Dr. Nirmal Joshee has been heavily involved in medicinal plant research for more than 30 years. His passion recently turned into a more active role with the American Council for Medicinally Active Plants (ACMAP), where he was recently named vice president.
The primary purpose of ACMAP is to promote and foster research, development, production, and conservation of medicinal, aromatic, and other bioactive plants useful to human health. It is one of few professional societies focused on medicinal research, in particular. The organization hosts conferences and publishes research to increase public understanding of research in the field and foster dialogue between professionals in the field.
Joshee is a founding member of the organization. He currently serves as associate professor of plant science at FVSU. During his tenure here, he has established research on scutellaria (flowering plants in the mint family) that continues to grow. The program conducts cutting-edge research on anti-tumor properties of chemicals obtained from the leaf tissue of the plants. His work may help foster in a new era in treatment for cancer and other ailments.
“As an academician and active researcher, it is important to disseminate research for the use and benefit of other researchers, users, hobbyists, growers, and companies,” Joshee said.
In addition to his role as the newly named vice president, Joshee also serves as one of the executive editors of the organization’s research journal, the Journal of Medicinally Active Plants. The journal provides an avenue for faculty and students to publish their research. FVSU graduate students have had their research published in the journal, in addition to winning national awards by presenting at the organization’s meetings.
Some of the complex challenges ACMAP explores include understanding of traditional medical systems and their validation through modern day tools, proper identification leading to adulteration, and heavy exploitation of natural population resources rendering many species rare, threatened, or endangered, to name a few.
Joshee feels his appointment provides research and employment opportunities for graduate students here at FVSU. In fact, the need to provide medicinal plant researchers with a bigger platform led to the International Society for Horticultural Sciences (ISHS) International Symposium on Medicinal and Neutraceutical Plants, held in Fort Valley. Joshee was the co-convener. The FVSU symposium helped set the stage for the founding of ACMAP in 2009.
Joshee is well known at FVSU for being instrumental in working with students to present their thesis research and positioning them to interact with scientists from many universities and professional arenas.