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Journal Marks Milestone

Symposium draws the field’s luminaries to 75th anniversary celebration

by Bethany Halford
August 13, 2012 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 90, ISSUE 33

Credit: J. Nat. Prod.
Credit: J. Nat. Prod.

The Journal of Natural Products, which publishes chemical and biochemical research on naturally occurring compounds, is currently celebrating its 75th anniversary. To mark the occasion among natural products researchers of all stripes, the journal hosted a special symposium in late July at the 10th International Congress on Natural Products Research (ICNPR) in New York City.

ICNPR brings together members of the American Society of Pharmacognosy (ASP) and its European sister societies: the Society for Medicinal Plant Research, the Italian Society of Phytochemistry, the Phytochemical Society of Europe, and the French Speaking Society of Pharmacognosy. More than 1,200 people attended this year’s congress, making it the largest scientific meeting focused entirely on natural products research to have been held in North America. Guy T. Carter of Carter-Bernan Consulting and Edward J. Kennelly of the City University of New York’s Lehman College chaired the gathering.

The journal’s anniversary symposium highlighted the work of three natural products luminaries. William Gerwick of the University of California, San Diego, spoke about his decades-long research effort on curacin A. Rachel Mata of the National Autonomous University of Mexico talked about her work on Mexican antidiabetic herbs. And Arizona State University’s George R. Pettit took attendees on a tour through the myriad natural products that have been discovered by his research group.

A. Douglas Kinghorn, the Ohio State University pharmacy professor who has been editor-in-chief of the Journal of Natural Products since 1994, also used the occasion to give attendees a history of the publication. The journal began in 1938 as Lloydia, a quarterly journal of biological science published by the Lloyd Library & Museum in Cincinnati. It was originally devoted to mycology; the first chemical structures appeared in its pages in 1956.

In 1961, ASP began to copublish the journal. The publication changed its name in 1979 to the Journal of Natural Products under the guidance of then-editor Jack L. Beal, who thought the new name better conveyed the journal’s content. The American Chemical Society began to copublish the journal with ASP in 1996.

“The Journal of Natural Products publishes the structures of well over 1,000 new secondary metabolites from terrestrial and marine organisms every year,” Kinghorn tells C&EN. “Therefore, our journal plays a major role in presenting new information to the scientific community on the chemical diversity of small-molecular-weight organic constituents or organisms.”

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