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ABC Adds New Members to Advisory Board

(Austin, Texas) The American Botanical Council has recently added 13 new members to its Advisory Board. The latest advisors include experts from the broad field of sciences and academic disciplines related to herbs and medicinal plants. These include the areas of botany, ethnobotany and horticulture, analytical chemistry, clinical medicine, integrative medicine, and nursing, pharmacology and toxicology, as well as informatics and quality control issues.

“We are deeply grateful that these herbal medicine experts and clinicians have accepted our invitation to join the ABC Advisory Board,” said Mark Blumenthal, Founder and Executive Director of ABC. “In many cases, the appointments simply formalize long-term relationships and friendships. Many have already contributed their time and expertise to assisting ABC staff in the editorial development of numerous articles for ABC’s publications, such as HerbalGram, HerbClip, and The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs.”

In addition to numerous other duties, the primary role Advisory Board members play at ABC is participating in the peer review of ABC publications. However, they also assist in an advisory capacity, helping to determine ABC policy and activities. The 13 new members join 51 other scientists, clinicians and other experts who currently comprise the ABC Advisory Board.

The new ABC Advisory Board members are the following:

Ezra Bejar, PhD, Director of Technical Sciences, Herbalife International, Los Angeles, CA. A pharmacologist with extensive expertise in the use of bioassays for botanicals and in evaluating the safety and efficacy of dietary supplements, Dr. Bejar is also the co-author of Herbs of Southern Ecuador: A Field Guide to the Medicinal Plants of Vilcabamba (LH Press, 2001). He has written chapters for several books on dietary supplements and currently serves as an editorial board member of the journals Phytomedicine and Phytotherapy Research.

Josef Brinckmann, Vice-President of Research and Development, Traditional Medicinals, Inc., Sebastopol, CA. Mr. Brinckmann is an expert on herb quality control and international herb monographs. He is co-editor of Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs (IMC, 2000) and The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs (ABC, 2003) and co-translator and editor of the recent edition of Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals: A Handbook for Practice on a Scientific Basis (Medpharm, 2004) and Medicinal Spices: A Handbook of Culinary Herbs, Spices, Spice Mixtures and their Essential Oils (Medpharm, 2006). He also edits the Medicinal Plants and Extracts newsletter for the Market News Service of the International Trade Centre.

Trish Flaster, MS, Executive Director, Botanical Liaisons LLC, Boulder, CO. Ms. Flaster has worked in both the natural products and pharmaceutical industries where she has formalized botanical identification systems, sourcing of unique botanicals, completed sustainability studies, and protects the intellectual rights of native peoples with whom she collaborates. She has served as the editor of the newsletter for the Society for Economic Botany for 20 years and is currently producing an online virtual herbarium to satisfy the new GMP requirements for the natural products industry .

Charlotte Gyllenhaal, PhD Research Assistant Professor, Program for Collaborative Research in the Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago; Research Program Manager, Block Center for Integrative Cancer Care, Evanston IL; Associate Editor, Integrative Cancer Therapies. In addition to her research on integrative cancer care, Dr. Gyllenhaal lectures on herbal medicine in the Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and is a co-investigator of the International Cooperative Biodiversity Group project, "Studies on Biodiversity of Vietnam and Laos."

Ken Jones, President and Medical Writer, Armana Research, Inc., Halfmoon Bay, B.C., Canada. Mr. Jones is co-author of Botanical Medicines: The Desk Reference for Major Herbal Supplements, 2nd Edition (Haworth Press, 2002), a textbook of extensive monographs on 33 herbs. He is also the author of numerous books, including Nutritional and Medicinal Guide to Hemp Seed (Rainforest Botanical Laboratory, 1995), Cat’s Claw, Healing Vine of Peru (Sylvan Press, 1995), and various extensive reviews on herbs and related natural ingredients.

Edward Kennelly, PhD, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Biological Sciences, Lehman College, City University of New York, Bronx, NY. Dr. Kennelly, whose work has been published several scientific journals, is currently researching botanicals for women’s health and cancer-chemopreventive constituents from tropical fruits. Dr. Kennelly’s phytochemical analysis was the foundation of a recent HerbalGram article entitled “85-Year-Old Black Cohosh Root Still Contains Active Compounds.” (HG 66)

Ikhlas Khan, PhD, Professor of Pharmacognosy; Assistant Director, National Center for Natural Products Research, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS. The multilingual and highly prolific Dr. Khan is the Core Leader for research groups examining analytical fingerprinting for standardization of herbal materials and products.  In recognition of his many scientific publications on the chemistry of botanicals, the International Society for Horticultural Science presented Khan with its 2005 Award for Meritorious Service. Prof. Khan also directs an annual conference, cosponsored by the University of Mississippi and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on quality, safety and efficacy of botanical dietary supplements.

Richard Kingston, Pharm D, CSPI,  President, Regulatory and Scientific Affairs, Safety Call ™ International Poison Center; Professor, Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. An acknowledged expert on safety issues related to dietary supplements and drugs, Dr. Kingston is also the director of the recently-formed National Center for Dietary Supplement Safety at the University of Minnesota.

Roberta Lee, MD, Medical  Director, Co-Director Integrative Medicine, Continuum Center for Health and Healing; Director of Medical Education and Integrative Fellowship, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, NY. Dr. Lee is the co-author/editor of Integrative Medicine: Principles for Practice (McGraw-Hill, 2004) and was one of the first fellows in Dr. Andrew Weil’s Integrative Medicine Program. Dr. Lee also holds an honorary fellowship at The New York Botanical Garden where she conducts research on the traditional uses of botanicals in Micronesia.

Martha Libster, PhD, RN, CNS, Associate Professor of Nursing and History, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. Dr. Libster is author of Herbal Diplomats (Golden Apple Publications, 2004) and Integrative Herb Guide for Nurses (Delmar, 2001). The American Association for the History of Nursing awarded her the 2005 Lavinia Dock Award for Exemplary Historical Research and Writing. Dr. Libster has been a clinical herbalist for 15 years and speaks internationally on the complementarity of nursing and healing traditions.

Marc S. Micozzi, MD, PhD, Former Executive Director for Integrative Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA; Director, Policy Institute for Integrative Medicine, Washington, DC. Former Director, National Museum of Health and Medicine, Washington, DC. Dr. Micozzi has authored and edited 16 textbooks, including the textbook Fundamentals of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, 3rd edition (Elsevier Health Sciences, 2006).

Holly Shimizu, Executive Director, United States Botanic Garden, Washington, D.C.  Ms. Shimizu is a former curator of the National Herb Garden at the U.S. National Arboretum. She served as Managing Director of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, VA, for four years before returning to the USBG in 2000. For the last 12 years, Ms. Shimizu has worked as a special correspondent for The Victory Garden on PBS.

Jacqueline Wootton, M.Ed., President and Director, Alternative Medicine Foundation, Inc; Director, HerbMed® database and HerbMedProTM, the professional version of the database, unique research tools that are a benefit of ABC membership at or above the Academic level. Ms. Wootton was the Executive Editor of the Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine from 1996-2001, and is currently a section editor. She also serves as an Associate Editor for Seminars in Complementary Medicine and is a member of the international editorial board for Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine.

The names of the new ABC Advisory Board members will be listed with the current advisory board in HerbalGram and on the ABC website (

About the American Botanical Council

Established in 1988, the American Botanical Council (ABC) is the leading nonprofit, member-based international organization working to educate consumers, healthcare professionals, researchers, educators, industry, and the media on the safe and effective use of herbs and medicinal plants products. ABC is located on a 2.5 acre site in Austin, Texas where it publishes HerbalGram, a peer-reviewed quarterly journal, and HerbClip, a twice-monthly series of summaries and critical reviews of recently published herbal literature. ABC is also the publisher of The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs, a continuing education and reference book, which contains extensive monographs on the safety and efficacy of 29 popular herbs. More information is available at