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Ben Naman, Ph.D., Director of Medicinal Plants Research Department of Science and Conservation, San Diego Botanic Garden

Medicinal Plants Research and Drug Discovery: Lessons from the Past and Plans for the Future

Tuesday, January 24, 2023, 10-11:15 am

This Presentation is Virtual 

San Diego Botanic Garden is working with local partner organizations to creatively build on the rich history of medicinal plants having been used worldwide for millennia. Pharmaceutical studies on medicinal plants also led to the development of the first modern or “Western” medicines only in the last few centuries, and many more plant-derived drugs or plant-based medicines have emerged in the time since. Historical and current aspects of traditional and modern medicines will be discussed from the standpoint of these being complementary in nature and beneficially contributing to each other in various ways. This presentation will describe the initial stages of the creation of a national medicinal plants collection and research consortium to catalyze drug discovery in San Diego and beyond, a project that was initiated at San Diego Botanic Garden in 2022.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

10:00-11:15 am. This Presentation is Virtual 

About Ben Naman, Ph.D.

Ben is a natural products scientist who devotes his energy to researching the chemical components of medicinal plants and marine organisms to better understand how they can be used to improve human health. Prior to joining San Diego Botanic Garden, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Ben worked in American and Chinese universities, a major multi-national flavor and fragrance company, and co-founded and managed two preclinical drug development startup companies. Ben has been a long-time member of the American Chemical Society, the American Society of Pharmacognosy, the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Ben more recently joined the San Diego Botanical Society, San Diego Diplomacy Council, and Society for Ethnobotany. Ben is an author or coauthor of over 50 published journal articles, book chapters, and awarded patents, is a well-traveled invited speaker, and has been recognized with awards and fellowships, honorary academic appointments, and professional society leadership positions over the years.

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