UM Natural Products Center Designated as Center of Excellence

January 03, 2017

Food and Drug Administration has awarded the distinction to NCNPR for 15 straight years

NCNPR Director Larry Walker (left) and Associate Director Ikhlas Khan inspect dietary supplements as part of a partnership with the U.S Food and Drug Administration. Photo by Sydney Slotkin DuPriest

NCNPR Director Larry Walker (left) and Associate Director Ikhlas Khan inspect dietary supplements as part of a partnership with the U.S Food and Drug Administration. Photo by Sydney Slotkin DuPriest

OXFORD, Miss. – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has renewed the National Center for Natural Products Research’s designation as a Center of Excellence in recognition of its work in botanical dietary supplement research. This is the 15th consecutive year the NCNPR has received this recognition.

 

As part of its partnership with the FDA, which began in 2001, the NCNPR focuses on developing scientific tools for assessing the safety and quality of dietary supplements that are commercially available.

Scientists at the NCNPR, which is a division of the UM School of Pharmacy, develop analytical methodology to assess the chemical makeup of botanical products. These methodologies can be used by regulatory agencies and the industry to assess the quality of products in the market.

Ikhlas Khan, associate director of the center, traveled to Washington, D.C., earlier this month to talk with the Centers of Excellence directors about progress of the research and plans for the next year.

 

The initial focus of the partnership was to develop a repository of dietary supplements for testing and authentication, Khan said. The focus has shifted over the years to developing tools for safety assessment.

“We very much value our partnership with the FDA, and are very pleased they have renewed our status as a Center of Excellence,” said David D. Allen, dean of the School of Pharmacy. “Because of this partnership, we are able to use our resources to positively affect public health by developing the scientific tools to ensure quality and safety of dietary supplements.”