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Danforth Center's "Conversations" Series Continues

Nature's Medicines: Translating Plants to Healthcare Applications
    ST. LOUIS, MO, March 29, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center's "Conversations" series will continue on Thursday, April 3, 2014 with a reception at 5:15 p.m. and program at 6:00 p.m. at the Danforth Center, 975 N. Warson Road. Featured panelists are Toni Kutchan, Ph. D., Oliver M. Langenberg distinguished investigator, vice president for research, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and Mark Trudeau, president and chief executive officer, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals.

For millennia, plants have been a source of traditional medicines. It is estimated by the World Health Organization that approximately 75-80% of the world's population uses plant medicines. Plants are used to produce drugs that play an important role in cancer treatment, pain control, inflammation reduction, and in the therapy of other critical conditions and come from various sources including plants, synthetics (petroleum), bacteria and fungi.

The potential for further development of healthcare applications from plants is substantial, but the process of transforming scientific discoveries into commercial products is complex.

"Using modern technology, plants are studied to learn how they create chemicals that, in-turn, make frequently used medicines. Once the "how" is understood, the genes that are involved in the production of those chemicals are isolated and used to either improve the plants as sources of medicine or are moved into other organisms to produce the medicines," explains Kutchan.

Join us for an enlightening discussion as Kutchan and Trudeau discuss medicines from plants and how research at the Danforth Center reaches the marketplace. Reservations are required but complimentary; seating is limited. To reserve your seat call (314) 587-1070 or email: or register on-line at

To view previous Conversations programs visit

About the Speakers

Toni Kutchan, Ph.D.,
Oliver M. Langenberg Distinguished Investigator, Vice President for Research,
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Toni Kutchan is currently investigating two aspects of natural products that are found in plants; how plants produce medicinal natural products at the enzyme and gene level, which could lead to new sources of medications for use against conditions such as dementia and cancer; and the use of plant natural products as components of biofuels.

Mark Trudeau,
President and Chief Executive Officer,
Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals

Mark Trudeau is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. He was formerly Senior Vice President of the Pharmaceuticals business of Covidien, prior to the company's spinoff to Mallinckrodt. Previously, he served as President and CEO of Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. He also held positions at Bristol Myers Squibb, Abbott Laboratories, Eli Lilly and EI DuPont De Nemours, Inc. Mr. Trudeau holds a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering and a Master's degree in Business Administration, both from the University of Michigan.

About The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for-profit research institute with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science. Research aims to feed the hungry and improve human health, preserve and renew the environment and position the St. Louis region as a world center for plant science. The Center's work is funded through competitive grants and contract revenue from many sources, including the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Agency for International Development, the Bill & Melinda Gates and Howard G. Buffett Foundations.

The Danforth Center invites you to visit its website,, featuring interactive information on the Center scientists, news, and "Roots & Shoots" blog that help keep visitors up to date with Center's current operations and areas of research. Follow us on Twitter at @DanforthCenter.

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Contact Information

Melanie Bernds
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

St. Louis, Missouri
United States
Voice: 314-587-1647
E-Mail: Email Us Here
Website: Visit Our Website

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