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Nature as a source of new medicines subject of ICNPR in NYC
Date:7/20/2012

The urgent need to evaluate nature's repository of chemicals in plants, microbes, and marine organisms for their potential value in health care will be a major theme of a five-day scientific conference in New York that is expected to draw some 1,200 natural products researchers from around the world.

Organized and co-hosted by The New York Botanical Garden, the City University of New York, and other New York-area research institutions, the International Congress on Natural Products Research (ICNPR) will be held from July 28 to August 1 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. The theme of the conference is "Global Change, Natural Products and Human Health."

Several scientists from the Botanical Garden will take part in ICNPR events at the Grand Hyatt, and on July 26, the Garden's Midtown Education Center, located on West 44th Street, will host a special presentation about the development of Taxol, the widely used chemotherapy drug first isolated from the bark of the Pacific yew tree.

Focusing on the study of medicines derived from natural sources, the ICNPR will feature sessions devoted to the traditional areas of natural products researchmarine, microbial, and plant sources of medicinal chemicalsas well as the latest developments in analytical technologies, genomics, and many other areas of natural products work. Organizers expect it to be the largest U.S. gathering to date of natural products researchers.

From simple aspirin to sophisticated cancer-fighting drugs such as Taxol, the natural world has served as an important source of medically active compounds. That resource is under increasing strain from such global environmental problems as climate change and habitat destruction, yet only a fraction of the many thousands of plant, microbial, and marine species have been studied to determine if the chemicals they produce could be the basis of new pharmaceuticals to treat or prevent human illness.

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Contact: Stevenson Swanson
pubrel@nybg.org
718-817-8616
The New York Botanical Garden
Source:Eurekalert

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