The Program for Collaborative Research in the Pharmaceutical Sciences

Founded in 1982, the Program for Collaborative Research in the Pharmaceutical Sciences (PCRPS) is an internationally renowned research center for the study of biologically active natural products, formed as a program within the UIC College of Pharmacy. PCRPS was established to bring together faculty and researchers within the University of Illinois that share common research interests. The goal has been to pursue research and development projects collaboratively that are pertinent to the biomedical sciences in general and the pharmaceutical and natural product sciences in particular. Between 1982 and 2020, PCRPS developed a number of legacy research and training programs, which in 2020 became part of the Pharmacognosy Institute.

Catharanthus roseus

Overview of PCRPS Programs

Activities in PCRPS have led to the establishment of the major research programs, which are centered around plant-based natural products and traditional medicines.

  • The UIC Botanical Center
  • The NAPRALERT Natural Products Database
  • The WHO Collaborative Centre for Traditional Medicine (WHOCC TRM); more recently called the WHO Collaborative Centre for Herbal Medicine
  • The Atkins Medicinal Plant Garden
  • The ICBG Drug Discovery Program
  • Pre- and postdoctoral training programs in natural products

For ongoing activities in these programs, currently performed under the Pharmacognosy Institute, please follow the hyperlinks embedded in the above list.

Overview of Research Activities

Research activities include drug discovery involving the isolation and biological evaluation of anticancer, cancer chemoprevention, antimalarial, anti-HIV, anti-TB, and other disease target agents from natural sources; studies in chemical carcinogenesis; collection of ethnomedical information in the field; biodiversity conservation based collection of medicinal plants for chemical and biological investigation; computerization of the world’s literature on the chemistry and biology of medicinal natural products; phytochemical analysis and standardization of natural products and herbal products; and the standardization, phytochemistry, biological activity evaluation, metabolism, pharmacokinetics and clinical studies of botanical dietary supplements for women’s health.In addition to teaching and research, the faculty and researchers of the program are committed to the development of international programs, for example as members of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Traditional Medicine at UIC, as members of international pharmacopoeial boards, and through collaborative projects with colleagues worldwide.