The 2021 Conference Program

Monday June 7

11:00 am – 3:30 pm EST 

Global Stewardship and Sustainability 

Session Chairs: Susan Murch & Danna Leaman


11:00      Welcome: NHPRS President Pierre Haddad

    • Opening prayer: Elder Mary Wilson
    • Virtual Conference Overview: Conference co-chairs Cory Harris & John Arnason

11:15      Responsible Sourcing in the Botanical Industry

Ann Armbrecht, Director, Sustainable Herbs Program, USA


12:00      Soil Health, Climate & Supplements

Bethany Davis, Director of Social Impact and Advocacy, MegaFood, USA


12:45      Lunch & Activity Break


1:15        Evolving from Plant to Product – Respecting the Process

Connie Kehler, Executive Director, Canadian Herb, Specialty Agriculture and Natural Health Product Coalition, Canada


2:00       Natural Product Sustainability: Industrial Insight

Antoine Bily, Director of Integrated Solutions, Givaudan, France


2:45       Four-year field performance of open-pollinated Rhodiola rosea family tests at two New Brunswick locations

Ron Smith, University of New Brunswick, Canada


3:00       Introduction of Ma’afala breadfruit flour to world commercial markets

Abisola Kehinde, University of British Columbia Kelowna, Canada


3:15        Surveying Natural Health Product Researchers’ Attitudes towards Publishing and a New Field-Specific Journal

Jeremy Ng, McMaster University, Canada


Tuesday June 8

11:00 am – 3:30 pm EST 

NHPs in the Time of the Pandemic

Session Chairs: Sharan Sidhu & John Arnason


11:00      Natural Health Products Research in the time of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ossy Kasillo, Regional Advisor Traditional Medicine, Africa Regional Office, World Health Organization, Congo


11:45      Herbal medicines and natural products in the context of Covid 19

Michael Heinrich, University College London, UK


12:30     Lunch and Activity Break


1:00       Caring for COVID-19: a Herbalist’s approach

Caroline Gagnon, Herboriste-Thérapeute Accréditée, Directrice FloraMedicina, Canada


1:45       Natural Health Products: Clinical Outcomes in Active Covid-19

Paul Saunders, Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, Canada


2:00      Rationale for Quercetin as a potential supplement to increase resistance to COVID-19 infection and to reduce symptoms during recovery?

Julia Solnier, ISURA, Canada


2:15        Evaluation of Ethanol and Isopropyl Alcohol Content in Hand Sanitizers Samples purchased from Retail Location in the Greater Vancouver Regional District

Palak Tank, British Columbia Institute of Technology, Biotechnology, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada


2:30        3MT® Competition – 11 of Canada’s up-and-coming NHP scientists will tell you about their exciting research and why it matters – in just 3 minutes!

Chaired by Roy Golsteyn; University of Lethbridge, Canada

3MT® Competition Presenters
Darcy Wear Cancer selective induction of cell death by Piper longum and Camellia sinensis extracts in neuroblastoma and glioblastoma: Mechanism of action and NHP-drug interactions
Sarah Walker Impact of an avocatin-B containing diet on leukemia relapse
Caleb Vegh Ashwagandha root extract and Ubisol-Q10 inhibit progression of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease by targeting multiple biochemical mechanisms
Siddhartha Sood Characterizing the anti-cancer efficacy of paradise tree extract (PTE) alone and in combination with standard chemotherapeutics against human melanoma
Benjamin Scaria Evaluation of anti-cancer activity, elucidation of drug-drug interactions and mechanism of action of Rosemary extract in colorectal cancer
Alessia Roma Shikonin inhibits mitochondria complex II to selectively eradicate acute myeloid leukemia cells
H.L. Rathnasekara Evaluation of in vitro neutralizing effects of aqueous extract of Pogostemon heyneanus leaves and its fractions
Ryan Pusiak Can a bitter herb found in beer reduce inflammation?
Thomas Head Detecting adulteration of olive oil using low field 1H NMR data
Nadia Hand Exposure of bacteria to prairie plant extracts induces unique clump phenotype with prospective applications
Anna Boukina What’s in a name? Delving into the cannabinoid contents of varying cannabis strains


Wednesday June 9

11:00 am – 3:30 pm EST

Indigenous Traditional Medicine

Session Chairs: Carrie Bourassa & Elder Mary Wilson  


11:00     Gathering Medicine: A sḵwx̱wú7mesh Perspective on the Role of Culturally Important Plants in Indigenous Resurgence

Leigh Joseph, Ethnobotanists, Squamish Nation, Canada


11:45     Traditional Indigenous Medicine and Health Systems Transformation in Abya Yala (Latin America)

Daniel Gallego-Perez, University of Boston, USA


12:30     Lunch and Activity Break


1:00       The Protection of indigenous medical knowledge by legal agreements

Élisabeth Patterson, Dionne Schulze, Canada


1:45       A Meta-analysis of Nishnaabeg Ethnobiology

Zonghua Ai, Dalhousie University, Canada


2:00      The investigation of Sooyaiaiihtsi, a Blackfoot medicinal plant extract and its effects on human cancer cells

Haley Shade, Lethbridge University, Canada


2:15        Panel Discussion

Panel members: Leigh Joseph (Squamish Nation)

Daniel Gallego-Perez (University of Boston)

Élisabeth Patterson (Dionne Schulze)

Councillor Veronica King-Jamieson (Mississauga Nation)

Ossy Kasilo (World Health Organization)


Monday June 14

11:00 am – 3:30 pm EST

Global Advances in NHP Research

Session Chairs: Roy Golsteyn & Pamela Ovadje


11:00      Insights into the Pharmacological and Chemical Investigations of Three Popular Herbal Remedies (“Copalchi”, “Insulina”, and “Zacatechichi”) for Treating Diabetes in Mexico

Rachel Mata, Professor, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico


11:45      Metabolomics Tools for Authentication of Botanical Dietary Supplements

Nadja Cech, Professor, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA


12:30      Lunch and Activity Break


1:00        Interaction with gut microbiota is a relevant mechanism for therapeutic activity of herbal extracts

Rudolf Bauer, Professor, University of Graz, Austria


1:45        Bio-based additives for food application

Lillian Barros, Researcher, Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Portugal


2:30       Discovering anti-cancer NHPs and their interaction with standard chemotherapeutic drugs: Possibility of using them as adjuvant with standard treatment

Siyaram Pandey, University of Windsor, Canada


2:45       Pre-clinical pharmacology of purified plant cannabinoids and terpenes from Cannabis sativa

Robert Laprairie, University of Saskatchewan, Canada


3:00       Cranberry as a source of novel phytomelatonin natural health products

Lauren Erland, University of British Columbia Kelowna, Canada


3:15        Avocado-derived avocadyne as an inhibitor of fatty acid oxidation to selectively eliminate leukemia cells

Matthew Tcheng, University of Guelph, Canada

Tuesday June 15

11:00 am – 3:30 pm EST 

NHPs in Clinical Practice and Research

Session Chairs: Jerry Yager & Kieran Cooley


11:00     Exploring Clinical Trials Involving NHPs

Dugald Seely, CEO, Centre for Health Innovation, Canada


11:45      The Ayurvedic NHPs: Promise for Future

Asmita Wele, Professor, Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, India


12:30     Lunch and Activity Break


1:00       Industry-Sponsored Clinical Trials to Support Regulatory Requirements

Andrew Charrette, Director of Regulatory Affairs, KGK Science, Canada


1:45       Opportunities to utilize natural psychedelics as new tools to meet mental health and wellness needs

Elena Argento, University of British Columbia, Numinus Wellness Inc., Canada


2:00       Cannabinoid-Based Medicines in Canada: Clinical and Product Data at A Leading Medical Cannabis Clinic

Erin Prosk, President, Santé Cannabis, Canada


2:15        Clinical ResearchQuestion & Answer period


2:30        Neil Towers Award


Wednesday June 16

11:00 am – 3:30 pm EST

Regulation, Policy and Commerce

Session Chairs: Michael Smith & Bob Chapman


11:00      Continuous Improvements to Regulatory Oversight of Natural Health Products in Canada

Natalie Page, Director General, Natural and Non-Prescription Health Products, Health Canada, Canada


11:45       The Role of Targeted Funding Authority in Natural Health Product Research

Joseph Betz, Acting Director of the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, USA


12:30      Lunch and AGM


1:30        Industry Panel

Chaired by James Griffiths; Senior Vice President, International and Scientific Affairs, Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), USA

    • Ted Haney; President & CEO of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (CHTA)
    • Aaron Skelton; President and Chief Executive Officer of the CHFA
    • Colin Garrioch; Regional Director – Ontario, Natural Products Canada


3:00        Trainee awards ceremony


3:20        Closing of the Conference

    • Prayer: Elder Mary Wilson
    • Closing remarks: NHPRS President