The American Botanical Council (ABC) announces the addition of 17 new members to its Advisory Board. These esteemed individuals — with diverse academic backgrounds ranging from analytical chemistry, oncology, and pharmacognosy to environmental science, aromatherapy, and Traditional Chinese Medicine — are committed to promoting healthier living through herbal and plant-based medicine. Advisory Board members volunteer their time to peer review articles that appear in HerbalGram, HerbalEGram, HerbClips, and other ABC publications. Additionally, ABC staff and HerbalGram editors seek feedback and advice from Advisory Board members on issues such as research questions, article ideas, ABC policies, book reviews, and much more.
The new Advisory Board members include an oncologist, a cardiologist, an endocrinologist, a dermatologist, a nurse/aromatherapist, a nutritionist, a doctor of acupuncture and oriental medicine, a mycologist, a geneticist, two pharmacognosists, two family practice physicians, two natural product chemists, and two environmentalists.
“We are deeply grateful to include these experts on the ABC Advisory Board,” said ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal. “For many of these individuals, receiving official ABC Advisory Board status simply formalizes an already established, long-term relationship in which many of these friends and colleagues have been contributing their time and expertise to ABC and many of its publications as expert peer reviewers. The wide spectrum of scientific and clinical expertise held by these individuals as a group reflects the increasing complexity and sophistication of the modern herbal movement and of ABC’s vital nonprofit educational mission.”
Following are the names and brief bio-sketches of the new ABC Advisory Board members.
Donald I. Abrams, MD, is chief of the Hematology-Oncology Division at San Francisco General Hospital, an integrative oncologist at the University of California – San Francisco (UCSF) Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, and a professor of clinical medicine at UCSF. A graduate of Brown University and Stanford University College of Medicine, Dr. Abrams worked in a UCSF retrovirology laboratory when the first cases of AIDS were being diagnosed. His current research, some of which is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), involves cancer, nutrition, and HIV/AIDS. Dr. Abrams is a member of the American Medical Association, the Society for Integrative Oncology, and a member and past president of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. Currently, he is involved with clinical investigations in integrative oncology with specific interests in medicinal mushrooms, cannabis (Cannabis spp., Cannabaceae), Traditional Chinese Medicine interventions, and nutrition. He co-edited an Oxford University Press textbook, Integrative Oncology (2009), with Andrew Weil, MD, and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of AIDS, Integrative Medicine Insights, and as the associate editor of The Journal of the Society of Integrative Oncology.
Gary N. Asher, MD, is an assistant professor in the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine’s Department of Family Medicine, medical director of Integrative Medicine Services at UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Support Program, and a practitioner of medical acupuncture at UNC’s Family Medicine Acupuncture Clinic. A graduate of Columbia University and Ben Gurion University in Israel, Dr. Asher also has a Master of Public Health degree with a focus in health care and prevention from UNC. He has over 15 years of experience working with botanical medicines, including clinical training and practice, and gained manufacturing and quality control experience within the herbal industry during his time as a lab manager for several small companies. His postdoctoral fellowship at UNC included training in complementary and alternative medicine clinical research and clinical pharmacology. Dr. Asher is a member of the Society for Integrative Oncology, the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, and the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Currently, he is conducting two clinical trials with curcumin, a component of turmeric (Curcuma longa, Zingiberaceae).
Robert Alan Bonakdar, MD, has served as the director of pain management at Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine since 2002. Dr. Bonakdar focuses on herbal medicine and natural product therapies in integrative family medicine, particularly for chronic pain conditions. A member of several conventional and integrative medical associations, he likewise serves as a peer reviewer for a variety of medical journals, including American Family Physician and the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. He also sits on the boards and committees of several foundations and groups, including his current position as president of the American Academy of Pain Management. Dr. Bonakdar authors and edits many chapters and articles on integrative medicine, and was editor of The H.E.R.B.A.L. Guide: Dietary Supplement Resources for the Clinician (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010). In 2004, he co-founded the renowned Scripps conference “Natural Supplements: An Evidence-Based Update,” which he still co-directs.
Nancy Booth, PhD, currently works for Spherix Health Sciences Consulting, a division of ChromaDex, as a senior science consultant. In that role, she counsels clients on product safety and regulation. Her specialties include the areas of dietary supplements, food ingredients, pharmacognosy, analytical method development, chemistry, and biochemistry. Dr. Booth earned her doctorate in pharmacognosy from the esteemed College of Pharmacy at the University of Illinois – Chicago, and conducted her postdoctoral research on botanical dietary supplements through a fellowship from NIH. Dr. Booth is also a member of the American Chemical Society, the Institute for Food Technologists, the American Society of Pharmacognosy, and the Chemical Consultants Network. She is an American College of Nutrition Fellow.
Deni Bown serves as project manager of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Forest Project in Ibadan, Nigeria. Her responsibilities comprise environmental education, reforestation, natural resource management, and biodiversity monitoring, in addition to the management of IITA’s Nursery and Medicinal Plant Garden. Bown is the author of several books, including the Herb Society of America’s Encyclopedia of Herbs & Their Uses (1995), and has been a recipient of the British Broadcasting Corporation’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year award in the plants category. She has chaired the UK’s Herb Society, served as regional chair of the UK’s Plant Heritage, and was the honorary president of the Herb Society of America. At present, Bown consults for Lagos State Urban Forest in Nigeria.
Jane Buckle, RN, PhD, a registered critical care nurse, specializes in holistic therapies for the nursing profession. Through her consulting firm, R.J. Buckle Associates, LLC, many scholarly journal articles, mainstream media stories, and two aromatherapy books — Clinical Aromatherapy in Nursing (Arnold Publishers, 1997) and Clinical Aromatherapy: Essential Oils in Practice (Churchill Livingstone, 2003) — Dr. Buckle has taught thousands of nurses and other healthcare practitioners the benefits of integrating essential oils into patient treatment. She created the United States’ first clinical aromatherapy course for nurses, has lectured on complementary medicine at the University of West London, and currently serves on the editorial boards of several peer-reviewed journals. In 1994, Dr. Buckle patented her own gentle, structured touch method, known as the “M” Technique. She received her PhD in health service management and a post-doctorate diploma in biostatistics and epidemiology as an NIH-funded Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.
Alan M. Dattner, MD, is a pioneer in holistic dermatology, a field that integrates nutrition, skin care, and natural products. He has served as a clinical cancer fellow at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), and as a visiting scientist in the dermatology branch of the National Cancer Institute, where he discovered important links between environmental factors and inflammatory diseases. Dr. Dattner graduated from the University of Rochester and obtained his medical degree from New York University, and was a founding member of the AAD’s Task Force for Nutrition and the Evaluation of Alternative Medicine. He lectures and writes on holistic dermatology topics, operates a clinical practice in New Rochelle, New York, and also sees patients at the Healthy Tao Center for Wellbeing in Manhattan.
Stefan Gafner, PhD, is the director of analytical chemistry at Tom’s of Maine, where he focuses on quality control of botanical raw materials and finished products, as well as plant metabolites with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties for applications in oral and personal care. After graduating with a BSc in pharmacy from the University of Bern’s Institute of Pharmacy in 1992 and a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Lausanne in 1997 — both located in Switzerland — Dr. Gafner moved to the United States for his postdoctoral work on plant-based cancer chemopreventative agents at the University of Illinois – Chicago. Dr. Gafner is a member of the American Society of Pharmacognosy, the Society for Medicinal Plant Research (GA), and the Phytochemical Society of Europe. He also serves on the editorial board of Natural Products Against Cancer and is a reviewer for the Journal of Natural Products, Phytochemistry, and Planta Medica. To date, Dr. Gafner has co-authored more than 30 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and has been awarded three patents.
Frank L. Greenway, MD, is the medical director and a professor at Louisiana State University’s (LSU) Pennington Biomedical Research Center, a clinical professor of medicine in the Department of Medicine at the State University Medical Center in New Orleans, and an adjunct professor in LSU’s Human Ecology Department. Dr. Greenway is a graduate of the University of California – Los Angeles School of Medicine and Stanford University, and served as a major in the US Army National Guard’s Medical Corps. He is currently a member of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, the American Society for Nutritional Sciences, and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Dr. Greenway’s current research involves health outcomes of weight loss, diabetes prevention, resveratrol treatment for insulin sensitivity, and vitamin D for type 2 diabetes. He has authored more than 150 articles in peer-reviewed journals.
Mimi Guarneri, MD, founded the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine in La Jolla, California, where she served as medical director from 1999 to 2012 and thereon as senior consultant in integrative medicine. Dr. Guarneri — who is board-certified in cardiology, holistic medicine, internal medicine, and nuclear medicine — earned her doctoral degree from the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. Currently, Dr. Guarneri is an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California – San Diego, as well as director of the Integrative Cardiology Fellowship at Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine and Department of Cardiology. Her articles have appeared in respected journals, including Annals of Internal Medicine and the Journal of Echocardiography.
Susan Leopold, PhD, is executive director of the medicinal plant conservation nonprofit United Plant Savers (UpS). She manages all UpS programs, including the Botanical Sanctuary Network, Partners in Education, UpS membership and internships, garden grants, and the at-risk plant program. She earned her PhD in environmental studies at Antioch University – New England, for which she completed her dissertation titled “Loss of Ethnobotanical Knowledge in the Bull Run Mountains.” For the seven years preceding her employment at UpS, Dr. Leopold was a librarian at the renowned Oak Spring Garden Library, home to — among other treasures — the collection of rare botanical books and manuscripts of Rachel Lambert Mellon. There, Dr. Leopold entered the collection into a searchable database, established a digital photography lab, and oversaw graduate research.
Rachel Mata, PhD, is a professor at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Her research interests include natural product drug and agrochemical discovery and chemistry, biochemistry, and pharmacology of medicinal plants. Among her 180 scientific publications to date, Dr. Mata has authored a number of book chapters and respected journal articles as well as three books. She is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Natural Products and Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry, and she co-edited the book Phytochemistry of Medicinal Plants (Springer, 1995). She studied for her MSc and PhD in medicinal chemistry at Purdue University in Indiana. She also held a teaching position at Universidad Central de Venezuela, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in pharmacy.
William Morris, PhD, DAOM, LAc, president of the Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin’s (AOMA) Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, is a leading figure within North America’s Traditional Chinese Medicine community. Morris led the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine to become a single national association, and later played an instrumental role in AOMA’s obtaining regional accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as a level 5 doctoral granting institution. Prior to that, he spent more than a decade of study examining the Ding family lineage of internal medicine and the Gu family lineage of external medicine. He earned a doctorate in acupuncture and oriental medicine, a PhD in transformative studies, and a Master of Science in medical education. Morris has written several books on acupuncture and Chinese medicine — including Mai Dao: Path of the Pulse (2009) and Li Shi-Zhen Pulse Studies: An Illustrated Guide (People’s Medical Publishing House, 2011). He serves as editor and regularly authors articles for Acupuncture Today and American Acupuncturist, and lectures on pulse diagnosis, Chinese herbs, and other topics.
Danica Taylor Harbaugh Reynaud, PhD, is the founder and CEO of AuthenTechnologies LLC, the founder and executive director of the nonprofit International Sandalwood Foundation, and a visiting scholar and museum specialist at the University and Jepson Herbaria at the University of California – Berkeley, where she earned both her bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in integrative biology. She is a geneticist and botanical taxonomist whose focuses include the development of DNA-technology-based botanical authentication methods, as well as the study of and conservation strategies for sandalwoods (Santalum spp., Santalaceae). Dr. Reynaud has served as a reviewer for academic journals such as Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Journal of Biogeography, and the Botanical Journal of the Linnaean Society.
Navindra Seeram, PhD, is an assistant professor of pharmacognosy at the University of Rhode Island’s College of Pharmacy, where he runs the Bioactive Botanical Research Laboratory. He previously was the assistant director of the David Geffen School of Medicine’s Center for Human Nutrition at the University of California – Los Angeles. Dr. Seeram — who received his doctoral degree in natural products chemistry from the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica — focuses his research on traditional medicines and botanical extracts, particularly examining how they might prevent or treat chronic illnesses. He has been the recipient of several awards and honors, including the American Chemical Society’s 2009 Young Scientist Award. Dr. Seeram publishes in numerous scientific journals and helps organize conferences for the natural products community.
Alexander G. Schauss, PhD, is the senior research director at Natural and Medicinal Products Research and CEO at AIBMR Life Sciences in Puyallup, Washington. As lead scientist, Dr. Schauss has worked on projects in 44 countries for AIBMR to support research activities and deal with regulatory matters for over 500 companies or institutions. He earned his undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees at the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque and California Coast University in Santa Ana, respectively. Dr. Schauss is a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition, and a member of the American Society of Nutrition, the Society for Experimental Biology in Medicine, and the Association for African Medicinal Plants Standards, among others. In 2005, he received the Linus Pauling Lecture Award for contributions to the medical sciences from the American College for the Advancement of Medicine. Dr. Schauss is the author or co-author of over 200 publications, and the author or co-author of 23 books in the fields of nutrition and botanical medicine.
Paul E. Stamets is the founder, owner, and managing director of Fungi Perfecti, LLC, founder and managing director of Agarikon Press and The Life Box Company, as well as the owner and managing director of Mycopesticide, LLC. Widely acknowledged as North America’s premier advocate for medicinal mushrooms and fungi for bioremediation, Stamets has been a mycologist for more than 30 years, during which he discovered four new species of mushrooms and pioneered techniques in the field of edible and medicinal mushroom cultivation. A graduate of Kenyon College and The Evergreen State College, he is a member of the GMP/GAP Board on Standards for Production of Medicinal Plants/Medicinal Mushroom Production for the US Pharmacopeia, on the editorial boards for The International Journal on Medicinal Mushrooms and Mushroom, the Journal, and an advisor to the Program for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Medical School. In 2008, Stamets received National Geographic Adventure Magazine’s Green-Novator and Argosy Foundation’s E-chievement awards. Stamets is the author of six books on mushroom cultivation and has presented a TED talk on the vast health and environmental benefits of mushrooms, titled “Six Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World.”