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Center Trainee Program

As an academic training center, the UIC Botanical Center hosts trainees interested in researching natural products, especially botanicals as dietary supplements.

UIC Botanical Center botanist Dr. Djaja D. Soejarto, UIC Botanical Center Botanists shown discussing one of the Dorothy Bradley Atkins Medicinal Plant Garden trees with graduate students and postdocs.

The UIC Botanical Center is a research and training center, supporting the development of doctorate level scientists who have and will continue to contribute to the field of natural products research, also called Pharmacognosy.  Trainees matriculate into the Botanical Center as graduate students from the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy (MCP) or postdoctoral fellows.  The College of Pharmacy Graduate Program provides opportunities for those interested in developing a career in Pharmacognosy as well as Medicinal Chemistry.


An NIH-funded training program entitled Research Training in Natural Product Complementary and Alternative Medicine administrated in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy (MCP) offers multidisciplinary training opportunities for PhD students. This T32 training grant supports graduate students working in the Botanical Center.  This NIH training grant (5T32AT007533) is led by Drs. Guido Pauli (Contact PI) and Jimmy Orjala as CoPIs/PDs. It is funded by both the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) and the Office of the Director (OD). Training grant objectives emphasize interdisciplinary collaborative research and incorporate the College’s graduate program in Pharmacognosy, which is only one of two such PhD programs in the United States, the Program for Collaborative Research in the Pharmaceutical Sciences (PCRPS) , and the Medicinal Chemistry graduate education track focusing on natural products.


The UIC Botanical Center offers trainees access to state-of-the art equipment and resources as well as a unique medicinal plant research garden for researching natural products:


New graduates work in a variety of positions within the pharmaceutical industry, at drug companies and natural products companies, governmental regulatory and research agencies and not-for-profit associations as well as academia and as postdoctoral fellows. Upon completion of their fellowships, post doctoral fellows follow a similar career path which may also include a position in academia – tenured or non-tenured research or teaching position.


To learn more about applying to the graduate program in pharmacognosy, please see the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy Graduate Programs page.