Farnsworth Lectureship at the UIC College of Pharmacy
The UIC College of Pharmacy is proud to host the collegiate Norman R. Farnsworth Lectureship in Pharmacognosy in memory of one
of its most dedicated pharmacy educators and internationally renowned,
transformational pharmacognosy researchers on the chemistry, biology,
and therapeutic properties of medicinal plants and natural products. The lecture is hosted every year, typically in late March by the College of Pharmacy and organized in collaboration with the UIC Pharmacognosy Institute.
Norman Farnsworth - A Pharmacognosist at the UIC College of Pharmacy
Norman R. Farnsworth, Distinguished University Professor, served on the
UIC College of Pharmacy faculty for more than 41 years (1970-2011).
During his tenure, he served as head of the department of pharmacognosy
and pharmacology for 12 years, followed by 30 years as director of the
Program for Collaborative Research in the Pharmaceutical Sciences. This
multi-disciplinary research unit is dedicated to all aspects of collaborative
studies on medicinal plants, including chemistry, biology, clinical effects,
biodiversity inventory and conservation, informatics and intellectual
Farnsworth also served as director of the World Health Organization
Collaborating Centre on Traditional Medicine at UIC, and he was the inventor
and editor-in-chief of the NAPRALERT database, a relational database on medicinal
plants and natural products.
“Farnsworth brought to UIC a culture of sophisticated research that has
persisted. It is a legacy that we cherish. We are consistently rated one
of the top five research colleges of pharmacy in the United States, and
that can be traced back to Norm,” said Dean Jerry Bauman at the first Farnsworth Lecture in 2013, “[His arrival]
transformed us from being predominantly a teaching-oriented institution
to one making major scientific contributions that complement our
educational programs. Norm had the ability to recruit extremely talented
colleagues and get them to work collaboratively toward common research
and scientific goals.”
Born in Lynn, Mass., Farnsworth received his bachelor’s and master’s
degrees from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and a Ph.D. from
the University of Pittsburgh, where he also served as a faculty member
for 15 years.
Under Farnsworth’s direction, the UIC/NIH Center for Botanical Dietary
Supplements Research was established in 1999 as one of six such
research centers funded by the National Institutes of Health to study
botanical dietary supplements. UIC’s Center, the only continuously funded
unit, focuses on studying botanicals that may improve women’s health
and quality of life, specifically in the areas of menopause, premenstrual
syndrome and persistent urinary tract infections.
Throughout his distinguished career, Farnsworth was the recipient of
numerous national and international awards, too numerous to cite. A sampling includes three honorary doctorates and three honorary
professorships; appointments as special delegate and commission
member by former Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, respectively. A reflection of the esteem held by his peers is exemplified by the American Society of Pharmacognosy’s designating its Research Achievement
Award as the “Norman R. Farnsworth Research Achievement Award”.
In recognition of his contribution to pharmacognostical education and
research, special symposium programs honoring Farnsworth were held
by the 12th Annual Oxford International Conference on the Science
of Botanicals and by the American Society of Pharmacognosy at the
International Congress of Natural Products Research in 2012.
Consider supporting the Farnsworth Lectureship at UIC
To ensure the preservation of his enduring academic legacy as an
educator, innovator and pioneering researcher whose contributions have impacted not only UIC, but have also changed the face of pharmacognosy
and medicinal plant research, the UIC College of Pharmacy welcomes
your assistance in supporting the Norman R. Farnsworth
Lectureship in Pharmacognosy. By making a donation at pharmgiving.uic.edu will be much appreciated and will support annual public lecture on topics
encompassing all aspects of pharmacognosy research and education by
internationally recognized researchers/educators.