Spices and Medicine


2018 Annual Symposium


2018 REPORT 
by Francesca Scotti (archived from UCL News)
11 October 2018
UCL School of Pharmacy
Brunswick Square, London, UK

On Wednesday 10th October, more than 150 attendees converged at the School of Pharmacy for our sold-out UCL Spices and Medicine annual autumn symposium. This year's theme was “Exploring Natural Products: Visions for the Future” and featured speakers from the Natural History Museum, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, University of Kent, Westminster University, UCL School of Pharmacy and UCL Psychopharmacology. UCL Spices and Medicine aims to "showcase research relating to the interface between food, medicine, and culture to the present day and its relevance across different academic fields", and this year's event did not disappoint. The afternoon covered topics ranging from cross-cultural historical medicinal plant uses, to comparative chemical analyses of tea quality and herbal market safety, to the most recent advances in the use of Cannabis-derived cannabidiols psychosis, epilepsy and smoking-addiction treatment. Participants were able to engage with speakers and each other on the very topical importance of natural products and human health and wellbeing in the current scientific perspective. The event was open to the general public but also represents a learning occasion for the MSc students in Medicinal Natural Products and Phytochemistry. The event was co-hosted by UCL Spices with the British Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences and was organised by M. Jennifer Datiles and Francesca Scotti. 
The event was followed by the Annual Frank Fish Memorial Lecture, organised by Prof. Michael Heinrich. This year it was delivered by Prof. Frances Brodsky, Director of the UCL Division of Biosciences. Her talk, “The Human Side of Glucose Metabolism”, was enlightening and sparked a very interesting Q&A session. One of the take-home messages was that key opportunities exist if we bring together basic bioscientific research with applied pharmaceutical and medical approaches. It also highlighted UCL's research domain 'Food, Metabolism and Society' and the opportunity for networking across the many areas of research within UCL.



Marianne Jen Datiles
Francesca Scotti
Professor Michael Heinrich

Generously Supported by:
Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Special Thanks to:
Sabine Heinrich and the SoP Events Team
Gustav Ronngren, Adam Phillips and the SoP Computer Unit
Luis, Carlos and the SoP Reception Team
Sonja van Praag and the UCL IT Team