THE NHPRS OF CANADA NEIL TOWERS AWARD / awards & internships / the nhprs of canada neil towers award

The award honouring Neil Towers was established by the NHPRS in 2012. Recipients are individuals that have made significant contributions to natural health products research, regulation and/or commercialization in Canada and worldwide.


Dr. Towers was a botanist, an ethnobotanist, a plant chemist, a brilliant teacher and an accomplished researcher. He obtained his BSc and MSc from McGill University, and his doctorate in plant physiology in 1954 from Cornell University. He established his scientific career first at McGill and then at the National Research Council in Halifax. In 1964, he was recruited to UBC where he maintained an active research program as a full faculty member until 1989 and as an emeritus faculty until his death. He received many awards including the Flavelle Medal and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (1986) and the Pergamon Phytochemistry Prize by the Phytochemical Society of Europe (2000). He published more than 425 papers and book chapters, starting with a 1953 paper in Nature. He mentored 12 MSc and 26 PhD students thereby establishing a generation of scientists following in his footsteps.

Nominations can be made by any member in good standing in NHPRS, and must be co-sponsored by a second member. Nomination files should include a brief outline of the reasons for the nomination in relation to the above criteria (0.5 page) and a short biography of the nominated individual (0.5 page). Nomination files should be sent to the President of the NHPRS of Canada by email by the end of February of each year.

The award will be announced at each Annual Conference of the Society, and the awardee will present an Award Lecture at the conference.

Neil Towers


Photo of John Arnason

Dr. John Thor Arnason


Distinguished Professor, Biology and Chemistry

The University of Ottawa

Photo of Susan Murch

Dr. Susan Murch


Professor of Chemistry

The University of British Columbia Okanagan

Dr. Pierre Haddad


Professor of Pharmacology and Physiology

Université de Montréal

Dr. Jacqueline Shan


Founder, Afinity Life Sciences Inc.

Paula Brown

Dr. Paula Brown


Director, Natural Health and Food Products Research Group (NRG)

The British Columbia Institute of Technology

Michael Smith

President, Michael J Smith and Associates


Adjunct Professor, National Center for Natural Products Research, University of Mississippi

Adjunct Fellow, National Institute for Complementary Medicine, Western Sydney University

Dr. Robin J. Marles


Senior Scientific Advisor, Nutrition Premarket Assessment Division Bureau of Nutritional Sciences, Food Directorate, Health Canada Chair, USP Botanical Dietary Supplements and Herbal Medicines Expert Committee

Dr. Heather Boon


Vice-Provost, Faculty & Academic Life, University of Toronto

Professor, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto

Dr. Emma Guns, PhD


Consultant, formerly Faculty member at UBC and Vancouver General Hospital

Joe Betz


Associate Professor

Georgetown University School of Medicine

Connie Kehler


Executive Director

Canadian Herb, Specialty Agriculture & Natural Health Product Coalition

Dr. Nancy Turner



University of Victoria, School of Environmental Studies