Norman R. Farnsworth Excellence in Botanical Research Award
By Stephen DANIELLS
- Last updated on
Joseph Betz, PhD, director of the Analytical Methods and Reference Materials program at the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements (above at the podium), introduces the recipient of the ABC Norman R. Farnsworth Excellence in Botanical Research Award: Gordon Cragg, PhD, of Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Cragg is a former research director of the US National Cancer Institute (NCI), where he was involved in the NCI’s search for new cancer medicines from plants and other natural sources.
“The naming of the award after Professor Norman Farnsworth is of huge significance to me,” wrote Dr. Cragg. “I had the pleasure and privilege of being associated with his dynamic leadership and research in the area of drug discovery from plants and other natural sources for well over 20 years, and his contributions to the National Cancer Institute natural products program over many decades were outstanding. He was truly a giant in our field of research!
“[Mark Blumenthal and his] colleagues at the American Botanical Council have been highly effective advocates and spokespeople for the essential role played by medicinal plants and phytomedicines in healthcare worldwide,” continued Dr. Cragg, “and I wish to thank [Mark] and the Awards Committee of the ABC Board of Trustees most sincerely for bestowing this tremendous honor on me. It is a great pleasure for me to accept this prestigious award, and I feel truly humbled to be joining the group of eminent scientists who have been previous recipients of the award.”
Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of ABC, said: “Gordon Cragg is recognized around the world as a leading figure in the efforts to discover new anticancer drugs from plants and other natural materials.
“He has a reputation of being a first-class scientist, a friendly collaborator, and an empowering mentor to other researchers. ABC is honored to recognize Dr. Cragg with the annual ABC Norman R. Farnsworth Excellence in Botanical Research Award.”
Numerous professional colleagues of Dr. Cragg’s were unanimous in praise of his work and selection as the recipient of the ABC Farnsworth Award.
“Gordon’s work in this area has been groundbreaking and creative,” said Paul Coates, PhD, director of the Office of Dietary Supplements at NIH. “I have known Gordon personally for about 10 years, during which time we have co-edited two editions of the Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements along with other distinguished colleagues. Gordon’s expertise, insight, and careful attention to experimental detail helped to make the botanical entries in the Encyclopedia first-rate and extremely useful.”