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News: GCA Medalists in the News…


March 28, 2019

“Outsmarting Alzheimer’s: How a Small Lab in Wyoming is Changing the Face of Medicine”

The work of Dr. Paul Alan Cox, the GCA’s 2019 Eloise Payne Luquer Medalist, was featured in the February issue of Fortune magazine in a cover article that credited his efforts as a promising approach to treating neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s. Dr. Cox is one of the world’s pre-eminent ethnobotanists. He looks for cures for diseases and disorders in villages, jungles, and forests in the islands of Polynesia and South East Asia studying indigenous plants and their uses.

Following a twenty-year distinguished academic career, authoring over 200 scientific papers and seven books and receiving numerous awards and fellowships, Dr. Cox turned his focus to neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS/Lou Gehrig’s).

In hopes to cut the deep costs and length of time it takes to produce new drugs, Dr. Cox set up the Brain Chemistry Labs at the Institute for EthnoMedicine, a not-for-profit organization in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Working with Dr. Cox is a small team of three brilliant scientists in his lab and 50 of the top scientists in the world participating virtually in their own laboratories. Together they are attempting to discover causes and possible botanically-based treatments for these treacherous diseases.

Dr. Cox discovered an environmental factor, the neurotoxin BMAA, produced by cyanobacteria. This neurotoxin triggers neurodegenerative illness among the Chamorro people of Guam. Dr. Cox and his team have produced two promising new drugs for neurodegenerative disease and a third drug is in development. The award-winning documentary, "Toxic Puzzle: Hunt for the Hidden Killer," tells Dr. Cox’s amazing story.


In Other News...

This Month in GCA History - March
The GCA's influence in the founding of the United States National Arboretum
March 26, 2019

The GCA to receive Rachel Carson Women in Conservation Award
Building on a century of conservation efforts.
March 20, 2019

Botany Bill Reintroduced in Congress
The GCA supports legislation's promotion of botanical research and native plants
March 15, 2019


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