Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences’ (SCNM) Ric Scalzo Institute for Botanical Research has been formally dedicated. The 4,285-square-foot Biosafety Level 2 Lab (BSL-2), compound isolation laboratory and compound identification and quantification facility opened earlier this year at 2140 E. Broadway Rd., Tempe, AZ. The institute’s team of researchers are led by Molecular Biologist Jeffrey Langland, PhD and Pharmacognosist Yalda Shokoohinia, PharmD, PhD.
“Having worked with plant medicine and botanicals for more than 30 years it is exciting to see this impressive lab housed at SCNM,” said Ric Scalzo founding donor of the institute. “I am confident that the team of researchers will discover great things while maintaining the goal to create regenerative medicine that encompasses the entire trajectory from soil to soul.”
The institute is working in collaboration with the ASU Biodesign Institute and Skysong Innovations along with natural products industry to develop new products and improve existing botanical therapeutics through scientific exploration grounded in clinical herbalism’s rich tradition. The research focuses on a variety of areas including skin care, infectious disease, stress and sleep related disorders, metabolic disorders and overall immune function.
“We at Sacred Medicines are very pleased to engage the Ric Scalzo Institute for Botanical Research in our preclinical work with whole plant psychedelic medicines,” said Dr. Leanna Standish, co-founder of Sacred Medicines, PBC. “The academic and scientific leadership at the Institute brings significant experience and passion to our team.”
When considering plant material for research, the team analyzes its background, supply chain and relevant existing clinical data. A therapeutic botanical made for mass distribution must have a sustainable supply chain for a responsible product to be developed and sourcing with ethical guidelines that include the incorporation of indigenous rights in the research and production of botanicals is part of the business model at the Institute.
“It has already been an exciting few months of discoveries since research began at the Institute,” said Dr. Langland. “It is a privilege to work here and have the resources and support to continue this important work to further the use of botanical medicine that is evidence-based and uses responsible sourcing worldwide.”
For more information, visit www.scnm.edu/research.