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Botanical Center Training

Trainee Program & Resources Heading link

UIC Botanical Center botanist, Dr. Djaja D. Soejarto, discusses one of the Dorothy Bradley Atkins Medicinal Plant Garden trees with graduate students and postdocs

Serving  as an academic training center, the Botanical Research Center has been educating the next generation of individuals interested in botanicals dietary supplements and related natural products. By supporting the development of doctorate-level scientists who are knowledgeable in plant biology, chemistry, pharmacology, and their application in human health, the Center had made a meaningful contribution to the greater field of Pharmacognosy, as part of the mission of the Pharmacognosy Institute.

Training resources included top-tier research laboratories and highly experienced mentors with a passion for research and education in plant-derived natural health products. One core value of the training mission at the Botanical Center has been the concept of collaborative and interdisciplinary research: working in highly coordinated teams with multiple expertise is a requirement for transformative findings and the achievement of progress in addressing the many challenging questions of botanical efficacy and safety.

Trainees matriculate into the Botanical Center as graduate students through College of Pharmacy Graduate Programs that provide opportunities for those interested in developing a career in the disciplines related to botanical dietary supplements. Since its foundation in 1999, the Botanical Center has graduate over 50 PhDs and trained over 20 postdoctoral scientists. The highly diverse Center’s alumni have moved on to a gamut of careers in the dietary supplement and pharmaceutical industry, in regulatory and governmental entities, pharmacopoeia, education and academia, as well as have founded independent operations.

Training Grant Heading link

Since 2013, the Botanical Center has been associated with an NIH-funded T32 training program administrated in the Department Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSCI), which offers multidisciplinary training opportunities for PhD students. This T32 training grant also supports graduate students working in the Botanical Center.  The NIH training grant 5T32AT007533, entitled Research Training in Natural Product Complementary and Integrative Health, is led by Drs. Guido Pauli (Contact PI) and Jimmy Orjala as CoPIs/PDs. It is funded by the the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). Training grant objectives emphasize interdisciplinary collaborative research and incorporate the College of Pharmacy’s graduate programs.

Unique Training Resources Heading link

Several resources have been supporting the UIC Botanical Center in offering trainees access to state-of-the art equipment and resources as well as a unique medicinal plant research garden for researching natural products. These resources consist of the Botanical Core, the Analytical Core, and the Atkins Botanical Garden.

The first generation of Botanical Center Trainees Heading link

The first generation of Botanical Center Trainees at North Carolina in 2000

The first generation of Botanical Center Trainees were snapped in North Carolina Botanical Garden. They were led by Norman Farnsworth, the director of Botanical Center to visit Research Triangle Institute (RTI) in 2000. From left to right: Gail B. Mahady (Faculty), Daniel Fabrant, Joanna Burdette, Nancy L. Booth, Allison Turner, Colleen Pierson (Center Coordinator), Lucas Chadwick, Holly Johnson, Stephanie M. Schlecht, Jianghua Liu (Post-doc).

Training Alumni Heading link

First NameLast NameCountryCityCurrrent AffiliationYears
Stephanie M.(Schlecht) TokarczykUSAWinnetka Capstone Development Services Co. LLC1999-2002
LucasChadwickUSAKalamazooBells Brewery1998-2004
ShixinDengUSALehiMorinda (Tahitian Noni International)2000-2005
NancyBoothUSABethesdaAlkista Botanicals (Self-employed), Scientific & Regulatory Liaision (Freelance)1999-2005
AllisonTurnerUSAMarlboroMarlboro College1999-2006
DanielFabricantUSAWashington DCNatural Products Association1998-2005
HollyJohnsonUSASilver SpringAmerican Herbal Pharmacopoeia1997-2007
DonnaWebsterUSALos AngelesHerbalife2002-2008
FengQiuUSANew York CityInternational Flavors & Fragrances2008-2013
Rene FRamosUSANew York CityZymergen2008-2014
TanjaGodeckeUSASeattleBartell Drugs2006-2013
AndreasSchinkovitzAustriaAngersUniversite of Angers2008-2012
CharlotteSimmlerFranceMarseilleFrench National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS)2015-2019
Shi-HuiDongChinaLanzhouLanzhou University2011-2013
YangYuChinaTaizhouTaizhou University2013-2016
YuTangChinaYantaiZhejiang University2017-2021
Hyun YoungParkUSA2018-2020
DanielKulakowskiUSATakoma ParkGreen Analytics2014-2017
Gonzalo RMalca-GarciaUSAMarlvernMagritek2018-2021
Cassia RoseOverkUSASan DiegoUniversity of California 2002-2007
Sharla L.White (Powell)USASan Francisco Bay AreaClearLight Biotechnologies2004-2009
Madhubhani PrasadikaHemachandra2008-2013
AtiehHajirahimkhanUSAChicagoNorthwestern University2011-2016
Coutrney (Snelten)CivikUSAElginNorthgate Technologies2010-2013
JianghuaLiuUSALos Angeles Areaexpert pharmaceutical (self-employed)1999-2001
Tewolde SieleTewoldeUSAFlemingtonPTC Therapeutics2005-2010
MurielCuendetSwitzerlandGenevaUniversity of Geneva2000-2004
JohannSohnSouth KoreaHyundai Bioland2005-2009
Benjamin M.JohnsonUSACambridgeBristol Myers Squibb1999-2003
Jinghu (Carl)LiUSASan Francisco Bay AreaORIC Pharmaceuticals2005-2010
JianGuoUSAWalthamBlueprint Medicines2003-2008
DongtingLiuUSAIndianapolisQ2 Solutions2003-2008
Hongmei (Karen)CaoUSACambridgeAlnylam Pharmaceuticals2005-2010
SoyounAhnSouth KoreaTiumBio2006-2011
XiQiuUSAWilmingtonAgilent Technologies2007-2012
YongchaoLiUSAGreat Chicago2008-2017
KeHuangChinaShanghaiWuXi Biologics HealthCare Venture2008-2017
GuangnanLiUSASan Francisco Bay AreaAgilent2009-2016
LingyiHuangUSASan Francisco Bay AreaMedImmune/AstraZeneca2012-2017
TristesseBurtonUSAChicagoDepartment of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago2010-2017
YongkaiSunUSAScotch PlainsCelgene1999-2005
MichaelRushUSASalt Lake CityEdwards Lifesciences2012-2017
YongsooChoiUSASilver SpringFDA2006-2010