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American Botanical Council's Norman R. Farnsworth Excellence in Botanical Research Award Given to Gordon Cragg
(AUSTIN,Texas,Feb.18,2014;updatedMarch25,2014)TheAmericanBotanicalCouncil(ABC)recognizedGordonM.Cragg,PhD,ofBethesda,Maryland,astherecipientoftheABCNormanR.FarnsworthExcellenceinBotanicalResearchAwardfor2013.Dr.CraggisaformerresearchdirectoroftheUSNationalCancerInstitute(NCI),wherehewasinvolvedintheNCI’ssearchfornewcancermedicinesfromplantsandothernaturalsources.ABCpresentsthisawardeachyeartoapersonwhooraninstitutionthathasmadesignificantcontributionstoethnobotanicaland/orpharmacognosticresearch(i.e.,researchondrugsofnaturalorigin,usuallyfromplants).Dr.CraggspentthemajorityofhisprofessionalcareerattheUSNationalInstitutesofHealth(NIH)NationalCancerInstitute.HewasappointedchiefoftheNCI’sNaturalProductsBranch(NPB)in1989;heofficiallyretiredin2004,buthasremainedhighlyactivewiththedepartmentasanNIHSpecialVolunteer.DuringhistimeattheNPB,Dr.CraggreceivedthreeNIHAwardsofMeritforhisefforts:forhiscontributionstothedevelopmentofthehighlysuccessfulanticancerdrugTaxolandrelatedderivativecompounds;forhisleadershipinestablishinginternationalcollaborativeresearchinbiodiversityandnaturalproductsdrugdiscovery;andforhisteachingcontributionstoNIHtechnologytransfercourses.AftergrowingupinruralSouthAfrica,Dr.CraggearnedhisBScinchemistryfromRhodesUniversityin1957.HeattendedtheUniversityofOxfordforaPhDinorganicchemistry,afterwhichhecompletedapostdoctoralfellowshipatUCLA,focusingonthebiosynthesisofplanthormones.Throughouthiscareer,Dr.Cragghasadvocatedfornaturalproductsresearchandworkedtoprotectthesourcematerialsfordrugdiscovery.Forexample,Dr.Cragg’scommitmenttoresponsiblenaturalproductsresearchisevidentinhisworkinBrazil.Hecontributedtothedevelopmentofnaturalproductchemistryprogramsinthenortheastandsoutheastregionsofthecountry.Furthermore,heplayedapivotalroleinaninitiativetoprotectthecountry’sbiodiversityandsustainabilityeffortsthatledtotheexplorationofnewpotentialpharmaceutical,cosmetic,andagrochemicalproducts.Dr.CraggwaselectedpresidentoftheAmericanSocietyofPharmacognosyin1998andsubsequentlybecameanhonorarymemberofthesocietyin2003.In2010,Dr.CraggwaspresentedwiththeWilliamL.BrownAwardforExcellenceinGeneticResourceConservationbytheMissouriBotanicalGarden;duringthesymposiumheldinhonoroftheaward,anewlydiscoveredMadagascanplant—Ludiacraggiana —wasnamedforDr.Cragg.“GordonCraggisrecognizedaroundtheworldasaleadingfigureintheeffortstodiscovernewanticancerdrugsfromplantsandothernaturalmaterials,”saidMarkBlumenthal,founderandexecutivedirectorofABC.“Hehasareputationofbeingafirst-classscientist,afriendlycollaborator,andanempoweringmentortootherresearchers.ABCishonoredtorecognizeDr.CraggwiththeannualABCNormanR.FarnsworthExcellenceinBotanicalResearchAward.”NumerousprofessionalcolleaguesofDr.Cragg’swereunanimousinpraiseofhisworkandselectionastherecipientoftheABCFarnsworthAward.“Gordon’sworkinthisareahasbeengroundbreakingandcreative,”saidPaulCoates,PhD,directoroftheOfficeofDietarySupplementsatNIH. “IhaveknownGordonpersonallyforabout10years,duringwhichtimewehaveco-editedtwoeditionsoftheEncyclopediaofDietarySupplementsalongwithotherdistinguishedcolleagues.Gordon’sexpertise,insight,andcarefulattentiontoexperimentaldetailhelpedtomakethebotanicalentriesintheEncyclopediafirst-rateandextremelyuseful.”“GordonCragghasbeenadiplomatinthecauseofplantbiodiversityandhonestrelationsbetweentheNCIand‘sourcecountries’evenbeforetheConventiononBiodiversitywassigned,”saidJohnBeutler,PhD,associatescientistattheMolecularTargetsLabattheNCIandmemberoftheABCAdvisoryBoard.“Hisscientificknowledgeandthoughtfulapproachhavewonhimmanyfriendsinmanycountries,andmakehimaverydeservingchoiceforABC’sNormanR.FarnsworthExcellenceinBotanicalResearchAward.”“GordonCraggisamostworthycandidatefortheABCNormanR.FarnsworthAward.Longaproponentofresearchonplants,hehasalwaysadvocateddoingittherightway—properdocumentationofcollectionandtaxonomicidentificationand sustainablecollections,”saidJohnCardellinaII,PhD,distinguishedscientistattheChemistryandTechnicalInnovationCenterofMcCormickandCo.,Inc.,andmemberoftheABCAdvisoryBoard.“Hewasanearly,staunchadvocateofindigenousrightsandreturningvaluetothecountryoforigin.Inmanyways,heremindsmeofProfessorFarnsworth—ascholarofbroadacademic interestswhoadvocatedsolidscientificresearchandqualitystandardsforplantsandplantproductsconsumedbyhumansforhealthbenefits.”TheExcellenceinBotanicalResearchAward’snamesakeisABC’sco-foundingBoardofTrusteesmember,thelateProfessorNormanR.Farnsworth,PhD,aresearchprofessorofpharmacognosyandsenioruniversityscholarintheCollegeofPharmacyattheUniversityofIllinois—Chicago.WhenProfessorFarnsworthdiedin2011attheageof81,theglobalmedicinalplantcommunitylostoneofitsgreatestchampions.“ThenamingoftheawardafterProfessorNormanFarnsworthisofhugesignificancetome,”wroteDr.Cragg.“Ihadthepleasureandprivilegeofbeingassociatedwithhisdynamicleadershipandresearchintheareaofdrugdiscoveryfromplantsandothernaturalsourcesforwellover20years,andhiscontributionstotheNationalCancerInstitutenaturalproductsprogramovermanydecadeswereoutstanding.Hewastrulyagiantinourfieldofresearch!“[MarkBlumenthalandhis]colleaguesattheAmericanBotanicalCouncilhavebeenhighlyeffectiveadvocatesandspokespeoplefortheessentialroleplayedbymedicinalplantsandphytomedicinesinhealthcareworldwide,”continuedDr.Cragg,“andIwishtothank[Mark]andtheAwardsCommitteeoftheABCBoardofTrusteesmostsincerelyforbestowingthistremendoushonoronme.Itisagreatpleasureformetoacceptthisprestigiousaward,andIfeeltrulyhumbledtobejoiningthegroupofeminentscientistswhohavebeenpreviousrecipientsoftheaward.”PastrecipientsoftheABCNormanR.FarnsworthExcellenceinBotanicalResearchAwardarehighlyaccomplishedandrespectedresearchersfromaroundtheworld.Theyincludethefollowing:JosephM.Betz,PhD,oftheNIHOfficeofDietarySupplements(2005);ProfessorEdzardErnst,MD,PhD,formerlyofthePeninsulaMedicalSchoolattheUniversityofExeterintheUnitedKingdom(2006);ProfessorHildebertWagner,PhD,oftheInstituteforPharmaceuticalBiologyinMunich,Germany(2007);Dr.IkhlasKhanoftheUniversityofMississippi’sNationalCenterforNaturalProductsResearch(2008);ProfessorRudolfBauer,PhD,headoftheInstituteofPharmaceuticalSciencesattheKarl-FranzensUniversityofGrazinAustria(2009);ProfessorA.DouglasKinghorn,PhD,chairofthedepartmentofmedicinalchemistryandpharmacognosyintheCollegeofPharmacyatOhioStateUniversity(2010);ProfessorDjajaD.Soejarto,PhD,oftheCollegeofPharmacyattheUniversityofIllinois —Chicago(2011);andProfessorDe-AnGuo,PhD,directoroftheStateEngineeringLaboratoryforTraditionalChineseMedicineStandardizationTechnologyanddirectoroftheShanghaiResearchCenterforTCMModernizationattheShanghaiInstituteofMateriaMedicaoftheChineseAcademyofSciences(2012).TheABCNormanR.FarnsworthExcellenceinBotanicalResearchAwardwaspresentedtoDr.Cragginabsentiaatthe9thAnnualABCBotanicalCelebrationandAwardsCeremonyonMarch6inAnaheim,California.TheABCeventoccurredduringtheNEXTInnovationSummit(formerlyNutracon)nutrition,naturalproducts,anddietarysupplementsconferenceandNaturalProductsExpoWest.TheABCBotanicalCelebrationandAwardsCeremonywasunderwrittenbygenerouscontributionsfromthefollowingmembersoftheherb,dietarysupplement,andnaturalproductsindustry(i.e.,rawmaterialsuppliers,supplementandteamanufacturers,analyticallaboratories,alawfirm,aninsurer,amediacompany,andatradeorganization):
AlkemistLabsAminTalatiChristieCommunicationsChromaDexEuroPharmaGrifconEnterprisesHorphagResearchIndenaUSAMartinBauerGroup



MegaFoodNaturalFactorsNutritionalProductsNewChapterNewHopeNaturalMediaPlusPharmaRFIIngredientsTraditionalMedicinalsUnitedNaturalProductsAlliance