scientist at the National Center for Natural Products Research (NCNPR) in the University of Mississippi. He is managing the botanicals repositories and taxonomy/microscopy labs at NCNPR. He has identified and authenticated a number of botanicals by macroscopic and microscopic studies.

 

Mr. Don Stanford

Assistant Director of the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences
662-915-7133
dfs@olemiss.edu

Don Stanford, now holds the position of Assistant Director of the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (RIPS) at the School of Pharmacy, University of Mississippi. Since earning a Master of Science degree in Biological Sciences in 1980 he has been involved in various aspects of research in the School of Pharmacy. His scientific niche involves helping other researchers realize their goals through practical application of available resources. A major accomplishment has been his work to develop procedures and protocols for production of cannabis-based materials for basic research and clinical studies. He now oversees quality assurance and regulatory compliance for the UM Marijuana Project and other FDA regulated research projects.

 

Dr. Natascha Techen

Senior Research Scientist In the National Center for Natural Products Research
662-915-1090
ntechen@olemiss.edu

A native of Hamburg, Germany, Dr. Natascha Techen received her BS, MS and Ph.D. in Plant Molecular Biology at the University of Hamburg, Germany analyzing genes involved in the anthocyanin biosynthesis of Zea mays L.

Dr. Natascha Techen joined Dr. Ihklas A. Khan’s team in 2002, where she is working on the identification of genomic markers, also known as ‘DNA-barcoding’, that can help with the identification of plant material/dietary supplements and its adulterations by using various molecular methods. In addition her research has helped with the genetic improvement of crops, medicinal or ornamental plants for higher yield and nutrient value, disease and pest tolerance, non-invasiveness, and ornamental traits.

Dr. Natascha Techen is a member of the American Society of Pharmacognosy, has published peer reviewed research papers, and served as reviewer for several scientific journals.

 

Dr. Mei Wang

Research Scientist in the National Center for Natural Products Research
662-915-1005
meiwang@olemiss.edu

Dr. Mei Wang is currently working as a research scientist at the National Center for Natural Products Research (NCNPR), School of Pharmacy, The University of Mississippi. Her research interests include application of analytical tools in evaluating the quality and safety of botanicals and dietary supplements, developing novel analytical methods for the analysis of drugs and their metabolites, and fundamental theoretical study of chromatography and mass spectroscopy.

She has authored over 60 peer reviewed publications in journals such as Food Chemistry, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Journal of Chromatography A, Phytochemistry, Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis and actively involved in training of FDA inspectors on the analytical techniques used for authentication of botanicals.

 

Dr. Yan-Hong Wang

Principal Scientist in the National Center for Natural Products Research
662-915-1067
wangyh@olemiss.edu

Dr. Yan-Hong Wang is a principal scientist at the National Center for Natural Products Research, University of Mississippi. He has been conducting analytical/bio-analytical research of medicinal plants and related products (dietary supplements) in the center. Dr. Wang has extensive experience in analytical chemistry especially in liquid chromatography (LC) and mass spectrometry (MS) and expertise on methods development and validation using HPLC/UHPLC coupled with different detectors, such as PDA, ELSD, MS, and tandem mass. In addition, he has more than 26 years hand-on experience in natural products chemistry in the fields of isolation, purification and structural elucidation of active constituents from natural sources. Dr. Wang has teaching experience for the instruction of graduate students’ course and lab training for the people having different backgrounds.

 

Dr. Jianping Zhao

Research Scientist in the National Center for Natural Products Research
662-915-7151
jianping@olemiss.edu

Dr. Jianping Zhao is a research scientist at the National Center for Natural Products Research (NCNPR), School of Pharmacy, University of Mississippi. He received a BS in Chemical Engineering from Nanjing University of Science & Technology, a MS degree in Analytical Chemistry from East China University of Science & Technology, and a PhD in Pharmacognosy from the School of Pharmacy at University of Mississippi.

Dr. Zhao has extensive experience in isolation, purification and structural identification of natural products of medical importance. In particular he has focused on using metabolomics technology to validate, authenticate, and characterize the properties of botanicals/herbs that are traditionally used in alternative, complementary and integrative healthcare systems. He has also studied geo-herbalism, processing (Pao Zhi), standardization, quality and safety of natural products that are used as dietary supplements, functional foods, nutraceuticals and drugs.