Herbal Medicines Decoded: How Plants That Soothe and Cure Do It

Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations

Tuesday, September 10, 2019 at 6:30 PM , Belmont Media Center, 9 Lexington St, Belmont MA

Jing-Ke Weng, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology, MIT; Member, Whitehead Institute
Weng Lab

Unique medicinal properties of certain plants are recognized by traditional cultures around the world --and by the modern pharmaceutical industry. For example, the kava plant, used for centuries in Polynesia to relieve pain without addictive side-effects, is considered a potential replacement for opioids. Professor Jing-Ke Weng’s lab at MIT is known especially for its innovative work on the complexity and evolution of plant metabolism. The lab's research focuses on the distinctive chemistry and genetics of medicinal plants. Dr. Weng explains the process, the discoveries, and the challenge of simulating plant chemistry for large-scale medical purposes.

Weng Lab interview on WBUR (audio + text)

some background: Multi “-omics” Approach Uncovers the Riches of Traditional Global Medicine