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American Botanical Council Names New Advisory Board Members from International Arena

Appointment of medicinal plant experts from 10 countries reflects the nonprofit's ever-growing international scope

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Botanical Council (ABC) welcomes 10 new expert members to its Advisory Board. The addition of these distinguished individuals — who represent 10 countries from 5 continents — highlights the increasingly international and diverse nature of the ABC Advisory Board. The new members will bring their perspectives and experiences from numerous scientific fields related to the study of medicinal plants, including ethnobotany, pharmacognosy, phytotherapy, pharmacy, organic chemistry and biochemistry, pharmacovigilance, and more.

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ABC Advisory Board members generously volunteer their time to peer review articles that appear in HerbalGram, HerbalEGram, HerbClips, and various other peer-reviewed ABC publications. Additionally, ABC management and HerbalGram editors seek feedback and advice from Advisory Board members on research questions, article ideas, ABC policies, and book reviews, among many other topics.

"We are deeply grateful and honored to have these distinguished colleagues from 10 countries join with us to help propel ABC's unique nonprofit educational mission," said Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of ABC. "Their relationships with our organization reflect the increasingly international scope and impact of ABC's mission, publications, and programs." He also noted that in most instances, the appointment of these individuals to the ABC Advisory Board simply formalizes a long-term professional and personal relationship that Blumenthal has had with the new member.

Featured below are brief biographical sketches for each of the new ABC Advisory Board members.

Giovanni Appendino, Laurea, has been a professor of organic chemistry since 2000 in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Eastern Piedmont in Novara, Italy. He completed his Laurea degree in 1979 at the University of Torino, where he also served as a university lecturer and associate professor. In 2009, Dr. Appendino was appointed editor in chief of Filoterapia ("Phytotherapy"), a prominent medicinal plant research journal co-published by Elsevier and the Italian phytomedicinal research and manufacturing company Indena. In addition to serving on the advisory boards of the European Journal of Organic Chemistry, The Open Natural Products Journal, and Natural Products Communication, he has authored more than 300 peer-reviewed articles and has determined the structures of hundreds of novel plant-based chemicals from various European medicinal plants, including the yew tree (Taxus spp., Taxaceae), hemp (Cannabis sativa, Cannabaceae), St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum, Clusiaceae), tansy (Tanacetum vulgare, Asteraceae), wormwood (Artemisia absinthium, Asteraceae), giant fennel (Ferula foetida, Apiaceae), and various spurges (Euphorbia spp., Euphorbiaceae). For his commitment to the study of plant bioactives, Dr. Appendino was awarded the 1991 Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Medal of the Phytochemical Society of Europe and the 2009 Quilico Medal from the Italian Chemical Society.

Joanne Barnes, PhD, has been an associate professor in herbal medicines at the University of Auckland since 2005. In 2001, she received her PhD from the University of London's School of Pharmacy; in 1999, she earned her postgraduate certificate in pharmacovigilance and pharmacoepidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. From 1999 until 2002, Dr. Barnes served as a teaching and research fellow at the University of London, after which — from 2002 to 2005 — she was a lecturer in phytopharmacy at the university. She is a fellow of the Linnean Society of London, has achieved pharmacist's registration in both New Zealand and Great Britain, and was a member of the United States Pharmacopeia's Dietary Supplements Information Expert Committee as well as Australia's National Prescribing Service Limited's Complementary Medicine Expert Research Advisory Group. She was principal co-author of two editions of Herbal Medicines, a leading textbook on medicinal plants (Pharmaceutical Press, 2002 and 2007) and a co-author of two editions of Fundamentals of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy (Churchill Livingstone, 2004 and 2012). Currently, Dr. Barnes is an Associate Editor of Phytochemistry Letters (Elsevier) and is an editorial board member of numerous journals of medicinal plant research.

Il-Moo Chang, PhD, is the president of The Korean Ginseng Research Institute. He is also professor emeritus at the College of Pharmacy at Seoul National University and, since 2007, he has served on the World Health Organization's Expert Advisory Panel on Traditional Medicine. He received his PhD in biophysical sciences in 1972 from the University of Houston, where he also completed his post-doctoral research in bioinorganic chemistry. His varied academic interests include the study of bioactive compounds for treating hepatitis B, discovering antidotes for the toxic amanita mushroom (Amanita phalloides, Amanitaceae), and constructing a comprehensive database of traditional oriental medicines (TradiMed DB) in English, Japanese, and Korean. This database has been used as a reference by the World Intellectual Property Organization. Dr. Chang is an editorial review member of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine, and Chinese Medicine. He has published more than 110 scientific papers and has received the Grand Award and Excellent Research Achievement Award from the Korean Society of Pharmacognosy.

Muriel Cuendet, PhD, is an associate professor at the University of Geneva's School of Pharmaceutical Sciences. After receiving her PhD in phytochemistry in 1999 at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, she served as a research assistant professor and completed her postdoctoral research in the department of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy at the College of Pharmacy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Cuendet's research involves the study of natural and semi-synthetic compounds, particularly those with anti-cancer properties. In addition to her professional memberships in the Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Products Research, the American Association for Cancer Research, and the Association for Women in Science, Dr. Cuendet currently serves as the associate editor of Pharmaceutical Biology and as an editorial board member of Natural Products Against Cancer.

Alexander Panossian, PhD, has been head of research and development at the Swedish Herbal Institute since 2003, where his research interests and publications focus on plants with adaptogenic activity, particularly pharmacological and clinical research on Rhodiola rosea (Crassulaceae). He also has conducted extensive research on Andrographis paniculata (Acanthaceae) and Bryonia alba (Cucurbitaceae). He has been a lecturer in the department of biology at Sweden's Lund University, a professor of Armenia's National Institute of Health, and the director of the Armenian Drug Agency's Expert Analytical Laboratory. He received his PhD from the Moscow Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1975 and a doctorate of science in chemistry from the Moscow Institute of Fine Chemical Technology in 1986. Among his many notable achievements and awards, more than 170 papers are attributed to Dr. Panossian.

G.N. Qazi, PhD, has served as the vice chancellor of Hamdard University in New Delhi, India, since 2008 and was formerly the Director of Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Jammu, a National Institute of CSIR of India. He is currently the chairman of the Government of India's Drugs and Pharmaceutical Research Programme, committee chairman of the Unani Pharmacopeia, and a member of both the Pharmacopeia Commission for AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy) Drugs and the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Indian Pharmacopoeia. Dr. Qazi received his PhD in microbiology from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in India and completed his post-doctoral work at the University of Dortmund in Germany. He has authored more than 250 scientific publications and has more than 40 years of research experience in the fields of biochemisty and biotechnology, with a focus on natural products and Indian natural drug validation. Dr. Qazi has served as the president of the Jammu Chapter of the Association of Microbiologists of India, a member of the Essential Oil Association of India, and a fellow of the Biotech Research Society of India.

Michael Smith, ND, BPharm, is a dietary supplements and natural health products consultant based in Canada. He has a bachelor of pharmacy degree from the University of Bath  in the United Kingdom and, in 1995, graduated with a doctorate of naturopathy from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, where he later taught botanical medicine and was the associate dean of research. In 2001, Dr. Smith joined the Natural Health Products Directorate at Health Canada, first as senior advisor to the director general and later as director of the Bureau of Partnerships, Outreach and International Affairs, where he was responsible for the Natural Health Products Research Program. Between 2009 and 2011, Dr. Smith was the head of the Office of Complementary Medicines at the Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia. In addition to being a consultant, Dr. Smith is also a senior fellow at the Samueli Institute for Integrative Medicine in Alexandria, Virginia, and a member of the World Health Organization's Expert Advisory Panel on Traditional Medicines.

Alvaro Viljoen, PhD, has been the national research chair in phytomedicine in the department of pharmaceutical sciences at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in Pretoria, South Africa, since July 2013, after serving as a research professor in the department since 2005. He earned his doctorate at Rand Afrikaans University (now the University of Johannesburg) in 1999, where his research specialization was the chemotaxonomy of Aloe (Aloe spp., Xanthorrhoeaceae). Dr. Viljoen earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Stellenbosch (now Stellenbosch University). More recently, he was the recipient of the South African Association of Botanists' Silver Medal for "exceptional advancement of South African botany" and the World Academy of Sciences Regional Office for sub-Saharan Africa Award for "advancing the knowledge on the safe and effective use of herbal medicines." Dr. Viljoen is currently the associate editor of the Journal of Ethnopharmacology and has acted as a reviewer for a number of respected journals including Planta Medica and Phytochemistry. In addition to his role at TUT, Dr. Viljoen is an adjunct professor of pharmacy at King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia.

Elizabeth Williamson, PhD, is a professor of pharmacy and the director of pharmacy practice at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. She received her PhD in pharmacognosy in 1977 from the University of London's (now University College London) School of Pharmacy, where she also served as senior lecturer in pharmacognosy and phytotherapy. Dr. Williamson is the editor in chief of Phytotherapy Research and an editorial board member of Phytomedicine and the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine. She currently serves as a member of the UK Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency's British Pharmacopoeia Commission and is a fellow of the Linnaean Society of London. Dr. Williamson is also an author or editor of several noteworthy medicinal plant-related books, including Stockley's Herbal Medicines Interactions, 2nd edition (Pharmaceutical Press, 2013), Fundamentals of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy, 2nd edition (Churchill Livingstone, 2012), and Botanical Pharmacognosy: Microscopic Characterization of Botanical Medicines (CRC Press, 2011; recipient of the 2011 ABC James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award – Reference/Technical).

Hans Wohlmuth, PhD, is research and development manager of Integria Healthcare in Australia and a member of the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration's Advisory Committee on Complementary Medicines. Dr. Wohlmuth has a PhD in pharmacognosy and a BSc in biology and also has trained as a natural medicine practitioner. In 1998, he became the foundation lecturer in pharmacognosy at Southern Cross University, where he subsequently co-founded the Herbal Authentication Service and established the Medicinal Plant Herbarium. Dr. Wohlmuth has been published in leading journals including Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Journal of Natural Products, Phytotherapy Research, and Phytomedicine, and he is an associate editor of Advances in Integrative Medicine, Frontiers in Ethnopharmacology, and the Australian Journal of Herbal Medicine.

About the American Botanical Council
Founded in 1988, the American Botanical Council is a leading international nonprofit organization that addresses research and educational issues regarding botanicals, teas, medicinal plants, essential oils, other therapeutic plant-derived materials, and beneficial fungi. ABC's members and stakeholders include researchers, health professionals, consumers, nonprofit organizations, libraries, universities, herb and cosmetic industry members, and others in more than 80 countries. The organization occupies a historic 2.5-acre site in Austin, Texas, where it publishes the peer-reviewed quarterly journal HerbalGram, the monthly e-publication HerbalEGram, the weekly e-newsletter Herbal News & Events, HerbClips (summaries of scientific and clinical publications), reference books, and other educational materials. ABC also hosts HerbMedPro, a powerful herbal database, covering scientific and clinical publications on more than 250 herbs. ABC also co-produces the "Herbal Insights" segment for Healing Quest, a television series on PBS, and manages the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program, an international consortium of nonprofit and industry trade organizations, analytical laboratories, industry members, and other parties committed to increasing educational information on the quality and authenticity of botanical raw materials, extracts and essential oils in the global marketplace.

ABC is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code. Information: Contact ABC at P.O. Box 144345, Austin, TX 78714-4345, Phone: 512-926-4900. Website: www.herbalgram.org. Contact: Public Relations.

SOURCE American Botanical Council

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