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Center Investigators

Center investigators bring a variety of disciplines to researching botanical dietary supplements. Profiles of the Center's Project Leaders and other key personnel can be found by clicking on the names below:

Guido F. Pauli, PharmD, PhD - Center Director, Project 1/ Core B Leader

Guido F. Pauli, PharmD, PhD – Center Director, Project 1/ Core B Leader

Research Interests: Within the realm of modern pharmacognosy, investigation of traditional as well as novel natural products by means of chemical, biological, pharmacological and metabolome analysis. Research tools are computer-aided structure elucidation, multidimensional and quantitative NMR, modern chromatographic methods including countercurrent chromatography, in tandem with in vitro and in vivo biology and pharmacology as well as microbiological methods. Relying on this tool chest, research focuses are in phytopharmacy and phytochemistry, herbal dietary supplements, reference materials, anti-TB drugs and mycobacterial secondary metabolites.


Richard B. van Breemen, PhD - Project 3/ Core D Leader 

Richard B. van Breemen, PhD – Project 3/ Core D Leader 

Research Interests: Biomedical applications of tandem mass spectrometry (MS-MS) and HPLC-MS-MS including the discovery and development of botanical natural products for cancer chemoprevention and women’s health. We are using mass spectrometry in all aspects of drug discovery and development from the screening of plant extracts for the discovery of new therapeutic agents to in vitro models of drug metabolism and bioavailability studies in clinical trials.

Lab Website:

(the late) Judy L. Bolton, PhD - Project 2/ Core C Leader

Judy L. Bolton, PhD – Project 2/ Core C Leader

Research Interests: Chemical toxicology. The toxic effects elicited by dietary constituents often involves oxidative metabolism to electrophilic intermediates. We utilize chemical and biological approaches to study the cytotoxic/genotoxic mechanism including synthesis, spectroscopy, chromatography and enzymology. Metabolites and metabolic intermediates are identified, and their effects on various biochemical parameters studied.

Shao-Nong Chen, PhD - Core B Co-Leader

Shao-Nong Chen, PhD – Core B Co-Leader

Research Interests: Characterizing the complex chemical composition and evaluate biological effects of secondary metabolites from natural sources using spectroscopic and chromatographic analysis; separation and purification and development of analytical methods; botanical integrity

Birgit M. Dietz, PhD - Core C Co-Leader

Birgit M. Dietz, PhD – Core C Co-Leader

Research Interests: Investigating mechanisms of estrogen carcinogenesis through partial agonists and the chemopreventive properties of botanicals, both through in vivo and in vitro studies.

Dejan Nikolic, PhD  - Core D Co-Leader

Dejan Nikolic, PhD  – Core D Co-Leader

Research Interests: Identification and structure elucidation of natural products using high resolution mass spectrometry and tandem mass spectrometry; quantitative analysis of active ingredients in plant extracts, biological fluids or tissues; pharmacokinetics and metabolism of natural products

Joanna E. Burdette, PhD - Co-Investigator

Joanna E. Burdette, PhD – Co-Investigator

Research Interests: The Burdette lab is interested in biological questions that are important for women’s health. We integrate imaging, drug discovery, and basic biology to try and understand how and where ovarian cancers originate. Our research primarily uses mouse models to understand early events in ovarian cancers. We are also using natural products to uncover new progestins and anti-cancer molecules.

David Lankin, PhD - Co-Investigator

David Lankin, PhD – Co-Investigator

Research Interests: NMR analysis of pharmacologically active compounds


Jimmy Orjala, PhD - Co-Investigator

Jimmy Orjala, PhD – Co-Investigator

Research Interests: Our research is focused on three areas: 1. Discovery of pharmacological active natural products from cultured cyanobacteria. 2. Chemical communication between microorganisms and its role in the phenomenon of ‘uncultivable’ microorganisms. 3. Novel antineoplastic agents from higher plants. Our research tools are modern chromatographic methods coupled with sensitive analytical techniques, such as microcoil NMR techniques, and molecular target assays.

Djaja D. Soejarto, PhD - Co-Investigator, Center Botanist

Djaja D. Soejarto, PhD – Co-Investigator, Center Botanist

Hyun Young Park, PhD - Project Coordinator, Researcher

Hyun Young Park, PhD – Project Coordinator, Researcher

Research Interests: Identification and evaluation of therapeutic efficacy of Natural Products or Functional Foods and its bioactive constituents.

David Seigler, PhD - Plant Specialist

David Seigler, PhD – Center Botanist

Marlos A. Viana, PhD - Center Biostatistician

Marlos A. Viana, PhD – Center Biostatistician

Clincal Trial Team Heading link

Elena Barengolts, MD - Clinical Trial Physician

Elena Barengolts, MD – Clinical Trial Physician

Research Interests: Clinical Trials: Prediabetes, Obesity, Brain-Gut-Glucoregulation interactions

Suzanne Banuvar, MHSA, CCRC - Clinical Trial Study Manager

Suzanne Banuvar, MHSA, CCRC – Clinical Trial Study Manager