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Home > Past Conferences > Natural Products

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Natural Products

A celebration and a resurrection with Reverse Pharmacology

07 Jul 2014 - 10 Jul 2014

Bloomingdale, Chicago, USA


The Fusion Natural Products conference is the first in the series. 

Conference Themes:

  • New Sources of and New Approaches to Natural Products
  • Natural Products from Microorganisms
  • Natural Products as Anticancer Agents
  • Reverse Pharmacology
  • Development of Natural Products by Industry
  • Methodologies for Natural Products

While biotechnological advances, genomics and high throughput screenings or combinatorial and asymmetric syntheses have opened new vistas in drug discovery, the industry is facing a serious innovation deficit. Critics suggest that “we have become high throughput in technology, yet have remained low throughput in thinking”. Post marketing failures of blockbuster drugs have become major concerns of industries, leading to a significant shift in favor of single to multi targeted drugs and affording greater respect to traditional knowledge. Typical reductionist approach of modern science is being revisited over the background of systems biology and holistic approaches of traditional practices. Scientifically validated and technologically standardized botanical products may be explored on a fast track using innovative approaches like reverse pharmacology and systems biology, which are based on traditional medicine knowledge. Traditional medicine constitutes an evolutionary process as communities and individuals continue to discover practices transforming techniques. Many modern drugs have origin in ethnopharmacology and traditional medicine. Traditions are dynamic and not static entities of unchanging knowledge. Discovering reliable ‘living tradition’ remains a major challenge in traditional medicine. In many parts ‘little traditions’ of indigenous systems of medicine are disappearing, yet their role in bioprospecting medicines or poisons remains of pivotal importance. Indian Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese systems are living ‘great traditions’. Traditional knowledge and experiential database can provide new functional leads to reduce time, money and toxicity - the three main hurdles in the drug development. We begin the search based on traditional medicine research, clinical experiences, observations or available data on actual use in patients as a starting point. We use principles of systems biology where holistic yet rational analysis is done to address multiple therapeutic requirements. Since safety of the materials is already established from traditional use track record, we undertake pharmaceutical development, safety validation and pharmacodynamic studies in parallel to controlled clinical studies. Thus, drug discovery based on Ayurveda follows a ‘Reverse Pharmacology’ path from Clinics to Laboratories. Herein we describe such approaches with selected examples based on previous studies. 

Confirmed Speakers

Dr. Sidney Hecht
(Director, Biodesign Institute Arizona State University)

Dr. William Gerwick
(Professor, UC San Diego)

Dr. Jon Clardy
(Principle Investigator, Harvard University)

Dr. David H. Sherman 
(Professor, University Michigan)

Professor Robert H. Grubbs
(California Institute of Technology)

Professor Colin Suckling
( Universiy of Strathclyde)

Dr Makarand Gore
(YewSavin, Inc)

Dr Shugeng Cao
(University of Hawaii Cancer Center)

Dr Dulcie Mulholland
(University of Surrey)

Dr Rajashree Kashalkar

Dr Chun-Tao Che
(University of Illinois at Chicago)

Dr Mark T. Hamann
(University of Mississippi) 

Dr Nicholas Oberlies
(North Carolina University)

Dr. Mark O'Neil-Johnson
(Sequoia Sciences)

Dr Tim Bugni
(Universiy of Wisconsin-Madison)

Dr John Butler






Plenary Speakers

  • Dr. William Gerwick
    Professor, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD
  • Prof. Jon Clardy
    Professor, Harvard Medical School
  • Dr. Sidney Hecht
    Center Director and Professor, Arizona State University
  • Dr. David H. Sherman
    Professor , University of Michigan
  • Professor Robert Howard Grubbs
    Atkins Professor of Chemistry, California Institute of Technology

Invited Speakers

  • Prof Colin Suckling
    Research Professor, University of Strathclyde
  • Dr. Rajashree Kashalkar
    Associate Professor & Head of Department, S.P.College
  • Assistant Professor Shugeng Cao
    Assistant Professor, University of Hawaii Cancer Center
  • Professor Dulcie Mulholland
    Professor of Organic Chemistry and Head of Department of Chemistry, University of Surrey
  • Dr. Chun-Tao Che
    Norman R Farnsworth Professor of Pharmacognosy, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Dr. Tim Bugni
    Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Dr. Rathnam Chaguturu
    Founder & CEO, iDDPartners
  • Professor of Pharmacognosy Mark Hamann
    Professor, The University of Mississippi
  • CEO/CSO Cedric Pearce
    CEO/CSO, Mycosynthetix, Inc.
  • Dr. Robert Cichewicz
    Regents' Professor, University of Oklahoma
  • Dr Michael Liebman
    Managing DIrector, IPQ Analytics
  • Prof. Phillip Crews
    Distinguished Research Professor, University of California Santa Cruz
  • Dr. Paul Erhardt
    DUP & Director Ctr. for Drug Design & Development, University of Toledo
  • Dr Nicholas Oberlies
    Professor , UNCG
  • Dr. Xingfeng Bao
    Sr. Scienist, Eisai Inc.
  • Dr. Thomas Prisinzano
    Professor and Chair, University of Kansas
  • Dr. Guy Carter
    Chief Scientific Officer, Biosortia Pharmaceuticals
  • Mr. Mark O'Neil-Johnson
    VP Analytical Chemistry, Sequoia Sciences, Inc.
  • Dr. Scott Harbeson
    Vice President, Concert Pharmaceuticals
  • Mr Alexander Statsyuk
    Assistant Professor, Northwestern University
  • Dr Ashwinikumar Raut
    Director Clinical Research and Integrative Medicine., Medical Research Center of Kasturba Health Society
  • Dr John Beutler
    Associate Scientist, National Cancer Institute


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