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By: Alice M. Nevarez and Andrea Medina 


Medicinal Plants of the Southwest (MPSW), is funded by the National Institute of Health , and is part of the larger Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) Program.  The goal of the MBRS RISE program is to increase the number of minority students pursuing and obtaining advanced degrees in the biomedical sciences.

 MPSW provides students a chance to explore their natural world. By studying native plants, students learn how field and laboratory science can strengthen their academic skills and expand their career opportunities.
 Students have the opportunity to participate in summer workshops and academic year activities. Students have published some of their literature research as web pages on this site (medicinal plants, or diseases treated with plants). Students present their laboratory research at a poster session on the last day of the workshop.  
   Students obtain various hands-on experience through different activities. Some activities such as, learning herbal preparations and proper storage protocol.  


 Students research other cultural uses for plant organs.

   Students separated methyleugenol, an active compound in Anemopsis californica.   
 This bar graph demonstrates the different yields using various extraction methods.    

   Students used analytical instruments to characterize the composition of different plant extracts. In addition they learn how to isolate certain active compounds.


A GC-MS chromatogram of a methylene chloride extract of Anemopsis californica root, with assignment of peaks using a spectral library is shown.

 MPSW students performed bioassays to test anti-microbial activity of crude plant extracts against several strains of bacteria. Future participants will perform bioassays to test anti-viral (HIV and Hantavirus), anti-fungal, and anti-microbial activity of crude plant extracts. Students will also study the effects of crude plant extracts on neuronal cell cultures.

  Pseudomonas aeruginosa Bacillus subtilis  Escherichia coli
Ampicillin R S S
Chloramphenicol S S S
Carboxicillin R S S
Plant Extract R R R
Methanol R R R


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Updated February 13, 2008

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