Clinical Research in Animals and plants

Animals and people get many of the same illnesses. Certain types of animals can stand in for humans with particular diseases. The information we gain from these studies—about how we’re the same and how we’re different—benefits people and animals. Medical research with animals is one type of medical research, but other types include experiments with cells and chemicals and simulations on computers. Animal research usually describes research involving vertebrates, such as cats, mice, frogs, pigs, and primates. Most animals used in research are specifically bred for use in medical research.

Research focuses on identifying medicinal plants that are viable economic opportunities for farmers and on correlating cultivation, harvesting and agronomic conditions to the plant’s ability to produce the desired chemical and pharmacological profile. Environmental chambers are used to simulate different growing conditions and experimental plots are grown at the Center’s Medicinal Plant Garden. Other research activities include determining the optimal post-harvest processes to maximize desirable properties, genetic engineering, crop improvement studies, and translational research and marketing research. Current projects include economical production of podophyllotoxin, an important intermediate in the synthesis of anticancer agents, agronomic potential of medicinal plants in Mississippi, value-added development of botanicals through harvest, post-harvest and storage practices, and market research to quantify commercial potential.



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