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About Authors

Jackie Wootton, MEd

Before moving to the United States in 1992, Jackie was a professor of sociology at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK (1985-1992), specializing in methods of social research, survey design and analysis; cultural, consumer and lifestyles studies. Previously (1980-1990), she worked as a tutor, counselor, course developer, and staff trainer for 10 years for the Open University, UK, the pioneer distance learning institution.

On moving to the US, Jackie worked for two years (1993-1995) designing and developing information resources for the Office of Alternative Medicine, NIH, combining expertise in alternative medicine information and electronic networking. In 1995 she developed an independent consultancy, Alternative Medicine Information, including her work as Informatics Project Director at the Rosenthal Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at Columbia University, College of Physicians & Surgeons, NY (until its closure in 2007) and NIH Clinical Center research projects.

She co-founded the Alternative Medicine Foundation in 1998, of which she was President and Executive Director until September 2010. She initiated and directed (1998-2010) the HerbMed interactive herbal database (www.herbmed.org) and developed the professional version, HerbMedPro, available worldwide by subscription or on license.

Jackie was the Executive Editor of the Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine (Mary Ann Liebert, Inc, New York) from 1996-2001 and is currently an Associate Editor. She also served as an Associate Editor for Seminars in Complementary Medicine (Elsevier Science), and has published widely on alternative medicine research information, traditional systems of medicine, women's health research, electronic databases, and the Internet, including regular WebWatch columns for health and clinical research journals.

Gayle Engels

Gayle Engels is the Special Projects Director for the American Botanical Council (ABC) where she has worked since 1995. She enjoys using her Bachelor's degree in Secondary Education from the University of Texas at Austin in a nontraditional educational setting. She currently manages the development and maintenance of ABC's website, coordinates the development of content on special projects, writes for ABC's publications, contributes to its educational and online marketing efforts, guides the development of its medicinal demonstration gardens, and gives presentations to educational groups and plant-oriented organizations, including tours of ABC's gardens, demonstrations, study groups, and lectures on various aspects of herbs and plant-based medicine. Gayle is a member of a number of plant- and herb-oriented organizations and is the Botany & Horticulture chair of The Herb Society of America, from which she received the inaugural Madalene Hill Award for Excellence in Herbal Education in 2019.

Cathirose Petrone, ND, MA, BA

Cathirose Petrone is a healthcare practitioner with a Doctorate in Naturopathy from Westbrook University, a nontraditional educational setting, a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from National University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Transpersonal Psychology from Burlington College. The Founder and Director of Living Health Institute and Wholistic Integrative Wellness, she combines her unique background to provide a truly holistic approach to health and wellness. In addition to her practice and her work with the American Botanical Council, Cathirose is a facilitator of educational workshops and seminars throughout the world, including in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

Robyn Urbach, MS

Robyn Urbach is a Clinical Herbalist, holding a Master of Science degree in Herbal Medicine from the Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) and an undergraduate degree in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Washington. Robyn worked for the Alternative Medicine Foundation and HerbMed Pro from 2004-2005 until she became the Associate Director of the Herbal Medicine Program at MUIH. After a move to Portland, Oregon in 2010, she resumed working on HerbMedPro through the American Botanical Council. Robyn is passionate about the use of herbs and food as medicine. She a member of the American Botanical Council and the American Herbalists Guild.

Pavel Axentiev, MS

Pavel Axentiev, MS (Biology), graduated from Petrozavodsk State University, Russia, with the specialization in Plant Biology and Ecology. His early work consisted of establishing protection of wetland ecosystems in the northern Russian region. After moving to the Unite States, he applied his general knowledge of biology while working at the hematology/oncology department of UC Davis, where he focused on cellular and molecular biology techniques. That is where his interest in natural medicine was sparked. After several years of doing cancer research, he decided to explore the natural venue more by moving to the research department of a well-known dietary supplement company. In 2009, he started working as an associate editor of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia. His professional and personal interest in herbal medicine becoming lifelong, Pavel is enthusiastic about bringing his knowledge and experience from a variety of biological fields to the careful and precise work of creating and editing comprehensive HerbMedPro records.

Oren Rabinowitz, MSc

Oren Rabinowitz MSc, PhD candidate was born in Jerusalem and received his post-graduate training in the United States and Israel. He studies the chemistry of natural products, and his research focuses on discovering and developing novel applications for naturally-occurring compounds from microbes, plants, fungi, and marine organisms. He is also interested in bio-inspired materials, chemical ecology, and biodiversity, as well as science communication and teaching. You can follow him at @natural.products.lab on Instagram.

Bernard Somers, BS, PhD candidate

Bernard is a PhD Student of Medicinal Chemistry at Rutgers University - New Brunswick where he is focusing on the nutrition content, biological activity, and phytochemical constituents of African Spider Plant or Cleome gynandra, a traditional medicine and crop in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Bernard obtained a BS of Neuroscience at the University of Scranton in 2015 where he also minored in Biochemistry and Entrepreneurship, and founded the University's chess club. His research interests include natural products drug discovery, anti-aging, medicinal chemistry of neurodegenerative diseases, and discovery of small molecule anti-coronaviral agents.