On September 10, 2019, Professor Jing-Ke Weng appeared on Science for the Public’s Contemporary Science program to discuss the unique non-toxic properties of certain plants for modern medications. As an example, he explained how the kava plant, which has been used for centuries in Polynesia to relieve pain without addictive side-effects, is considered a potential replacement for today’s opioids.The Weng lab at MIT is known especially for its innovative work on the complexity and evolution of plant metabolism, and on the distinctive chemistry and genetics of medicinal plants. Dr. Weng explained the process, the discoveries, and the challenge of simulating plant chemistry for large-scale medical purposes.
Video of Dr. Weng’s discussion Herbal Medicines Decoded: How Plants That Soothe and Cure Do It
Science for the Public’s Contemporary Science December 10, 2019
Video of Science for the Public’s Working Science visit to the Weng Lab, December 10, 2019
Probing the Health Molecules of Plants: The Weng Lab at Whitehead Institute
Weng Lab interview on WBUR (audio + text)