Department Chair

Welcome to the Department of Pharmacognosy at the University of Mississippi. Pharmacognosy as a constituent scientific discipline has for nearly 200 years referred to studies of “natural product drugs”. During the second half of the 20th century, Pharmacognosy evolved from being a descriptive botanical subject to one exhibiting a more chemical and biological focus. The advent of the 21st century has given new relevance to Pharmacognosy teaching in academic pharmacy institutions, as a result of the explosive growth in both the use of herbal remedies (phytomedicines) and the discovery of bioactive products from marine resources. Pharmacognosy research areas are continually expanding, and currently include aspect of cell and molecular biology in relation to natural products, ethnobotany and phytotherapy, in addition to the more traditional analytical method development and phytochemistry.
The Pharmacognosy Department at the University of Mississippi is extremely productive as far as training of graduate students and research are concerned. Our department’s research focuses on the isolation, structure elucidation and production of prototype anti-infective, anticancer and neurological and immune modulating agents from marine and terrestrial sources; combining natural products chemistry with cutting edge molecular mechanism-targeted bioassay techniques in exploration of natural products as new sources of drug leads, ecological implications including the evaluation of marine and freshwater bacteria, algae and invertebrates; the structure determination and biological evaluation of the proanthocyanidin class of polyphenols; drug discovery and development based on natural product models via the synthesis and semi-synthesis of natural product derivatives; isolation of anti-microbial and anti-tubercular secondary metabolites from higher fungi and development of new psychotropic agents derived from plants.

We offer excellence in research opportunities and graduate education with five active faculty that hold primary appointments in the Department of Pharmacognosy and thirty graduate students and post doctoral research associates. Funding from the National Cancer Institute (NIH/NCI), Department of Defense (DOD), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH/NIAID), Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), National Science Foundation (NSF), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Sea Grant, National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology (NIUST), National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), and the Biotechnical and Pharmaceutical Industries is enabling our graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to fully develop their skills in order to prosper in the competitive working environment they will eventually enter. Previous graduate students are actively employed in academic, industrial and governmental careers. Please take the time to explore our website and feel free to contact us for more information.