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2022 Darden Lecture: “The Plant Hunter: A Scientist’s Quest for Nature’s Next Medicines”

October 13, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

North Lawn 2005

The 2022 Darden Lecture speaker is Dr. Cassandra Quave. She is the Curator of the Herbarium and Associate Professor of Dermatology and Human Health at Emory University, where she leads natural product drug discovery research initiatives and teaches courses on medicinal plants, microbiology, and pharmacology. As a medical ethnobotanist, her work focuses on the documentation and pharmacological analysis of plants used in traditional medicine. Dr. Quave  is a Fellow of the Explorers Club, a past President of the Society for Economic Botany, a recipient of the Emory Williams Teaching Award, Charles Heiser, Jr. Mentor Award, and American Botanical Council James. A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award. She has been featured in National Geographic Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, BBC Focus, NPR, PBS, and ABC News. An avid science communicator, Quave is the host of Foodie Pharmacology, a podcast dedicated to exploring the links between food and medicine. Quave has authored more than 100 scientific publications, two edited books, seven patents, and an acclaimed science memoir, The Plant Hunter: One Scientist’s Quest for Nature’s Cures.

The event will be on October 13 at 6:00 pm in North Lawn 2005, book signing will follow the seminar. Here’s the link to Cassandra’s book: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/612171/the-plant-hunter-by-cassandra-leah-quave/

There will also be an opportunity to buy the book at the event. Here is a short abstract of her talk:

Plants are the basis for an array of lifesaving and health-improving medicines we all now take for granted. Ever taken an aspirin? Thank a willow tree for that. What about medicines for malaria? Some of those are derived from cinchona and wormwood.

In today’s world of synthetic pharmaceuticals, many people have forgotten this connection to the natural world. But by ignoring the potential of medicinal plants, we are losing out on the opportunity to discover new medicines needed in the fight against the greatest medical challenge of this century: the rise of the post-antibiotic era.

Dr. Cassandra Quave shares stories of her quest to discover nature’s next medicines. She has explored the flooded forests of the Amazon, the rolling hills of Italy, isolated mountaintops in Albania and Kosovo, and isles arising out of the Mediterranean—all in search of natural compounds, long-known to traditional healers, that could help save us all from the looming crisis of untreatable superbugs.

Named for Dr. William Darden, professor emeritus and a former chair of UA’s Department of Biological Sciences, the Darden Lecture Series brings prominent biologists to campus to address environmental and humanitarian problems. Mrs. Ilouise Hill of Montgomery established the series to honor Darden, who was on the UA faculty for 31 years.


October 13, 2022
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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