Dr Ikhlas Khan becomes NCNPR director

Dr Ikhlas Khan becomes NCNPR director

Related tags Natural products Research

After 25 years with the University of Mississippi research center, Ikhlas Khan became director of the National Center for Natural Products Research at the UM School of Pharmacy on Jan. 1.

Khan’s plans as the center’s director include steady improvement and a continuation of past successes.

“The vision is very simple and broad: We want to continue doing what has worked, but keep evolving,”​ Khan said. “Change is the only one thing should be constant. We have done a wonderful job over the last 20 years. The timing is right, and the expertise is in the house to take on any natural products challenge.”

Founded in 1995, NCNPR is the nation’s only university-affiliated research center devoted to improving human health and agricultural productivity through the discovery, development and commercialization of pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals derived from natural products. The center’s former director of 15 years, Larry Walker, retired Dec. 31, 2016.

Internationally recognized

Dr Khan received his doctorate in pharmacy from the Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology in Munich, and joined the School of Pharmacy at Ole Miss in 1988 as a postdoctoral research fellow. He became NCNPR’s associate director in 2015.

An internationally recognized leader and innovator in the study of natural products, Dr Khan’s research focuses on drug discovery and developing scientific tools for assessing the safety and chemical makeup of dietary supplements. Scientists at the NCNPR use these methods in conjunction with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a partnership established in 2001. The center was recognized by the FDA as a Center of Excellence for its research of botanical dietary supplements in 2006, and received the FDA Commissioner’s Special Citation in 2009.

Khan also established and directs the Sino-U.S. Traditional Chinese Medicine Research Center and the Center for Research of Indian Systems of Medicine, both at Ole Miss.

Oxford International Conference on the Science of Botanicals

“He has a very strong collaborative vision,”​ said Walker. “He’s very open to new ideas and good at evaluating them. He knows how to take an opportunity and grow it to make it into an even bigger and more beneficial opportunity.”

One such opportunity was the creation of the annual Oxford International Conference on the Science of Botanicals, which has grown to more than 250 participants from around the world. Khan was instrumental in launching the conference, designed to gather an international community of stakeholders to discuss issues related to quality and safety of botanicals.

For more information about the Oxford International Conference on the Science of Botanicals, and to register, please click HERE​. 

Related topics People Botanicals

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