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NIH CARBON/Botanical Research Centers Program:
Prior Awards

In response to a Congressional mandate, in 1999 the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) partnered with the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM, now the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, NCCIHexternal link disclaimer) to launch the NIH Consortium for Advancing Research on Botanical and Other Natural Products (CARBON) Program, originally as the Botanical Research Centers.The scope of the program expanded in response to a recommendation made during a  2013 Expert Panel reviewexternal link disclaimer, adding a focus on the development of new approaches to accelerate understanding of the potential health effects of complex botanical and other natural products relevant to dietary supplements. The name change to CARBON recognized both this new focus and a greater emphasis on inter- as well as intra-Center collaboration. Other NIH Institutes that have supported the CARBON Program in the past include the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Environmental and Health Sciences.

The CARBON Program has two goals: (1) to promote collaborative, transdisciplinary research on the safety, effectiveness, and mechanisms of action of complex natural products that have a high potential to benefit human health, and (2) to support the development of methods and resources that will enhance the progress of this research.

The 2020-2025 CARBON Program includes three Botanical Dietary Supplements Research Centers (BDSRC) focused on translation between preclinical and clinical research, and two Centers focused on enhancing methods and resources for research on the health effects of complex natural products. The Program is also expected to include pilot projects collaborating with the Centers (please see PAR 20-228external link disclaimer for information on eligible applications). 

Past Centers are described briefly below, and more fully on the linked pages.


Botanical Dietary Supplement Research Centers

Arizona Center for Phytomedicine Research (ACPRX): 2000-2005

This center concentrated research efforts on studies of the safety and efficacy of three botanicals widely used in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of inflammatory diseases: ginger root, turmeric root, and boswellia resin.For more information and publications...

Botanical Dietary Supplements for Women’s Health: 1999-2020

Through twenty years of support, including three sucessful competitive renewals, this Center studied the safety and mechanisms of action of botanicals used by American women to maintain health and quality of life, especially during menopause. For more information and publications...

Botanical Interaction Studies: 2004-2005, 2010-2015 

This center investigated the safety and efficacy of five botanical dietary supplements thought to work by antioxidant signaling. For more information and publications...

Botanical Lipids and Inflammatory Disease Prevention: 2005-2015

The goal of this Center was to delineate the molecular mechanisms by which botanical oils affect immunity and inflammation. For more information and publications...   

Botanical Supplements Research Center: 2002-2010

The Iowa Center focused on potential anti-viral and anti-inflammatory activities of two widely used botanicals, Echinacea and Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s wort); and on Prunella (commonly known as Self-heal). For more information and publications...  

Botanicals and Metabolic Resiliency: 2005-2020

This Center focused on the ability of botanicals to promote “metabolic resiliency,” the ability to maintain metabolic health in the presence of stressors such as high-fat diet and studied the mechanisms of action of the most promising botanicals in this context. For more information and publications...  

Botanicals Research Center for Age Related Diseases: 2000-2010

This Center organized and maintained a basic research multidisciplinary program for the study of botanical dietary supplements for age-related diseases. including heart disease, osteoporosis, cognitive decline, and cataracts. For more information and publications...   

Dietary Botanicals in the Preservation of Cognitive and Psychological Resilience: 2015-2020

This Center focused on the mechanisms through which polyphenol-containing dietary supplements derived from grapes promote cognitive and psychological resilience to common psychological stresses including sleep deprivation. For more information and publications...   

Mechanisms, Dose and Target Tissues: 2010-2015 

This center addressed safety, efficacy, and mechanism of action of botanical estrogens consumed by women. For more information and publications...   

Research Center for Botanical Immunomodulators: 2005-2010

This center focused on botanical immunomodulators relevant to the treatment of cancer and infectious disease, including echinacea (Echinacea purpurea), astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus), turmeric (Curcuma longa), maitake and selected additional botanicals used in Traditional Medical systems for their immunomodulatory activity. For more information and publications...  

UCLA Center for Dietary Supplements Research – Botanicals:1999-2005

The UCLA Center for Dietary Supplements Research: Botanicals (CDSRB) was formed to advance systematic evaluation of the safety and efficacy of botanical dietary supplements through pre-clinical and clinical research on characterization and authentication, molecular mechanisms of action, and bioavailability of commonly used botanical dietary supplements. For more information and publications...


Centers for Advancing Natural Products Innovation and Technology

Center for High-throughput Functional Annotation of Natural Products: 2015-2020

This team brought together experts in natural products chemistry, biological screening, data analytics, and bioinformatics to develop innovative strategies to improve the speed, breadth, and precision of the chemical and biological characterization of natural products in order to accelerate the understanding of their biological effects. For more information and publications...

Center for Natural Products Technologies (CENAPT): 2015-2020

The primary objective of CENAPT was to coordinate the curation and dissemination of good research practices and state-of-the-art technologies for research on natural products and pioneer the application of cutting-edge bioanalytical methodologies to the holistic characterization of the metabolomic complexity of natural products. For more information and publications...