Medicinal Plants: Past, Present and Future 

(with Jane Ellis) - Plants produce thousands of specialized metabolites, many of which have medicinal uses. More than half of the top 150 prescribed drugs in the US have at least one compound derived from plants, and about 80% of the worlds population depends on plants or plant extracts as a major source of healthcare. This lecture looks at the history of medicinal plants, herbal remedies in traditional and contemporary medicine, and ongoing efforts to identify novel medicinal compounds from plants. New approaches, such as metabolomics, metabolic engineering and
systems and synthetic biology, are contributing towards the identification, characterization and production of plant-derived medicines. Posted January 28, 2013.