• inpursuitofplants

E05: Blending pharmacology and ethnobotany, with Dr Cassandra Quave


Podcast with Dr Cassandra Quave, Curator of the Emory University Herbarium, Assistant Professor of Dermatology and Human Health at Emory University and creator of the Foodie Pharmacology podcast (link below)



In this podcast we talk to Dr Quave about her work researching medicinal plants. Cassandra uses her ethnobotanical training to discover medicinally active plants in the field, then takes them back to her team at the Quave Laboratory to tests how effective they are against bacteria and other infective agents.


[As mentioned in the podcast, Dr Quave swapped a podcast interviewing myself and Mark Nesbitt of Kew Gardens on our book 'Just the Tonic: A natural history of tonic water' Link here]


For more reading about the plants discussed in the podcast, please see:

  • Brazilian Pepper Tree research. Muhs, A.**, J.T. Lyles**, C.P. Parlet, K. Nelson, J.S. Kavanaugh, A. R. Horswill, C.L. Quave. (2017) Virulence inhibitors from Brazilian Peppertree block quorum sensing and abate dermonecrosis in skin infection models. Scientific Reports 7: 42275 doi:10.1038/srep42275 [Link]


  • Gingko biloba research. Chassagne F, Huang X, Lyles JT and Quave CL (2019) Validation of a 16th Century Traditional Chinese Medicine Use of Ginkgo biloba as a Topical Antimicrobial. Front. Microbiol. 10:775. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.00775 [Link]


We also discussed the Nagoya Protocol, international legislation within the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which is set up to protect the rights of traditional knowledge and genetic resources of places where a plant (or animal, fungi etc.!) is sourced from. Cassandra explains how she works with this to provide access and benefit sharing for local communities where she has worked.


To keep up-to-date with the Quave research team, check out these links:


We hoped you enjoyed this episode!

Kim & Jemma

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