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Skip Navigation LinksHome > Highlights > Headline Archive > Botanical Research Centers RFA Announced

Botanical Research Centers RFA Announced

Dietary Supplement Research Centers: Botanicalsexternal link disclaimer
    RFA: OD-04-002
    Letter of Intent Receipt Date: May 18, 2004
    Receipt Date: June 15, 2004

Summary

The ODS, NCCAM, and NIEHS invite applications to support research centers of excellence which will (1) promote interdisciplinary collaborative study of botanicals, particularly those that are found as ingredients in dietary supplements and (2) conduct research of high potential for being translated into practical benefits for human health.

Background

Botanical ingredients in dietary supplements are derived from two primary sources: traditional herbal medicines (e.g., St. John's wort, valerian, ginkgo, chamomile) and foods (e.g., soy, cranberry, broccoli, garlic). Both of these contain bioactive constituents with potential health promoting properties. Despite widespread use of dietary supplements with botanical ingredients and promising science, biomedical research in this area has been relatively limited and unfocused. As a consequence, efficacy and safety of many widely used botanical ingredients have not been adequately evaluated. Before these issues can be addressed, high quality basic and mechanistic research and early phase clinical studies are needed.

Objectives of the Research Program

1. Build collaborative research teams that will advance the basic science to inform clinical studies; the following activities are emphasized

  • Characterize the chemical composition of botanicals and study their biological effects to provide better predictions of safety and efficacy in humans
  • Expand the research base via development and improvement of preclinical model systems (e.g. in vitro and in vivo) that will inform clinical studies
2. Cultivate the use of contemporary technologies and innovative approaches (e.g., mass spectrometry, bioimaging, genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, bioinformatics, systems biology) in botanical research

3. Conduct clinical studies such as PhaseI/II trials (Optional)