Construction Begins on Biosafety Lab in Tempe, Mission to Advance Botanical Medicine

Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine

Construction has begun on Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine’s (SCNM) Ric Scalzo Institute for Botanical Research, a 4,285 square-foot Biosafety Level 2 Lab (BSL-2), a compound isolation laboratory, and a compound identification and quantification facility at 2140 E. Broadway Rd., Tempe. Recently hired Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Business Development, Bill Chioffi joins a team of researchers led by molecular biologist Jeffrey Langland, PhD; pharmacognosist Yalda Shokoohinia, PharmD, PhD; biochemist Yasmin Abusamra, PhD; and naturopathic physicians Patricia Gaines, ND, Katrina Stage, ND and Guillermo Ruiz, ND.

The mission of the Ric Scalzo Institute for Botanical Research is to advance 21st century botanical medicine through scientific exploration grounded in clinical herbalism’s rich tradition. The Institute’s analytical, metabolomic and bioassay laboratories will optimize the extraction and processing of botanicals and their subsequent formulations by using current botanical drug discovery methods guided by the rich traditions from which these plants originate. The research will be done in collaboration with leading companies in the natural products industry and other academic institutions to develop new products and improve existing botanical therapeutics.

The Institute will focus on the development of new antimicrobial therapies so critical in this age of novel viruses and antibiotic resistance, Cannabis sativa therapies, FDA-approved botanical drug products and more.

“We’re thrilled to launch the Ric Scalzo Institute,” said Dr. Paul Mittman, President & CEO of SCNM. “The unique collaboration of the plant scientists and the clinician’s labs offer opportunities to explore new medicines, and better understand others that have been used for centuries to advance health and wellbeing. Bill Chioffi is a wonderful addition to our stellar team of scientists and clinicians. During his decades of experience, Bill has earned the respect of industry leaders, scientists and farmers around the world. He is ideally suited to help bring the Institute to life.”

Chioffi is an Herbalist and brings 28 years of experience in the production of botanical medicine to SCNM, including vertically integrated botanical manufacturing of liquid extracts and concentrates, organic farming and processing of vertically integrated raw materials, qualitative and quantitative analysis of finished products and raw materials and much more.

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