Professor Michael Heinrich
Professor Michael Heinrich

Selected research


Booker, A., D. Johnston and M Heinrich (2012) Value chains of herbal medicines - research needs and key challenges in the context of ethnopharmacology. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 140, 624– 633. 

Medicinal plant

Michl, J. H. M. Jennings, G. C. Kite, M. J. Ingrouille, M.S. Simmonds, M. Heinrich (2013) Is aristolochic acid nephropathy a widespread problem in developing countries? A case study of Aristolochia indica L. in Bangladesh using an ethnobotanical - phytochemical approach. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 149, 235–244. 

Medicinal plant

Heinrich M. (2013) Ethnopharmacology and Drug Discovery. In: Reedijk, J. (Ed.) Elsevier Reference Module in Chemistry, Molecular Sciences and Chemical Engineering. Waltham, MA: Elsevier. 11-Sep-13.

Professor Michael Heinrich

Professor of Pharmacognosy (Medicinal Plant research)

Tel: 0207 753 5844


  • Cluster Lead – Biodiversity and Medicines
  • UCL School of Pharmacy Research Committee
  • ULLA Coordinator and representative of the School on the ULLA Executive Committee (European University Consortium for Pharmaceutical Sciences)
  • Member UCL Ethics Committee

Research interests

The group's research is based on a transdisciplinary perspective integrating approaches from the natural and social sciences with an overall aim of tackling the fast changing global health needs focusing on the use of plant derived products as ‘medicinal plants’, ‘health foods’ or nutraceuticals, botanicals and the like. It integrated methodological approaches from ethnopharmacology, medicinal plant research, pharmacy practice, and anthropology.

Specific scientific interests:

  • Bioactive natural products / pharmacognosy / and ethnobotany): metabolomic approaches in medicinal plant research , anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant natural products focusing on the transcription factor NF-kB and its pathway as molecular targets of natural product research, quality and safety of herbal medical products, intervention studies with herbal medicines
  • Sociocultural sciences: the importance of medicinal and food plants in global health, food and medicinal plant usage in the Mediterranean, México/ Central America/ migrant communities in London, history of medicinal plant use in Europe, value and supply chain of medicinal plants.

Teaching interests

Current teaching on the MPharm:

  • Second year pharmacognosy and medicinal plant research with a focus on the quality and safety of herbal medical products
  • Option Therapeutic uses of plants
  • Teaching related to ethnopharmacology, the use of CAM and herbal medicines throughout the course.

Current collaborations and partnerships

We have strong links with many research groups including collaborative projects with:

  • Birkbeck College (D. Johnston);
  • the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew (esp. M. Simmonds) ;
  • the University of Dresden (Prof. Neinhuis);
  • the University Hospital Freiburg (B. Fiebich);
  • the Botanic Garden at the University of Zurich (C. Weckerle);
  • the ETH Zurich (P. Edwards);
  • de Montfort University (A. Slater);
  • King Abdulazziz University, Jeddah; 
  • J. Goethe University, Frankfurt (G. Eckert);
  • IMDEA, Madrid (Fr. Visioli);
  • the University of Reading (E.M. Williamson)


  • Pharmacognosist: biologist (Dr. rer nat.habil, Univ. Freiburg 1989, 1997, Dipl. Biol, 1985)
  • and anthropologist (M.A., Wayne State Univ, 1982)