College of Pharmacy
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Department News

Google+ hangout/ASBMB Chat with Doug and Jason about their JBC Paper of the Week on Wed, Jun 12, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM http://bit.ly/ZVJUL0  

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Congratulations to Jason and Doug and Divya! Their manuscript has been selected as a JBC "Paper of the Week": http://bit.ly/16PVc6t  

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Congrats to Dejan Nikolic, 2013 Arthur C. Neish Young Investigator Award recipient from the Phytochemical Society of North America (PSNA)

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@UICnews top story [2013.05.28]: Training scientists who look to nature http://bit.ly/15ab6V9

The college received a five-year, $2.1 million grant to train graduate and postdoctoral students like Martinez in natural product drugs and dietary supplements. The grant is funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, one of the National Institutes of Health.

“This grant will support the education of the next generation of scientists who will be responsible for establishing the safety and efficacy of dietary supplements and for the discovery of new therapeutic agents from natural product sources,” said Richard van Breemen, professor of medicinal chemistry and director of the UIC/NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research.

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UIC pharmacy scholar to receive prestigious biotech award from the American Assn. of Colleges of Pharmacy. http://bit.ly/12giZ9a  

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UIC receives $2M grant to train students in natural product drugs and dietary supplements. http://bit.ly/14RjrPI  

Grant will help train natural product scientists - Sam Hostettler April 4, 2013

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Congrats to Michael Federle, who was awarded a five-year Burroughs Wellcome Fund grant in Pathogenesis and Infectious Diseases

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Alexander Mankin - AACP News Release: UIC Professor to Receive Prestigious Dawson Biotechnology Award http://bit.ly/YeizjS

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Skylar Carlson was awarded a Student Travel Grant from the American Society of Pharmacognosy to present her research at ASP2013 in St Louis

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Brian Murphy - @UICnews front page article/photo [2013.04.16]: Key to TB cure could lie underwater http://bit.ly/ZuzkrF

“Freshwater environments are a new frontier for drug-lead discovery,” Murphy said. “Actinomycetes have the ability to produce molecules that have a high potential for use as medicines, and very little is known about these bacteria in such environments.”

The UIC team will be the first to explore each of the five Great Lakes for antibiotic-producing actinomycete bacteria. The researchers will evaluate the viability of freshwater systems as a source for drug-lead discovery.

“If we can understand the capacity for these bacteria to produce new, small-molecule drug leads, it will help guide a global freshwater discovery effort,” Murphy said.

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Congrats to Les Hanakahi who was one of this year's Hans W. Vahlteich Research Scholar Awards http://bit.ly/fDcbYK   pic.twitter.com/ZEgucwsIdo

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Richard van Breemen quoted in @cenmag article [2013.03.18]: Analyzing Botanical Dietary Supplements http://bit.ly/YkxWao

Consequently, “you can’t reproduce a study if you don’t know exactly what species was used, what part of the plant was used, and how it was prepared,” says Richard B. van Breemen, a professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and director of a National Institutes of Health-funded botanical research center focusing on supplements for women’s health. Lack of documentation and consequent inconsistency in material preparation are frequently why research into the efficacy of botanical products to treat health disorders tends to show mixed results, he says. That’s one reason that NIH’s National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine developed its natural product integrity policy, which outlines required identification, preparation, and characterization information for projects it funds.

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Brian Murphy/Scott Franzblau @ScienceDaily article [2013.03.07]: Key to TB Cure Could Lie Underwater http://bit.ly/13JRmch

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Alexander Mankin - @UICnews article [2012.11.21]: Researchers’ findings shed light on how antibiotics work http://bit.ly/YGK9s1

The findings may point the way to better and more potent antibiotics, Mankin said. But he and colleagues are “thinking beyond just antibiotics.”

“If a chemical can be designed that binds to the human ribosome and allows it to make good proteins but not bad ones, such as mutant enzymes or proteins that promote cancer, then such new drugs can treat many human maladies,” he said.

Co-authors on the cell paper are graduate student Krishna Kannan and research associate professor Nora Vazquez-Laslop

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Greg Thatcher, Debra Tonetti, Seungpyo Hong recipients 2012 Fall Proof of Concept Gap Funding Initiative Project Awards http://bit.ly/TPHtBe

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Joanna Burdette article+photo: page 24 of the Winter 2012 issue of the Illinois Health magazine's Key Findings section: http://bit.ly/Uq09s7

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Dejan Nikolic photo and quote in @UICnews article [2012.12.05]: Research experience, plus a paycheck http://bit.ly/TFV2qa

Mentoring students “does require a lot of time, but the rewards are great,” said Dejan, research assistant professor in medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy.

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Congrats to Tristesse Jones, Aditya Vaidya, and Divya Vasudevan -- Fall 2012 Winners of the Chancellor's Graduate Research Fellowship http://bit.ly/QvFHbf

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Joanna Burdette - @UICnews article [2012.11.21]: Examining link between ovarian cancer, ovulation http://bit.ly/10erodD

Women have a 1 in 17 risk of developing ovarian cancer. “Sadly, the overall incidence of ovarian-cancer death has not changed much in 30 years,” says pharmacy researcher Joanna Burdette.

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Karol Bruzik and Michal Pawlowski @NatureComms article [2012.11.14]: Robust photoregulation of GABAA receptors by allosteric modulation with a propofol analogue http://bit.ly/T1OYER referenced in UIC News Release [2012.11.14]: Engineering a Photo-Switch for Nerve Cells in the Eye and Brain http://bit.ly/SOot5g

Chemists and vision scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago have designed a light-sensitive molecule that can stimulate a neural response in cells of the retina and brain -- a possible first step to overcoming degenerative eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration, or to quieting epileptic seizures. 

Their results are reported online in the journal Nature Communications. 

Chemists led by Karol Bruzik, professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy in the UIC College of Pharmacy, succeeded in adding-on a light-sensitive chemical component to the propofol molecule. When struck by light of different wavelengths, the molecule changes shape and functions as a light-triggered, on-off switch for these receptors. 

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Skylar Carlson and Xiaomei Wei won 1st and 2nd prize in the poster competition at the 2012 David J. Slatkin Symposium http://bit.ly/Z77PTd

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@cenmag: #Photo of the day: A blue pigment- and the microbe that makes analogs of it: http://cenm.ag/picaau

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Andrew Newsome - C&EN article [2012.09.10]: Bringing Blue To A Plate Near You http://bit.ly/PeIsIO

Volume 90 Issue 37 | pp. 30-31 | Issue Date: September 10, 2012
ACS Meeting News: Acid-loving algae, marine microbes, and wild berries yield promising leads for natural blue food colors

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UIC News Release [2012.07.24]: Is Ovarian Cancer Linked to Ovulation? http://bit.ly/MFBq3Y

Could ovulation be the link to ovarian cancer? Joanna Burdette of the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy thinks it might be, and she's working to find out.

Burdette, assistant professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy at UIC, is conducting new research to discover if ovulation increases a signaling pathway that transforms cells of the ovary surface or the lining of the Fallopian tubes into ovarian cancer.

Burdette has received a four-year $720,000 grant from the American Cancer Society of Illinois for her research, which focuses on epithelial cells, or surface and lining cells, in this case, of the female reproductive system.

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WSJ MarketWatch [2012.07.16]: New results show potential of New Class of Drug Therapy for Alzheimer's Disease and Age-Related Cognitive Impairment http://on.mktw.net/MZFwO8

Data presented today at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Vancouver, Ca. demonstrate that that a new class of drugs has potential to improve synaptic function in the central nervous system in animal models of Alzheimer's disease, an effect that is anticipated to lead to improved cognition in Alzheimer's disease and age-related cognitive impairment.

Dr. Lawren VandeVrede, of the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy, Chicago, provided an overview of the therapeutic potential of a new class of compounds known as 'nomethiazoles'. This therapeutic class was initially defined in the laboratory of Prof. Greg Thatcher while at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. Professor Thatcher now holds the Hans W. Vahlteich Chair of Medicinal Chemistry in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy at the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy, Chicago. Dr. VandeVrede, an MD/PhD trainee in Prof. Thatcher's laboratory, has continued research on this new class of therapy.

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Congratulations to Joanna Burdette and Seungpyo Hong for receiving a Chancellor's Discovery Fund Award for their proposal: "Ovarian cancer prevention and therapy using polymeric nanocarriers targeting follicle stimulating hormone and Mullerian inhibiting substance "

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UIC News [2012.04.04]: Researchers seek new treatments for ancient, still deadly disease http://bit.ly/IZxN6K

Medicinal chemistry researchers Birgit Jaki, Larry Klein and Scott Franzblau, received three federal grants to identify new treatments for tuberculosis. The last drug hit the market 45 years ago.

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UIC News [2012.04.04]: Scientist honored for plant discoveries http://bit.ly/IZsxzX

Doel Soejarto, professor of pharmacognosy, was recognized for his work to discover plants that could be developed to cure a variety of diseases.

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Herbalgram [2012.03.01]: Professor Doel Soejarto to Receive ABC's Farnsworth Excellence in Botanical Research Award http://bit.ly/yaW2nm

The nonprofit American Botanical Council (ABC) announces that Professor Djaja Doel Soejarto, PhD, of the University of Illinois – Chicago (UIC) is the recipient of this year's ABC Norman R. Farnsworth Excellence in Botanical Research Award.

The award's namesake is ABC's co-founding Board of Trustees member, the late Prof. Norman R. Farnsworth, PhD. Dr. Farnsworth was a research professor of pharmacognosy and senior university scholar at the College of Pharmacy at UIC. The medicinal plant community lost a champion when he died last year at the age of 81. ABC will continue to present this award each year to a person or institution that has made significant contributions to botanical and/or pharmacognostic research (i.e., research on drugs of natural origin, usually from plants).

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Pharmaceutical Biology [March 2012, Vol. 50, No. 3]: In memoriam, Steven S. Totura, May 2, 1950–December 5, 2011 http://bit.ly/wUL7cs

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Congrats to Suzanne Quartuccio, recipient of a Graduate College Medical Research Fellowship for Spring-Summer 2012 http://t.co/tSB6lSyf

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Congrats to Chaitanya Aggarwal and Pulkit Gupta, recipients of the Fall 2011 Chancellor's Graduate Research Fellowship http://t.co/tSB6lSyf

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UIC News [2011.09.21]: Diets rich in tomatoes could reduce risk of prostate cancer http://bit.ly/pL6lXF

The potent antioxidant lycopene — found in tomatoes — could lower the risk of prostate cancer, especially for African American men, says Richard van Breemen, professor of medical chemistry.

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UIC News [2011.09.21]: UIC scientists honored by American Chemical Society http://bit.ly/nIcNlo

Judy Bolton, professor and head of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy, and Michael Trenary, professor of chemistry, were among 231 scientists chosen from higher education, industry and government for their “outstanding achievements in and contributions to science, the profession and the American Chemical Society.”

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Ovarian Cancer Research Fund: "in the know" - Q&A With Joanna Burdette, Ph.D., 2011 Liz Tilberis Grant Recipient http://bit.ly/n4Ooux

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UIC News [2011.09.14]: Obituary : Norman R. Farnsworth http://bit.ly/q45MhH

Norman R. Farnsworth, 81, distinguished professor of pharmacognosy who spent more than 50 years studying the medicinal properties of natural plant products, died Sept. 10. Farnsworth, director of the Program for Collaborative Research, was a faculty member for more than 40 years, including 12 years as head of pharmacognosy.

 

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Judy Bolton was named a 2011 ACS Fellow by the American Chemical Society. Induction ceremony at ACS meeting Aug 29th http://t.co/v7JfYqC

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Dr. Harry H.S. Fong has been appointed to the Food Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration. [2011.08.05]

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Dr. Djaja Djendoel Soejarto has been selected as the 2012 Distinguished Economic Botanist by the Society for Economic Botany. 

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UIC News Release [2011.07.13]: Lycopene May Help Prevent Prostate Cancer in African Americans http://bit.ly/nJ9DyD http://bit.ly/roubzo

Lycopene, a red pigment that gives tomatoes and certain other fruits and vegetables their color, could help prevent prostate cancer, especially in African American men, according to new research at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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C&EN Cover Story [2011.06.27]: Plant Medicines Key to Global Health by Emeritus Professor Geoffrey A. Cordell http://bit.ly/inhHjQ

COVER STORIES: INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF CHEMISTRY
Paradigm shifts could improve quality, availability, and sustainability of traditional and nontraditional medicines

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Downers Grove Reporter [2011.06.16]: " Downers Grove site where medical research being done on exotic plants for the University of Illinois" http://bit.ly/izqrDG

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Dr. Soejarto and the Field Station featured in a photo gallery on mysuburbanlife.com (Downers Grove Reporter) [2011.06.06]Medicine from plants http://bit.ly/mxX6Rs

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Congrats to Hiten Gutka who won 3rd place in the COP Image Competition (also to Andrew and Suzanne who tied for 4th) http://bit.ly/j0oXqA

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UIC News [2011.05.25]: Researchers seek defenses against bioterrorism http://bit.ly/jWUWO7

UIC researchers received a federal contract for nearly $14 million to develop antibiotics against anthrax, tularemia and plague — diseases that defense experts fear could be used in biological warfare.

PHOTO: Michael Johnson, right, and Hyun-Young Jeong. “The pharmaceutical industry has largely abandoned antibiotic research,” Johnson says.

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Congrats to Hazem Abdelkarim, a Spring 2011 recipient of a Chancellor's Graduate Research Fellowship Award. http://bit.ly/eXUGbx

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Congrats to Andrew Newsome, winner of an honorable mention in the 2011 The Image of Research exhibit competition for his photo titled "Natural Pigment Solutions". http://bit.ly/fLmzlo

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Congrats to Tyvette Hilliard, who is one of the 2011 Abraham Lincoln Fellowship Retention Round Awardees. http://bit.ly/hrsgrX

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Congrats to Maryam Elfeki (and her advisor, Brian Murphy) who has been awarded the ASP Undergraduate Research Award for 2011. http://bit.ly/fZ2zop

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Congrats to Brian Murphy, who has been selected to receive the D. John Faulkner Award http://bit.ly/dWCMPj and a Research Starter Grant http://bit.ly/gGFsgU from the American Society of Pharmacognosy (ASP).

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UIC News [2011.03.16]: New finding in ribosome signal may lead to improved antibiotics http://bit.ly/dFmeYI

Alexander Mankin: UIC researchers have discovered a signaling mechanism in the bacterial ribosome that detects proteins that activate genes for antibiotic resistance..

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C&EN article [2011.02.28]: Navigating Nagoya http://bit.ly/eWpgzX

Natural product hunters prepare to adapt to new biodiversity treaty (Lead photo and quotes from D. Doel Soejarto)

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Bethany Elkington co-presented a lunchtime lecture entitled "Folk Epidemiology Recorded in Palm Leaf Texts" at the Northern Illinois University Division of International Program's Brown Bag Series on Thursday, March 3rd with NIU Language professor and Center for Southeast Asian Studies associate John Hartmann. They discussed recent efforts by
linguistic experts to scan centuries-old palm leaf manuscripts in the
National Library of Laos in an effort to find and preserve knowledge of
traditional medicine, historical medical records, and folk beliefs.

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UIC News [2011.03.02]: What's in a name? Honors for pharmacy alum http://bit.ly/gYhF8t

Looking around the room, Chun-Tao Che saw many of the celebrated scientists he trained under 33 years ago at UIC, and he felt like a student again.

But he’s not. Today, he is one of them.

An investiture ceremony last week at Chicago’s University Club honored Che as the first Norman R. Farnsworth professor of pharmacognosy, the first endowed professorship in the College of Pharmacy’s 150-year history.

Che is considered one of the top pharmacognosy researchers in the world, especially in the field of traditional Chinese medicine.

“This is the most significant highlight of my career, and I am privileged to be the first person awarded this prestigious position,” Che said.

“There’s no doubt in my mind Dr. Farnsworth is the most prominent pharmacognosist of our time. “

As a former UIC student, I am profoundly grateful for the education and training I received, and I feel highly honored to be a member of the pharmacognosy faculty at my alma mater. This new title will keep reminding me of the storied history of UIC’s department of pharmacognosy.”

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UIC News Release [2011.02.22]: New Finding in Ribosome Signaling May Lead to Improved Antibiotics http://bit.ly/gl46lx

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have discovered a signaling mechanism in the bacterial ribosome that detects proteins that activate genes for antibiotic resistance.
"The ribosome is one of the most complex molecular machines in the cell," said Alexander Mankin, UIC professor and director of the Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. It is responsible for the production of all proteins in the cell, and in bacteria it is one of the major antibiotic targets.
Understanding how signals are generated and transmitted within the ribosome, Mankin said, may one day lead to better antibiotics.
Mankin's research, funded by the National Science Foundation, has been published in the journal Molecular Cell.
Mankin and his research team -- Haripriya Ramu, Nora Vazquez-Laslop and Dorota Klepacki -- was assisted by Qing Dai and Joseph Piccirilli, of the University of Chicago and Ronald Micura of the University of Innsbruck in Austria. .

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Congratulations to Brent Friesen, Adjunct Professor in MCP and ITR,
who has just received approval for his promotion to Full Professor at
his primary institution, Dominican University.

Brent is a PhD natural products chemist, who has been a close
collaborator and adjunct since 2003. He is first/key author on about
a dozen peer-reviewed papers, and is widely considered an expert in
countercurrent analysis of natural products with an excellent citation
track record. Brent has also actively contributed to our pharmacognosy
graduate program as lecturer, mentor and committee member. He is
co-inventor on two patents, which are currently in process, and also
Co-I on a current R43/R44 project in the department.

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Brian Wright @Suntimes article: ‘In Search of Genius’ - and finding it in pharmacognosy (1/15/2011) http://bit.ly/gRXcVp

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Congratulations to Monika Darji and Maryam Elfeki for being selected as recipients of Caterpillar Awards for Undergraduate Research. These awards have been made possible through the generosity of the Caterpillar Foundation to pay for the costs associated with research for students in the Honors College who are conducting research in the natural sciences and engineering (including disciplines such mathematics, computer science, neuroscience, etc.)

  • Monika Darji has been awarded $930 for her project entitled, "Investigation of the Safety and the Effects of Cotreatment of Tamoxifen and Red Clover Projects" (Faculty Mentor: Birgit Dietz)
  • Maryam Elfeki has been awarded $500 for her project entitled, "Chemical Antagonism Between Marine Actinomycetes and Neighboring Bacteria" (Faculty Mentor: Brian Murphy)

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Congratulations to Douglas Thomas, one of the two winners of the 2011 Hans W. Vahlteich Research Scholar Awards. http://bit.ly/fDcbYK

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UIC News [2010.11.17]: Can dietary supplements alleviate menopausal symptoms? http://bit.ly/91P0Eq

Can botanical dietary supplements such as black cohosh, licorice and hops help alleviate menopausal symptoms in women? Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy have received a $7.4 million five-year federally funded grant to find out.

[Photo] Norman Farnsworth leads the center’s research, which also studies red clover and other plants.

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UIC News [2010.11.17]: Norman Farnsworth among 19 scientists nationwide to receive a 2010 Merit Award from the NIH http://bit.ly/9KpREj

Norman Farnsworth, professor of pharmacognosy, is among 19 scientists nationwide to receive a 2010 Merit Award from the National Institutes of Health.

They were honored as members of the PDQ (physician data query) Complementary and Alternative Medicine editorial board, which develops evidence-based cancer information summaries for health professionals and the public.

The award was presented at the National Cancer Institute’s Director’s Awards Ceremony Nov. 4 on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Md.

Former UIC professor A. Douglas Kinghorn, now professor and chairman of the department of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy at Ohio State, was also honored.

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Joanna Burdette has been awarded a 2011 Liz Tilberis Scholar research grant by the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF): http://bit.ly/aJYBHt & http://bit.ly/b45iL1

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Congrats to Norman Farnsworth for his Service Recognition Award for 40 Years of Service: http://bit.ly/amKy17

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Norman Farnsworth + UIC/NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements mentioned in Chicago Tribune blog: http://bit.ly/97aATz

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UIC News Release [2010.09.01]: UIC to Study Whether Botanicals Can Ease Menopause http://bit.ly/c1N4GN

Can botanical dietary supplements such as black cohosh, licorice and hops help alleviate menopausal symptoms in women? Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy have received a $7.4 million five-year federally funded grant to find out.

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NIH News [2010.08.31]: NIH announces five Botanical Research Centers http://bit.ly/9bIygx

Studies of the safety, effectiveness, and biological action of botanical products are major focuses for the five dietary supplement research centers selected to be jointly funded by the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), two components of the National Institutes of Health. The NIH's National Cancer Institute is co-supporting two of the five centers.

The competitive awards, approximately $1.5 million each per year for five years, were made to Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, La.; University of Illinois at Chicago; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; University of Missouri, Columbia; and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Winston-Salem, N.C.

These five interdisciplinary and collaborative dietary supplement centers, known as the Botanical Research Centers (BRC) Program (http://ods.od.nih.gov/Research/BRCProgram), are expected to advance understanding of how botanicals may affect human health. "Eventually, the program may provide data that translates to new ways to reduce disease risk," explained Paul M. Coates, Ph.D., director of ODS. "Until then, the research from these centers will help the public make informed decisions about botanical dietary supplements."

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C&EN article [2010.06.21]: Cancer Prevention, Naturally http://bit.ly/cMZhKo

The difficult search for cancer-preventing natural products takes several paths. (John Pezzuto quoted, Andrew Mesecar mentioned)

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UIC News [2010.04.21]: UIC-high school partnership already shows success http://bit.ly/c3k9xD

[photo caption]:UIC student Lakshmi Kuravi tutors freshmen Chris Sosa, Deon Mendez and Bianca Tate after school.

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Scott Franzblau - interviewed by @HigherEdCareers for @HigherEdJobs : "How Do You Do Scientific Research and Teach?" http://bit.ly/bDcyJq

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C&EN article [2010.02.03]: Progesterone Proof http://bit.ly/94LrJb

Natural Products: New evidence confirms suspicion that plants can also make well-known hormone

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UIC News Release [2010.01.26]: Antibiotics Might Team Up to Fight Deadly Staph Infections http://bit.ly/9O4U5u

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Israel's Weizman Institute of Science have found that two antibiotics working together might be more effective in fighting pathogenic bacteria than either drug on its own.

Individually, lankacidin and lankamycin, two antibiotics produced naturally by the microbe streptomyces, are marginally effective in warding off pathogens, says Alexander Mankin, professor and associate director of the UIC Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and lead investigator of the portion of the study conducted at UIC.

Mankin's team found that when used together, the two antibiotics are much more successful in inhibiting growth of dangerous pathogens such as MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and possibly others.

The research results are published in the Jan. 11 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

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UIC News [2010.01.13]: Researchers improve quality, safety of plants used as herbal products http://bit.ly/4Xgwt9

Researchers plan to test 10 commonly used botanical dietary supplements, including echinacea, which grows in UIC’s medicinal plant garden.

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GateHouse News Service [2010.01.05]: Researcher studies DNA of cancers http://bit.ly/4WFror http://bit.ly/7465vO

ROCKFORD, Ill. — Dr. Leslyn Hanakahi’s expertise is in DNA repair. Her current focus is on how cancer cells accomplish it.

Specifically, the new assistant professor in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford’s soon-to-open College of Pharmacy is interested in finding a pathway to developing a drug that will help radiation and chemotherapy treatments more efficiently break down the DNA of cancer cells.
(cont.)

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UIC News [2009.12.02]: Research seeks remedies for bioterrorism http://bit.ly/8jK2VL

Michael Johnson's research team is developing more effective antibiotics to treat anthrax, tularemia and plague.

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UIC News Release [2009.11.10]: UIC to Develop Antibiotics Against Potential Bioterrorism Agents http://bit.ly/1Dx1zV

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have received a $4 million federal grant to develop new antibiotics to treat anthrax, tularemia and plague.

Anthrax, tularemia and plague are caused by naturally occurring bacteria classified as "category-A" agents that could be used in bioterrorism and biowarfare.

These microorganisms pose a risk to national security because they can be easily transmitted and disseminated, result in high mortality, have potential major public health impact and could cause panic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Hongjie Zhang, PhD, Res Assoc Prof, among UIC Faculty to be recognized at the CCSAA Reception, Nov 10, 2009

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Welcome to our new Rockford faculty:
Les and Jae
Assistant Professor Leslyn Hanakahi and Research Assistant Professor Jae Choi
November 2, 2009

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UIC News [2009.10.28]: Postdoc wins fellowship for herbal studies http://bit.ly/4kRjH5

Tanja Goedecke, a postdoctoral student in medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy, is one of six scientists to receive a U.S. Pharmacopeia fellowship. The program includes a $25,000 grant.

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(Emeritus Professor) Tony Hopfinger is the 2010 Herman Skolnik Awardee http://bit.ly/PNP3k

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Nature [2009.10.22]: Seeds of Collaboration. Interesting article about the Chicago Biomedical Consortium (CBC) - which UIC is a part of http://bit.ly/41mQk3

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Doel Soejarto presented the 5th Annual Lecture on the Medicines from Nature at the UAMS on October 16, 2009 (pdf)

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Congratulations to Joanna Burdette and Michael Federle, recipients of the Hans W. Vahlteich Research Scholar Award http://bit.ly/jgzY7

PHOTO: Current and past Vahlteich Award winners with Mrs. Beverly Delaney (Dr. Vahlteich’s daughter) 1:34 PM Sep 25th

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UIC News [2009.08.19]: Search for new therapeutics to treat depression http://bit.ly/BFwBY

A College of Pharmacy researcher received a five-year, $4.8 million federal grant to develop new therapeutics to treat depression.

Depression, a serious medical illness involving the brain, affects more than 20 million people in the United States, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Symptoms can include sadness, loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed, weight change, difficulty in sleeping (or oversleeping), loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness and thoughts of death or suicide.

The illness can run in families, and it occurs more often in women than men.

The most common treatment option is the combination of antidepressant medication and psychotherapy. Other treatments include lifestyle, behavioral and thought modifications, and alternative and complimentary medicines.

What's needed are antidepressants that work faster, have fewer side effects and act pharmacologically in new ways, says Alan Kozikowski, professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacogonosy and the grant's principal investigator.

Kozikowski and his research team have been designing and synthesizing novel nicotine-like compounds that target certain receptors in the brain, in hopes that they would improve cognition in Alzheimer's disease.

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UIC News Release [2009.08.06]: Botanical Center: Botanicals Have No Effect on Hot Flashes or Cognition: Study http://bit.ly/18Ptfa

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PR Newswire [2009.07.23] Fabricant Named Interim Executive Director and CEO of Natural Products Association

WASHINGTON, July 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Natural Products Association (NPA) announced today that Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., has been appointed interim executive director and CEO of the organization effective August 3. Fabricant has served as vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs with NPA since December of 2004. As was previously announced, David Seckman, who has headed the association for more than nine years, will be leaving at the end of the month to lead the Food Processing Equipment Manufacturers Association. (article-PDF)

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Chicago Tribune [2009.07.21] Editorial on the Dorothy Bradley Atkins Medicinal Plant Garden: Garden of miracles

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UIC News [2008.11.19]: Researchers developing drugs to block SARS

UIC researchers are developing a new class of drugs to block the spread of the virus that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.

Coronaviruses, which produce upper respiratory tract infections ranging from SARS to childhood croup, depend on an enzyme called a protease to replicate and spread.

The “papain-like protease” in the SARS virus also helps the virus evade the human immune system.

Using state-of-the-art robotics systems, a research team led by Andrew Mesecar, professor of pharmaceutical biotechnology, screened a “library” of more than 50,000 diverse compounds for candidates that might inhibit the protease. (more)

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The following promotions and tenure recommendations were approved by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees at its July 24, 2008 meeting, effective for the 2008-2009 academic year:

Professor

  • Andrew David Mesecar
  • Steven M. Swanson

Associate Professor

  • Guido Frank Pauli
  • Pavel A. Petukhov

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Scott G. Franzblau, Ph.D., served as one of the (two) keynote speakers for the 2008 Science Plenary, Global Health: Wellness, Illness and Infectious Disease, on Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at the 2008 AACP/AFPC Annual Meeting and Seminars. The 2008 Science Plenary focused on the future of health care, not just in the United States and Canada, but around the world. Dr. Franzblau discussed the latest drug discoveries to tackle the world's infectious disease challenges.

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UIC News [2008.09.08]: Pharmacy researcher wins 'novel drug discovery' award

Alan Kozikowski, professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy and director of the drug discovery program, is one of four international scientists to receive the third annual Novel Approaches to Drug Discovery for Alzheimer’s Disease award.

The award is sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, a biomedical venture philanthropy, and Elan Corp. Inc., a neuroscience-based biotechnology company.

Kozikowski and the three other winners, who will each receive $132,500 to support their work, were chosen by an independent panel of 15 experts from the foundation’s scientific review board.

Kozikowski’s research focuses on understanding the “histone code,” or the physical state of DNA that affects gene expression. His work could help in developing treatment for a wide range of disorders including cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and malaria.

“This work is truly exciting,” Kozikowski said.

Greg Thatcher, professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy, received the award in 2006.

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UIC News Release [2008.07.21]: Pond Scum Could Be Key to New Cancer Therapies

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy are collaborating with the Ohio State University and two other organizations to discover new cancer therapies derived from natural sources such as pond scum and plants from tropical rainforests.

UIC will receive nearly $3 million of the $8 million federal grant to complete multiple projects over five years. Along with Ohio State and UIC, Research Triangle Institute in North Carolina and Bristol-Myers Squibb will assist in the projects. The grant is funded by the National Cancer Institute.

Cyanobacteria, also referred to as blue-green algae or pond scum, is found in nearly every habitat, from oceans to fresh water to bare rocks to soil, and is a source of many unique chemical structures. UIC researchers, led by principal investigator Jimmy Orjala, assistant professor of pharmacognosy, will collect small samples of pond scum throughout the Midwest and grow them in liquid solutions in a temperature-controlled laboratory. .

Steve Swanson, associate professor and assistant head for research in medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy, leads the team of UIC researchers that will analyze the biological materials for biological activity once they have been extracted from the algae. (more)

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Harry Fong was honored as a 2008 recipient of the Burton Kallman Scientific Award at the Natural Products Association's annual trade show and convention, MarketPlace 2008, July 17-19 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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UIC News Release [2008.05.27]: Fulbright Fellow to Search for TB Cure in Laos

Bethany Elkington, a third-year doctoral student in medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will study in Laos this fall as a Fulbright Fellow to learn whether ancient manuscripts contain clues to treat tuberculosis.

Elkington, a native of Tooele, Utah, who received her undergraduate degree in biology at Purdue University, will travel to the Southeast Asian country this fall to begin her 10-month research project. (more)

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Bethany Elkington has been selected to receive a Fulbright award to Laos by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

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UIC News Release [2008.05.15]: UIC Researcher Wins Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Award

Alan Kozikowski, professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy and director of the drug discovery program at the University of Illinois at Chicago, was one of four international scientists to receive the third annual Novel Approaches to Drug Discovery for Alzheimer's Disease award.

The award is sponsored by the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation, a biomedical venture philanthropy, and Elan Corporation, Inc., a neuroscience-based biotechnology company.

Kozikowski and the three other winners will each receive $132,500 to support their work. They were chosen by an independent panel of 15 experts from the foundation's scientific review board.

"The awards highlight that there are many promising and innovative drug discovery research programs for Alzheimer's disease throughout the world," said foundation executive director Dr. Howard Fillit.

Throughout his career, Kozikowski's research has focused on understanding the "histone code," or the physical state of DNA that affects gene expression, and, in particular, on the design of histone deacetylase inhibitors as novel therapeutics for the treatment of a wide range of disorders including cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and even malaria.

"The histone deacetylase-based approach to drug discovery is only in its infancy," Kozikowski said. The use of modulators of the histone code for the treatment of diseases offers great potential for Alzheimer's and other illnesses, he said.

"Our work shows that in rodent models with traumatic brain injury, we are able to preserve neurons and to reduce inflammation. This work is truly exciting and encourages us to apply our novel drugs to other neurological disorders."

Kozikowski is the second UIC professor to have been honored with the award. Greg Thatcher, professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy, received the award in 2006, its inaugural year.

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Chang-Hwa Hwang was a 2008 recipient of the Chancellor's Student Service Award, at the 36th Annual Chancellor's Student Service and Leadership Awards, Wednesday, April 16, 2008. (full list of awardees here)

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Dr. Karol S. Bruzik has accepted an invitation to serve as a member of the Biochemistry and Biophysics Study Section, Center for Scientific Review, for the term beginning July 1, 2008 and ending June 30, 2012. Members are selected on the basis of their demonstrated competence and achievement in their scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors. [2008.04.08]

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abc7chicago [2008.02.07]: Richard van Breemen on ABC 7 Healthbeat

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AOAC International [2008]: van Breemen Wins 2008 Wiley Award

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Irida Kastrati was chosen as a recipient of the W.C. and May Preble Deiss Endowment for Biomedical Research for Fall 2007. The W. C. and May Preble Deiss Fund for Biomedical Research is an endowment established in 1985 to provide for research fellowships and grants for research materials to be awarded to graduate students engaged in research in the areas of clinical or basic medical sciences. [2007.11.14]

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UIC News [2007.10.17]: 2007 University Scholar Greg Thatcher

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UIC News Release [2007.10.16]: UIC Receives $2.4 Million NIH Grant to Advance Women's Health Research

The University of Illinois at Chicago is one of 15 universities to receive funding from the National Institutes of Health to foster career development in women's health research. The $2.4 million, five-year educational grant from the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health and the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development will fund and train junior faculty scholars to become independent women's health investigators. The program, Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health, is a collaborative effort between the UIC's National Center of Excellence in Women's Health, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Applied Health Sciences, and School of Public Health. Four UIC faculty scholars who will receive funding for their research are Angela Grippo, research specialist in psychiatry; Dr. Bryna Harwood, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology; Colleen Corte, assistant professor of public health, mental health and administrative nursing; and Joanna Burdette, assistant professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy.

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Faculty in the News [2007.09.17]: Mike Johnson, professor and director of the Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, and Bill Beck, professor and head of the department of biopharmaceutical sciences, were featured in a special report on FOX News about research being done at UIC on anthrax.

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UIC News Release [2007.08.30]: UIC Researchers Find Promising New Targets for Antibiotics

University of Illinois at Chicago researchers have identified new sites on the bacterial cell's protein-making machinery where antibiotics can be delivered to treat infections. "The primary challenge of antibiotic therapy has been fighting infections caused by the pathogens which became resistant to antibiotics," says Alexander Mankin, professor and associate director of UIC's Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and lead investigator of the study. "Not a single class of drugs has escaped the inevitable emergence of resistance." At present, Mankin said, "the constant development of new drugs is the only available strategy to keep up with the ever-growing variety of antibiotic-resistant pathogens." Mankin and his research team are looking for new vulnerable sites on bacteria where drugs can be delivered to fight the infections.

Douglas D. Thomas, PhD, joined the department as an Assistant Professor in August 2007.

Joanna E. Burdette, PhD, joined the department as an Assistant Professor in August 2007.

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Scitizen.com [2007.07.19]: New Drugs Offer Stroke Treatment by Changing Activity of DNA

The discovery of small molecules that act as inhibitors of enzymes, small machines in cells, that are involved in the chemical modification of proteins around which the DNA in cells is wrapped, offers an entirely new way of creating drugs.

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UIC News [2007.07.18]: Green and growing: Pharmacy showcases medicinal garden

More than 100 species of botanical plants will be on display as the College of Pharmacy hosts its first Garden Walk at the Dorothy Bradley Atkins Medicinal Plant Garden July 27-28. Along with guided tours of the garden (located at 833 S. Wood St)., College of Pharmacy experts will discuss topics ranging from the role of medicinal plants in treating cancer and improving women’s health to tips on gardening. The free event, which is open to the public, will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. The informational discussions will take place at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. The garden contains perennial, annual and tropical plants found throughout the world: the Mediterranean, northern Africa, North America, India, tropical Asia, China and Japan. Doel Soejarto, professor of pharmacognosy and biology and the garden’s director, uses the plants to teach his students about their molecular composition and how they can be used in treating diseases such as AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and cancer.

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news@nature.com [2007.07.06]: New candidate drug for bipolar disorder

A potential new drug for treatment of bipolar disorder (sometimes called manic depression) is being designed by researchers in Chicago and New York. The team hopes that their compound, which works as well in mice as do the currently prescribed drugs, will ultimately provide relief without the side-effects of present treatments. Bipolar disorder, which afflicts about 1% of adults, is typically treated with drugs called mood stabilizers, especially lithium and a compound called valproic acid. These medications can have unpleasant side effects, such as weight gain and excessive thirst, making it important to find alternatives. But although these drugs were discovered decades ago, nothing better has yet emerged. Mood stabilizers such as lithium are thought to act by blocking the function of an enzyme called glycogen synthase kinase-3beta (GSK-3beta) in the brain. Researchers have found other substances that can block GSK-3beta elsewhere in the body for treatment of other conditions, but these can't combat bipolar disorder because they don't get into the brain. Alan Kozikowski of the University of Illinois in Chicago and his co-workers took a directed, rational approach to searching out a new drug candidate. They knew about a class of newly discovered compounds that inhibit an enzyme similar to GSK-3beta, and wondered whether their affinity for such enzymes meant that the compounds could bind to GSK-3beta too. Tests showed that they do. To gear this class of compounds for treating bipolar disorder, Kozikowski and colleagues did two things. First, they looked for a way to improve binding to the enzyme. Like most enzyme inhibitors, these compounds seem to stick in the enzyme's 'active site', a kind of cleft in which it binds and transforms its normal target molecules in the cell. So the researchers looked for similar molecules that might be expected to fit more neatly into this specific enzyme's cavity. They also altered the enzyme so that it could get from the blood into the brain, which involves passing through a water-resistant membrane. "We got rid of some water-soluble groups to make them a bit greasier," says Kozikowski. Using these guidelines, Kozikowski and his colleagues made a whole family of molecules (called 3-(benzofuran-3-yl)-4-(indol-3-yl)maleimides) that should act as GSK-3beta inhibitors, and tested how well each of these blocked the enzyme's chemical behaviour. They identified the best of them and looked at whether it would work in animals. In a mouse model of 'mania', hyperactive mice were calmed and moved around much less when given the new candidate drug, the researchers report in the Journal of the American Chemical Society1. The new compound looks promising, but a lot of work remains to be done before it will be ready for human trials. One concern about GSK-3beta inhibitors generally is that, if the compound disrupts functions the enzyme has elsewhere in the body, it might trigger processes that lead to cancer. There is no evidence, however, that lithium treatment increases the risk of cancer. And Kozikowski doesn't expect such problems with his new candidates either. In fact, he has found that some related molecules show promise in stopping pancreatic cancer. The next step is to make molecules that bind as selectively to GSK-3beta as possible, he adds, so that they don't interfere with the action of other, similar enzymes.

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UIC News Release [2007.07.05]: Medicinal Plants Showcased at UIC Garden Walk

WHO/WHAT: Medicinal plants may hold the key to better health. From cancer to colds to hot flashes and PMS, see what's under investigation at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy. More than 100 species of medicinal plants, such as black cohosh, echinacea and foxglove, will be showcased at Garden Walk '07.
WHERE: Dorothy Bradley Atkins Medicinal Plant Garden 833 S. Wood St. (corner of Wood and Polk streets)
WHEN: July 27, 28 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
DETAILS: The Dorothy Bradley Atkins Medicinal Plant Garden contains perennial, annual and tropical plants from around the world. Doel Soejarto, professor of pharmacognosy and biology at UIC and a renowned plant explorer, serves as the garden's director. Along with guided tours of the garden, informational discussions on how medicinal plants can be used in fighting diseases such as cancer or in improving women's health will be presented by faculty of the UIC College of Pharmacy. Gardening tips will also be discussed. The inaugural event is sponsored by the UIC College of Pharmacy, The Field Museum and Wild Oats. For more information, visit www.uic.edu/pharmacy/garden or call (630) 740-6960

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UIC News Release [2007.06.13]: Future Therapies for Stroke May Block Cell Death

A new therapy to re-activate silenced genes in patients who suffer from neurodegenerative diseases or stroke is being developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Cornell University. During and after a stroke, certain cellular events take place that lead to the death of brain cells. Compounds that inhibit a group of enzymes called histone deacetylases can modulate gene expression, and in some cases produce cellular proteins that are actually neuroprotective -- they are able to block cell death. "For the first time, we show which one of the 11 histone deacetylase enzymes might be the best target to achieve cellular neuroprotection," said the study's lead investigator, Alan Kozikowski, professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy and director of the drug discovery program at UIC. "This work gives us a good direction to follow in testing histone deacetylase inhibitors in animal models for diseases such as Parkinson's and Huntington's disease, and even stroke." Kozikowski said the new findings, performed in collaboration with Dr. Brett Langley at the Burke-Cornell Medical Research Institute in White Plains, N.Y., are significant, and that "other exciting results are on the horizon." Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have found that other histone deacetylase inhibitors they have designed show promise for pancreatic cancer, while yet another, in work performed at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, may be effective against malaria. "This is a new area of drug discovery for the 22nd century," Kozikowski said. The study is published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. It was funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Defense and other sources.

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Tanja Godecke and Taichi Inui were each selected as recipients of an ODS Travel Award to attend the Training Course on Optimization and In-house Validation of Analytical Methods for Dietary Supplements (July 19 and 20, 2007) immediately following the American Society of Pharmacognosy meeting [May 31, 2007]

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The Golden Apple Award was presented by the Class of 2007 to Dr. Matthias Lu for teaching excellence from 2003 to 2007 in the Doctor of Pharmacy Program. [May 14, 2007]

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UIC News Release [2007.05.11]: Researchers Discover How Antibiotic Inhibits Bacterial Growth

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, in collaboration with research teams from Pharmacia & Upjohn and Pfizer, have discovered precisely how the antibiotic linezolid inhibits bacterial growth.
Scientists have known that the drug linezolid -- the first new antibiotic to enter the marketplace in 30 years -- works by binding to ribosomes, the protein production factory of the cell. But exactly where the binding occurred and how the drug worked was not known. Until now.
"Linezolid targets ribosomes, inhibits protein synthesis, and kills bacteria," said Alexander Mankin, professor and associate director of UIC's Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and lead investigator of the study. "If we know exactly where the drug binds, we can make it better and learn how to use it more effectively."
Linezolid is a synthetic antibiotic used for the treatment of infections caused by pathogens such as staph and strep, including multi-drug-resistant bacteria. Skin infections, pneumonia, and other diseases can be treated with linezolid. It is marketed in the United States as Zyvox.
The findings are published in the May 11 issue of the journal Molecular Cell.

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Dr. Norman Farnsworth and Dr. Richard van Breemen gave workshops on Women's Health and Botanical Safety at the Experimental Biology 2007 Annual Meeting held April 28 - May 2, 2007 in Washington, DC.

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Dr. D. Doel Soejarto, Professor of Pharmacognosy, received an award in the form of an honorary plaque and certificate from the Colombian Association of Botany at the Inauguration of the 4th Colombian Congress of Botany, April 22-28, 2007, for his contribution in the development of the science of botany in Colombia and for founding the Herbarium of the University of Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia, in Ooctober, 1969, presently the second largest botanical institution in Colombia, with 180,000 herbarium specimens collection holding. More than 1000 participants attended the Congress, which was held in the city of Medellin, Colombia.

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The Annual UIC College of Pharmacy Graduate Student Awards Ceremony was held Thursday, April 19, 2007. Congratulations to the following awardees from the Graduate Programs in Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy:

Megan Sturdy Professor Ludwig Bauer Scholarship in Medicinal Chemistry
Kiira Ratia Edward Benes Scholarship
Taichi Inui Charles P. Bondy Memorial Scholarship
Valerie Sershon Joseph Frank Celer Scholarship
Jialin Mao Oscar Robert Oldberg Prize in Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Ang Liu Charles Wesley Petranek Memorial Scholarship
Lisa Smith Paul Sang Memorial Scholarship
Jian Guo van Doren Scholar
Denise Holzle van Doren Scholar
Irida Kastrati van Doren Scholar
Huu Nguyen van Doren Scholar
Vaishali Sinha van Doren Scholar
Seok-Ming Toh van Doren Scholar
Shunyan Mo Lloyd Yale Memorial Scholarship

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Recipients of Additional Awards, 2006-2007:

Huu Nguyen AFPE Pre-Doctoral Fellowship
Gary Klein UIC Fellowship
Jacqueline LaMarre UIC Fellowship
Cassia Overk Rho Chi Invitation and NIH-NRSA
Marcy Balunas Kilmer Prize from APA
Shalaka Samant American Heart Association, Graduate College and WISE Travel Awards
Lisa Smith WISE Travel Award
Seok-Ming Toh ICAAC Travel Award
Jialin Mao Graduate College Travel Award

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Dr. Matthias Lu has been selected as one of the 2007 recipients of the Jack L. Beal Post-baccalaureate Alumni Award, sponsored by The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy (his alma mater) and the OSU College of Pharmacy Alumni Society. These awards, in their nineteenth year, are presented to alumni of The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy who have made many outstanding contributions to the pharmaceutical sciences and the profession of Pharmacy. The Jack L. Beal Award will be presented at their Twenty-fourth Annual Alumni Awards Banquet on the evening of May 4, 2007. [March 1, 2007]

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Dr. Matthias Lu has been unanimously selected by the College of Pharmacy Urban Health Program Students to receive the 2007 Urban Health Program Distinguished Faculty Award. The selection was based on the faculty member that students perceive to have consistently and patiently assisted them in excelling in their most challenging coursework, and most importantly showing a caring attitude where students are concerned. He will receive the award on April 21, 2007 during the Annual Student National Pharmaceutical Association Banquet. [February 28, 2007]

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UIC News Release [2007.01.22]: UIC Receives Grant to Find New Drugs for Bipolar Disorder

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have been awarded a three-year $2.1 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to develop a new drug to treat bipolar disorder. The goal is to develop a compound that is able to enter the brain and block the mania associated with the disease, says principal investigator Alan Kozikowski, professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy.
Working with Kozikowski are Sylvie Blond, associate professor in UIC's Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology; Pavel Petukhov, assistant professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy; Irina Gaysin, senior research specialist of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy; and Paul McGonigle of PsychoGenics, Inc., of Tarrytown, N.Y.

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UIC News Release [2006.11.13]: UIC Awarded $6.3 Million Aimed at Restored Vision

The University of Illinois at Chicago has been awarded a five-year, $6.3 million grant from the National Eye Institute for a bioengineering project to restore vision to individuals blinded by retinal degenerative diseases such as age-related macular degeneration.
Co-investigators on the grant from UIC include Haohua Qian, Nalin Kumar, ophthalmology and visual science; Brian Kay, biological sciences; Karol Bruzik, medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy; Jack Kaplan, biochemistry and molecular genetics; Guy LeBreton, pharmacology; Jie Liang, bioengineering; and Sandra Rosenthal, Vanderbilt University; Robert Standaert, Oak Ridge National Laboratory; and Tejal Desai, University of California at San Francisco.

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Mei Zhang has been selected as a recipient of the 2006-2007 UIC Award of Merit, a campus-wide honor which recognizes academic professional and support staff employees who have demonstrated excellence in service, commitment, and dedication by the Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. [October 5, 2006]

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Dr. Norman Farnsworth will receive the 2006 North American Menopausal Society/Enzymatic Therapy Botanicals Research Award.

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UIC News Release [2006.05.17]: Natural Products Database Now Online

A comprehensive database containing extensive scientific and clinical literature on herbal medicine and natural products compiled by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago is now available via the Internet. NAPRALERT, online at www.napralert.org, includes information on more than 200,000 published studies in the field of natural products representing organisms, including marine organisms, from countries throughout the world. By accessing NAPRALERT via the Web, researchers, educators and clinicians can find information on the pharmacological, ethnomedical and phytochemical properties of these organisms. "NAPRALERT is the world's largest database on herbs and medicinal plant research, and it is a compilation of natural products used for health purposes and the development of new medications," said Norman Farnsworth, distinguished professor of pharmacognosy and director of the Program for Collaborative Research in the Pharmaceutical Sciences at UIC. Most, but not all, of the natural products included, he said, are derived from plants.

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The Annual UIC College of Pharmacy Graduate Student Awards Ceremony was held Thursday, April 20, 2006. Congratulations to the following awardees from the Graduate Programs in Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy:

Jeffrey Dahl Professor Ludwig Bauer Scholarship in Medicinal Chemistry
Yi Li Charles L. Bell Scholarship in Medicinal Chemistry
Chuan Bai Edward Benes Scholarship
George Chlipala Charles P. Bondy Memorial Scholarship
Yan Luo Joseph Frank Celer Scholarship
Brian Doyle Al R. Langerman Memorial Scholarship
Samer Abdul-Hay Oscar Robert Oldberg Prize in Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Nicole Freedman Charles Wesley Petranek Memorial Scholarship
Jialin Mao Paul Sang Memorial Scholarship
Aarti Sawant Paul Sang Memorial Scholarship
Maria Gomez van Doren Scholar
Renda Hawwa van Doren Scholar
Denise Holzle van Doren Scholar
Taichi Inui van Doren Scholar
Matthew Main van Doren Scholar
Cassia Overk van Doren Scholar
Shalaka Samant van Doren Scholar
Qi Shen van Doren Scholar
Huidong Yu van Doren Scholar
Xiao Zhang van Doren Scholar
Hongmei Cao Lloyd Yale Memorial Scholarship

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Graduate College Fellowships and Awards:

George Chlipala Provost's Award Spring 2006
Gary Klein University Fellowship (renewal)
Seok-Ming Toh University Fellowship (renewal)

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Recipients of Additional Awards, 2005-2006:

Ryan Case AFPE Pre-Doctoral Fellowship
Joanna Michel AFPE Pre-Doctoral Fellowship
Huu Nguyen AFPE Pre-Doctoral Fellowship
Matthew Main Botanical Standardization of Medical Plants Training Travel Award
Donna Webster National Institutes of Health Fellowship
Huu Nguyen Minority Dissertation Supplement/Rockford EXPORT
Ghenet Hagos Society of Toxicology Travel Award
Shixin Deng UIC Fellowship
Ayano Imai UIC Fellowship
Jinghu Li UIC Fellowship
Matthew Main UIC Fellowship
Long Yuan UIC Fellowship

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UIC News [2006.04.18]: UIC Scientist Wins Award for Alzheimer's Research

Greg Thatcher, professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, was one of four scientists selected to receive the inaugural Novel Approaches to Drug Discovery for Alzheimer's disease award. The award is sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Aging, a biomedical venture philanthropy founded by the Estee Lauder family and Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a neuroscience-based biotechnology company. Thatcher and the other three winners will each receive $130,000 to support their work.

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UIC News [2006.04.03]: Researchers Probe Enzyme That May Lead To New SARS Drugs

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and two other institutions have unraveled the structure of an important new drug target from the virus that causes SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome. "By unlocking the three-dimensional structure of this enzyme -- known as papain-like-protease (PLpro) -- we now have a molecular road map to design new drugs that could potentially treat SARS-infected patients, or perhaps patients suffering from other SARS-related illnesses such as the common cold, bronchitis or pneumonia," said Andrew Mesecar, associate professor of pharmaceutical biotechnology in the UIC College of Pharmacy. "We are attempting to use the same approach that has been accomplished in designing effective drugs against HIV protease, which has led to the development of new drugs to fight the AIDS virus."

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Dr. Norman Farnsworth was appointed to the Journal of Traditional Knowledge editorial board

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Dr. Gregory Thatcher was selected to become a member of the National Institutes of Health Cancer Etiology Study Section, Center for Scientific Review

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CBC Press Release [Feb. 8, 2006]: Searle Family to Fund Biomedical Research in Chicago

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust has made a grant of $5 million to the Chicago Biomedical Consortium (CBC), a collaboration of Northwestern University, the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago. The grant, the first of a planned five-year donation of $5 million per year for a total of $25 million, is designed to support and stimulate innovative multi-institutional collaborations in research and education that will enable the Chicago area to become a leader in the biomedical sciences.

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Dean's Dispatch, Vol 5, Issue 4 [February 2006]: WHO Extends 25-Year Partnership

The College of Pharmacy was redesignated as a PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center for Traditional Medicine by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

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Dr. Michael Johnson was elected to the all-campus Promotion and Tenure Committee through the year 2008.

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Dean's Dispatch, Vol 5, Issue 3 [December 2005]: COP Strikes Agreement With Chicago Botanic Garden

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Dr. Alexander Mankin was invited by the Russian Academy of Sciences to become a member of the International Advisory Board for the journal, Molecular Biology.

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Drs. Birgit Jaki, David Lankin, and Guido Pauli were recognized in November 2005 by the American Chemical Society Publications for having the most frequently accessed article in the Journal of Natural Products. The notable article is titled "Quantitative 1H NMR: Development and Potential of a Method for Natural Products Analysis."

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Dr. Judy Bolton was approved as Head, Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy by the Board of Trustees in November, 2005.

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Dr. Norman Farnsworth was reappointed to the "PDQ Cancer Complimentary and Alternative Medicine Editorial Board" of the National Cancer Institute for an additional two years.

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Dr. Andrew Mesecar was nominated and elected to become a member of the 2006-2007 Defense Science Study Group.

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Dr. Norman Farnsworth received the annual Research Achievement Award from the American Society of Pharmacognosy during the society's 46th Annual Meeting in Corvallis, Washington. Beginning in 2006, the award will be named "The Norman R. Farnsworth Research Achievement Award in Natural Products Research"

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Congratulations to Dr. Alexander S. Mankin for receiving a 2005 UIC Excellence in Teaching Award and being named a University Scholar.

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UIC News [2005.07.08]: UIC Researchers Show How Cancer-Preventing Foods Work

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago are unraveling the biochemical mechanism by which functional foods combat cancer. "Compounds like sulforaphane in broccoli and resveratrol in wine have been shown to prevent cancer," said Andrew Mesecar, associate professor of pharmaceutical biotechnology in the UIC College of Pharmacy. "They do that by signaling our bodies to ramp up the production of proteins capable of preventing damage to our DNA. "We now have a good idea how that signal works."

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Dr. Guido Pauli was approved by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine to serve as Project Leader on the UIC/NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplement Research in Women's Health project titled "Project 1: Standardization of Botanicals". Dr. Pauli was also appointed to the Graduate College Awards Committee for a three-year term from Fall 2005 through Spring 2008.

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Dr. Steven M. Swanson has been selected to serve as a member of the Chemo/Dietary Prevention Study Section, Center for Scientific Review, NIH for the term beginning July 1, 2005, and ending June 30, 2008.

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The Golden Apple Award was presented by the Class of 2005 to Matthias Lu, PhD for the best teaching during all four professional years of the Doctor of Pharmacy Program, College of Pharmacy, UIC.

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UIC News [2005.06.05]: Researchers at work on promising drug against SARS

A prototype drug created by UIC researchers shows promise in slowing replication of the virus responsible for severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS. Currently there are no effective antiviral agents or vaccines for SARS, which killed almost 800 people in an epidemic in 2002-2003. On the basis of their success, the researchers received an $8 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop protease inhibitors that would block key enzymes in the SARS virus and hamper its advance.

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UIC News [2005.06.01]: College of Pharmacy receives $5 million to study botanical treatments for menopause

Researchers in the College of Pharmacy received $5 million from the National Institutes of Health to study botanical supplements that may provide relief from menopausal symptoms. "We're looking for things that will reduce hot flashes but do not have the same side-effect profile as hormone therapy," said Norman Farnsworth, professor and director of the program for collaborative research in the pharmaceutical sciences. "Our wish is to establish the safety and efficacy of botanical supplements as alternatives to hormone replacement." The college's Center for Botanical Dietary Supplement Research in Women's Health is one of five botanical research centers to receive the grants, which total $1 million a year for five years.

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Dean's Dispatch, Vol 4, Issue 8 [June 2005]: NIH Funds $5 Million Botanical Supplements Study

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Congratulations to Marcy Balunas, recipient of a Dean's Scholar Award for 2005-2006.

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UIC received an award of funds totaling $1.15 million for the purchase and operation of a Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometer (FTMS) from the Searle Funds at the Chicago Community Trust (CCT), and contributions from UIC, Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago.

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Dr. Norman Farnsworth received the E.K. Janaki Ammal Medal from the Lucknow, India-based Society of Ethnobotanists, in recognition of his long and distinguished service to Ethnobotany. (Dr. Doel Soejarto received the Janaki Ammal Medal in 1999)

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The following are some of our recent graduates:

Shixin Deng, PhD, Pharmacognosy Fall 2005
Manisha Iyer, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry Fall 2005
Yi Li, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry Fall 2005
Wenzhong Liang, PhD, Pharmacognosy Fall 2005
Guowen Liu, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry Fall 2005
Yinghui Liu, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry Fall 2005
Amanda Koch, PhD, Pharmacognosy Summer 2005
Yongkai Sun, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry Summer 2005
Xiaofeng Yang, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry Summer 2005
Nancy Booth, PhD, Pharmacognosy Spring 2005
Xun Cheng, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry Spring 2005
Yan Li, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry Spring 2005
Natasa Pajkovic, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry Spring 2005
Haripriya Ramu, MS, Pharmacognosy Spring 2005
Kanakeshwari Falzari, PhD, Pharmacognosy Fall 2004
Jianzhong Liu, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry Fall 2004
Tatiana Lobo-Echeverri, PhD, Pharmacognosy Summer 2004
more recent grads

 

Congratulations and best wishes to all!


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