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Grant Abstract

Grant Number: 3U01TW001015-07S2
Project Title: Biodiversity of Vietnam and Laos

Abstract: DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This proposed Phase II UIC ICBG (University of Illinois at Chicago-based ICBG) is a continuation of Phase I UIC ICBG, which has been in operation since October 1, 1998, until September 30, 2003. The specific aims of this proposed Phase II mirror those for Phase I, but with long-term second level achievements as follows: (i) integrated effort of biodiversity inventory and conservation at Cuc Phuong National Park (CPNP) in Vietnam, that will include the preparation of a Manual for taxonomic identification of the flowering plants in the park, the establishment of a Threatened Plants Rescue Center, the implementation of a conservation education program, and the transfer of GIS-based biodiversity assessment technology to Vietnam; (ii) integrated study of medicinal plants of Laos through the strengthening of the Lao Medicinal Plant Database and through a comparative ethnobotany mapping project in selected ecogeographic zones in Laos; (iii) collection of plant samples at CPNP and in Laos as an integral part of the UIC ICBG drug discovery effort during Phase II; (iv) expanded program in Phase II effort in the discovery and development of anti-HIV, anti-malaria, anti-TB, and cancer chemoptherapeutic and chemopreventive agents from plants of Vietnam and Laos; (v) setting up the infrastructure and the human resource for the preservation of traditional knowledge in the uses of plants in primary health care of local communities through the establishment of new and the upgrading of existing ethnomedical gardens established during Phase I; and, lastly, (vi) strengthening the capacity (institutional infrastructure and human resources) of host institutions in Vietnam and Laos, in higher level of expertise, to undertake research in biodiversity study and conservation, ethnobotany, and plant-based drug discovery far into the future, beyond ICBG. These specific aims are to be achieved through the close and synergistic cooperations of four Associate Programs (AP's), each with the following responsibility: (i) biodiversity inventory and conservation at CPNP (AP-1); studies on medicinal plants of Laos (AP-2); (iii) drug discovery from plants of Laos and Vietnam for AIDS, cancer, malaria and tuberculosis therapies (AP-3); and (iv) biomass production and economic development (AP-4). These four AP's will be coordinated by a Group Program, under the direction of the U C ICBG Principal Invest gator. The creation of the 4 AP's is necessary for the achievements of the specific aims as stated.

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