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NCCIH T32 Training Grant

This grant supports the education of the next generation of scientists responsible for establishing the safety and efficacy of dietary supplements and for the discovery of new therapeutic agents from natural product sources.

Research Training in Natural Product Complementary and Alternative Medicine

The training grant, Research Training in Natural Product Complementary and Alternative Medicine (5T32AT007533, 01/01/13 to 12/31/17), in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy is funded by the Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health (OD) and National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) of the NIH. It currently supports six predoctoral trainees working on projects in the area of natural product research. This program emphasizes interdisciplinary collaborative research and incorporates our graduate program in Pharmacognosy, which is only one of two such Ph.D. programs in the United States, our postdoctoral training program in Pharmacognosy, and our Medicinal Chemistry graduate and postgraduate education focusing on natural products.

This NIH-sponsored training program is a result of a long history of natural products research in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy. The Department has been home to the UIC/NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research since 1999. It is the longest continuously NIH-supported Botanical Center. Founded by Prof. Farnsworth, the UIC Botanical Center is now directed by Prof. Guido Pauli and is focused on evaluating the safety and efficacy of botanical dietary supplements used by women as alternatives to hormone therapy at menopause. The UIC Botanical Center has been a focus of graduate and postgraduate education in natural products research. Our predoctoral trainees are prepared to assume leadership positions in academia, industry and government in the United States and internationally. Training young scientists for careers in natural products research is a core mission of the Botanical Center. Trainees must be citizens or noncitizen nationals of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of appointment.

The Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy has an outstanding league of faculty to serve as mentors for the predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees. The majority of the training faculty on this grant are members of the Botanical Center. Six out of seven of our current trainees are conducting their research under the auspices of the Botanical Center. The other predoctoral trainee is studying marine natural products in close collaboration with the Institute for Tuberculosis Research at UIC. Our trainees are required to attend the EHSO 3016 Laboratory Safety and Chemical Waste Management and Graduate College GC501 Scientific Integrity and Responsible Conduct of Research courses. Additionally, the trainees are required to attend monthly career development meetings associated with the Botanical Center. In addition to scientific discussions related to natural products, these monthly meetings provide career development guidance, such as improving writing skills, preparing presentations and interviewing tips. All trainees are required to present their research at least once a semester. Along with these monthly meetings, two retreats are scheduled where the trainees present their research projects to the training faculty and the Advisory Board members.

The Advisory Committee was established to assist in the review of the training program policies and procedures, review trainee candidate nominations, and review nominations of new mentors being added to the program. The Advisory Committee meets at least once a year when trainee candidates are being considered, but they are consulted via e-mail or ad hoc meetings are scheduled when necessary. The members consist of the directors of graduate studies in the College of Pharmacy – Douglas Thomas (Medicinal Chemistry), Jimmy Orjala (Pharmacognosy), Richard Gemeinhart (Biopharmaceutical Sciences, Forensic Science), Simon Pickard (Pharmacy Systems, Outcomes & Policy); and the coordinator of the graduate track, Michael Federle (Biomolecular Sciences track).

While complementing the educational mission of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, this T32 training grant supports an environment of independent and creative thinking that enhances the graduate and post-graduate education of natural project researchers.


Guido F. Pauli, PhD, Principal Investigator/Program Director
Phone: (312) 355-1949

Elizabeth Ryan
Program Coordinator
Phone: (312) 996-5231


Guido F. Pauli, PhD, Norman R. Farnsworth Professor of Pharmacognosy and University Scholar, Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, T32 Principal Investigator/Program Director, Director, UIC/NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research, Director, Center for Natural Product Technologies (CeNAPT), and Director, Program for Collaborative Research in the Pharmaceutical Sciences (PCRPS)

Judy L. Bolton, PhD, Professor and Head

Joanna E. Burdette, PhD, Professor and Associate Dean for Research, College of Pharmacy

Chun-Tao Che, PhD, Harry H.S. Fong Professor of Pharmacognosy

Michael J. Federle, PhD, Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Graduate Track in the Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology

Scott Franzblau, PhD, Professor and Director of Institute for Tuberculosis Research

Alexander S. Mankin, PhD, Alexander A. Neyfakh Collegiate Professor of Pharmacy, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, and Director of Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology

Terry W. Moore, PhD, Assistant Professor

Brian T. Murphy, PhD, Associate Professor

Jimmy Orjala, PhD, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Pharmacognosy

Gregory R. Thatcher, PhD, Professor, Hans W. Vahlteich Chair in Medicinal Chemistry, and Assistant Head