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Medicinal Plants of the Southwest Project Summer Workshop 2009

·       The Medicinal Plants of the Southwest Summer Workshop (MPSW) is a student development activity designed to increase the educational opportunities for students at New Mexico State University.  MPSW is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the NMSU RISE to the Doctorate Program.

·       The workshop is open to undergraduates at NMSU and recent high school graduates who are registered to attend NMSU in the Fall 2008 term.

·       Under-represented students (African American, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islander) are especially encouraged to apply as the goal of the NMSU-RISE program is to increase the number of ethnic minority researchers in the biomedical sciences. NIH considers members of these groups “currently underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences to include: (A) individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, (B) individuals with disabilities, and (C) individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds that have inhibited their ability to pursue a career in health-related research. Institutions are encouraged to identify candidates who will increase diversity on a national or institutional basis."


Instruction and lab work will cover general principles in plant science, biochemistry, ethnobotany, cell biology, chemistry, and microbiology, using specific examples from medicinal plants. Discussion groups will also cover scientific ethics Students will work in teams and perform research on a set of medicinal plants from the area. Instructors include faculty and staff from NMSU.

The Summer 2009 Workshop will run for 6 weeks on the NMSU Las Cruces campus, May 26 – July 2, Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 pm.

Participants in the project will be paid ~$9/hour, and must be eligible for employment in this federally funded program, participants must be US citizens or permanent residents.


Please send completed applications by April 17, 2009  to:

Dr. Mary O'Connell
Plant & Environmental Sciences
MSC 3Q, P.O. Box 30003
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, NM 88003

OR drop it off on the NMSU campus at:

        • RISE office, Biology Department Office
        • Dr. O'Connell's office, Gerald Thomas Hall Rm 179

OR fax the application to 575 646-4681.

A complete application includes a completed application form, a typed 500-1000 word personal statement and a current academic transcript (unofficial transcripts are acceptable).
Application forms are available on the web

 Application description:

 pdf version

 RTF (rich text format)





Participation Requirements:

For more information about the summer program please contact:



Morning Discussions

Afternoon Research Activities

Week 1


Introduction - History of Medicinal Plants

Overview of Modern Uses

Plant Anatomy

Technical Writing

Organize Teams

Learning Assistance Self-Testing

Literature research- library and Internet

Design Database

Week 2


Safety Issues

Chemical Extractions

Selection of Solvents

Design experiments

Harvest plant material

Perform extractions

Week 3


Chemical Structures

Run separations and analyses

Continue literature research

Publish web page on medicinal plant

Week 4


Analytical Instrumentation

Refine extractions; repeat selected analyses

Design bio-assays

Week 5


Biochemistry of plant 2nd products

Set up bio-assays

Statistical analyses of biomedical data

Week 6


Human Biology


Populate database

Propose plants for future study

Propose improvements in workshops

Prepare poster reporting results from chemical and bioassay data for presentation at session on final day.

To email us add "" after "moconnel"

Updated February 17, 2009

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