Spices and Medicine


Monique Simmonds

Spices - New Challenges and Opportunity

3:00-3:30 PM

ABSTRACT: Spices are clearly still playing an important role in many aspects of our daily activities and provide an important source of income for many countries.  This talk will provide an overview of some of the work that Kew has been involved with that includes collating information about the traditional medicinal and cultural importance of spices as well as research into furthering our understanding about their health benefits. 

About the Speaker

Professor Monique Simmonds is Head of the Sustainable Uses of Plants group at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, which includes the Centre for Economic Botany and the Biological Interactions Section as well as RBG Kew's Innovation Unit. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Entomology, World Innovation Foundation, the Society of Biology, and the Linnean Society. She is  Editor-in-Chief of Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, and on the editorial boards for Phytochemistry, Phytotherapy Research, Physiological Entomology, Journal of Tropical Medicinal Plants, and Natural Product Communications. Prof. Simmonds is a Visiting Professor at Birkbeck College University of London, University of Greenwich and the UCL School of Pharmacy. 

During her career at RBG Kew, Prof. Simmonds has and continues to co-ordinate research into the economic uses of plants and fungi, their potential as pharmaceutical and agrochemical leads, and as sources of sustainably harvested medicines. She has been involved in developing benefit-sharing strategies among community groups across the world, that involve NGOs, commercial and academic collaborators for research on medicinal and agrochemical plants and fungi. Prof. Simmonds has gained extensive experience of working in developing countries, investigating the uses of plants for control of pests as well as the treatment of HIV and malaria. In addition, she has developed chemical authentication methods for use by companies, NGOs, government bodies and by field workers to check the quality of plant-derived products being sold as medicines, cosmetics and foods.

Prof. Simmonds earned her BSc (Hons.) from the University of Leeds and her PhD from Birkbeck College, University of London.