The Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences
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Pharmacognosy Focus Group

Focus Group Chair
 Contact Michael  
Prof Michael Heinrich
Head of Centre, Centre for Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy, The School of Pharmacy, Univ. London (since 1999). Pharmacognosist, biologist (Dr. rer nat.habil, Univ. Freiburg 1989, 1997, Dipl. Biol, 1985) and anthropologist (M.A., Wayne State Univ, 1982), with a many years of research experience in a multitude of aspects of medicinal and food plant research (esp. bioactive natural products), as well as at the interface of cultural and natural sciences Research interest: • Biological pharmacy (bioactive natural products / pharmacognosy / phytotherapy): Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant natural products, the transcription factor NF-B and its pathway as molecular targets of natural product research, metabolomic approaches in drug discovery, quality and safety of herbal medical products, effects of HMPs on the Cytochrome P450 system • Medicine and Food Use: Use of herbal medicines in migrant communities in London, history of medicinal plant use in Europe, food and medicinal plant usage in the Mediterranean, pharmaceutical ethnobotany of Mexican indigenous groups, medical anthropology of Mexican indigenous groups (Mixe and others). Other: Editor in Chief Frontiers in Ethnopharmacology, Reviews’ Editor – Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Section Editor Phytochemistry Letters, associate editor Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacolology.
Aims and Objectives
  • Exchange of information and scientific appraisal on all aspects of research and development of pharmaceuticals, health foods and other products derived from plants, microorganisms and animals (pharmacognosy)
  • Promoting natural products as biologically-active compounds amongst the wider scientific community
  • Continuing education of the pharmaceutical and other related professions in the scientific study of natural pharmaceuticals
  • Promotion of research on the safe use of medicinal plants and products derived from them (herbal medical products, food supplements, cosmetics)
  • Liaison and collaboration with other international and national societies and with individuals with similar interests.
  • Contributing to the sustainable use of the world’s biodiversity by fomenting all aspects related to the development of products from such sources including local initiatives on the save use of these resources

Some of our regular activities:

  • Regular meetings to present and discuss current research often in collaboration with other (international) societies
  • Organise scientific meetings on a national and international level
  • Regional shorter sympopsia
  • Promotion of all scholarly and applied activities related to medicinal plant research including informing of the wider public.
  • Promotion of pharmacognosy as a discipline through links within the natural sciences and especially pharmacy
  • Establish and strengthen links with researchers interested in bioactive natural products and extracts, for example, via links with the Phytochemical Society of Europe (PSE), Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural product Research (GA), International Society for Ethnopharmacology (ISE)
  • Worldwide networking within the context of pharmacognosy

Panel of Experts

  • Prof. Michael Heinrich
  • Dr. D. Tasdemir
  • Dr. E.M. Williamson
  • Dr. Colin Wright
  • Dr. P. Bremner
  • Dr. J. Prieto-Garcia
  • Prof. P. Houghton
  • Dr L Anderson

For further information, please contact the APSGB Secretariat: [email protected]

Some important links:

Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research (GA) -
International Society for Ethnopharmacology (ISE) -

Drugs from Natural Sources- A growing and increased use for herbal medicines alongside conventional medicines

The APS Pharmacognosy Focus Group are pleased to announce a prominent speaker, Professor. Rudolf Bauer, Head of the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Graz, Austria for their session on Tuesday 9th September from 10.35 to 12.05 at the Pharm Sci Conference. He will speak on Herbal medicines research with a holistic view. main research interest is phytochemical and pharmacological investigations of the active principles of medicinal plants with anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activity with special fields of interest at present in Echinacea preparations and Chinese herbs. This is now a key area of research as Herbalism with its long tradition of use outside of conventional medicine is becoming more mainstream as improvements in analysis and quality control along with advances in clinical research show the value of herbal medicine in the treating and preventing disease. Europe has been leading the way in supplying high quality herbal products, first with diverse national initiatives and also with the development of quality standards.

Dr Colin Wright who is a reader in Pharmacognosy and head of division of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Bradford School of Pharmacy will look at another disease area where the use of herbal medicines is seen as a valuable resource with a talk on, Can malaria be treated with herbal medicines looking at his work of investigation of West African plants species used traditionally for malaria treatment. session will be chaired by Professor Michael Heinrich-Cluster Lead (Biodiversity and Medicines) and Head of Centre at the UCL School of Pharmacy.  His group’s research explores the area of global value chain analysis where there has been to date a limited focus on the interconnectivities linking producers and consumers with more work on the herbal starting materials and their composition and effects, or on the final products available to the consumer. The group’s studies have used two analytical tools, 1H NMR spectroscopy and HPTLC, in order to understand the composition and quality of herbal medicinal products along value chains. Both methods provide different and complementary data and together they can be used as tools to differentiate between a wide variety of crude drug powders and herbal medicinal products. Dr. Tony Booker from his team will present the latest findings on this topic

This session should provide you with an understanding of the current research for development of drugs from natural sources to produce high quality products.

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The Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences
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Email: [email protected]

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