Abstract Detail

Plenary Address - Cassandra Quave

Quave, Cassandra [1].

Nature’s healing bounty: The incredible untapped potential of medicinal plants.

Many of our life-saving therapies for the treatment of cancer, pain, heart disease, and infection were developed based on chemical structures first discovered in plants. Out of the estimated 374,000 species of plants on Earth, 9% have been documented as being used as a source of medicine. Yet, the vast majority of medicinal plants have never been examined through the lens of modern science. In this plenary lecture, I review the historical importance of plants in the evolution of current therapeutics and explore the emerging technologies enabling scientists to look deeper into the incredible pharmacological properties of plants. I will review critical issues in modern bioprospecting, from the importance of ethical engagement with communities and plant ecosystems to the long-reaching impacts that we can all make in supporting research capacity-building initiatives in countries rich in biodiversity that lack sufficient support for their scientific infrastructure. Across millennia, diverse ecosystems and cultures, plants have served as the foundation of pharmacopoeias past and present. Billions of people across the globe currently rely on medicinal plants to meet their primary healthcare needs through different systems of medicine. In an era in which biodiversity, linguistic diversity, and traditional knowledge of natural resources are under threat, the importance of documenting, conserving, and exploring the incredible untapped potential of medicinal plants has never been greater.

1 - Emory University Department of Dermatology , Center for the Study of Human Health, Emory University Herbarium, Atlanta, GA

none specified

Presentation Type: Special Presentations
Number: S01001
Abstract ID:1028
Candidate for Awards:None

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