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Research on Botanical Dietary Supplements for Human Health & Well-being

Supported by grant P50AT000155 (1999-2022) from the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH; formerly NCCAM) of the National Institutes for Health (NIH), the UIC BRC studies Botanical Dietary Supplements for safety, health, and well-being.

Botanical Research Center | Projects & Outcomes Heading link

Botanical Research Center | Philosophy & Focus Heading link

The core philosophy of our Botanical Research Center (BRC) is as follows:

  • All botanical dietary supplements must be authenticated, chemically and biologically standardized, as well as produced and formulated according to good manufacturing practices to ensure suitable Botanical Product Integrity
  • Product integrity are essential for building confidence in consumers about the safety of botanical products they consume
  • Rigorous botanical research provides critical support for the substantiation of health claims, safety, and potential efficacy profiles of botanical dietary supplements

The research interests of our BRC focus on women’s health. Accordingly, Center investigators study plants which are reported to alleviate the symptoms of menopause and premenstrual syndrome, as well as plants that are documented to help build health resilience (“adapotogens”) in humans.

The Center has adopted a multidisciplinary strategy to achieve its basic research and clinical research objectives.  Participating faculty work collaboratively and synergistically to formulate best-practice models as they develop and apply new and evolving analytical techniques to the research and development of botanical dietary supplements. One primary goal is to foster interdisciplinary research in order to identify the potential health benefits of botanical dietary supplements. Therefore, the Center takes systematic approach to evaluating the safety and efficacy of herbal products, particularly those botanicals that are generally available to the U.S. public as dietary supplements. The Botanical Center’s scientific research addresses the mechanism of action, identification of active compounds, and characterization of metabolism, bioavailability, and pharmacokinetics of active species contained in the botanicals under study.

Botanical Research Center | Message from the Director Heading link

Guido F. Pauli, Pharm.D., Ph.D.

Since establishment of the NIH Botanical Research Center program by the ODS and NCCIH (formerly NCCAM) in 1999, UIC BRC researchers have contributed to the botanical research mission their expertise in pharmacognosy, chemistry, botany, medicine, and pharmacology. Our BRC is built on and continues the collaborative tradition of our founder, Dr. Norman Farnsworth. Our “field to the pharmacy” approach to translational research connects basic botanical, chemical, and pharmacological research with clinical trials that address aspects of drug-botanical dietary supplement interactions and efficacy.

Guido F. Pauli, Pharm.D., Ph.D.

Norman R. Farnsworth Professor of Pharmacognosy, Director UIC Pharmacognosy Institute

UIC/NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research Heading link

833 S. Wood Street Room 437, MC 781, Chicago, Illinois 60612