International Society for Ethnopharmacology
Newsletter February 2011
Vol. 9 / Issue 1
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In this issue
  1. Editorial: Welcome from the new president Dr. Marco Leonti
  2. Conference Report: 11th Congress of the International Society of Ethnopharmacology (ISE 2010) and First Spanish-Portuguese Ethnobiological Symposium (EHPE) September 20 - 25, 2010, Albacete, Spain
  3. Announcement of Nina Etkin Award: $5000 for Ethnopharmacological Research!
  4. Announcement: 12th Congress of the International Society of Ethnopharmacology (ISE 2012) February 17-19, 2012 in Kolkata, India
  5. Announcement: 13th International Congress of the International Society of Ethnopharmacology (ISE 2012) September 2-5, 2012 in Graz, Austria
  6. More Upcoming Conferences
  7. New Book
  8. Interesting Links
  9. News from Elsevier and JEP
  10. Membership Renewal Form/ Membership Application Form 2011
  11. Impressum/About

Dear ISE members

While I hope that you all enjoyed the fruitful 11th ISE congress in Albacete last year, I am now happy to announce that the 12th International Congress of Ethnopharmacology will be held in Kolkata (West Bengal - India) from the 17th – 19th February 2012.

The congress’ title “Traditional Medicines and Globalization – The Future of Ancient Systems of Medicine” is providing the perfect frame and leaves ample space for a wide range of philosophical as well as more utilitarian and practice-oriented contributions and discussions. I wish that the ISE Congress as well as the broad field of ethnopharmacology is seen as a great opportunity to connect people, peoples, culture and science. The promotion of indigenous medical systems in primary health care is an integrated scope of ethnopharmacology and the announced core topics “Traditional medicines and neglected diseases” as well as “Traditional medicines and biomedicine – common or conflicting interests?” aim at contributions in this respect. However, we should be realistic and acknowledge that the health problems of people and cultures worldwide can’t be solved exclusively by a single scientific academic field whatsoever. If we work hard and take “interdisciplinarity” seriously we can achieve this and make a significant contribution to science and its applications.

Having said this, I am very pleased to announce “The Nina Etkin Young Researcher Award”. The purpose of this award is firstly to honour the memory of Nina Etkin and her work in ethnopharmacology and secondly to support the work of graduate students doing field-work in ethnopharmacology. Details on the award schedule and proposals will be available on the ISE website soon.

I hope that the preliminary list of core-topics for the upcoming 12th ISE Congress (available on the ISE website) will arouse your interest and that Dr. Pulok Mukherjee and the ISE can welcome you in Kolkata 2012. (Please be aware that VISA is mandatory for the travelling to India). Lastly, let me thank Pulok and his co-workers for taking on this exciting and important challenge.

With best regards & Saluti dalla Sardegna

Marco Leonti
President ISE (2010-2012),
Dipartimento Farmaco Chimico Tecnologico, Facoltà di Farmacia, Univ. di Cagliari (I)

2-Congress Report: 11th Congress of the International Society of Ethnopharmacology (ISE 2010) and First Spanish-Portuguese Ethnobiological Symposium (EHPE), September 20 - 25, 2010, Albacete, Spain
TThe 11th Congress of the International Society of Ethnopharmacology (ISE) as well as the 1st Hispano-Portuguese Meeting of Ethnobiology (EHPE) took place in Albacete (Spain) at the “Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha” from September 20th – 24th, 2010. The honorary presidency of this event, attended by more than 350 delegates from 50 countries, was held by Felipe de Borbón, Prince of Asturias.

Meeting organizers
The two meetings were organized by the ISE and the “Research Group for Ethnobiology and Vegetation of south-eastern Iberia” in collaboration with the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) and the Universities of Murcia, Alicante, Miguel Hernández de Elche, Autonomous University of Madrid, Technological Institute of Braganza and the University of London. The meetings took place in several locations of the UCLM, generously provided by the University, as well as in the newly established Botanical Garden of Castilla La Mancha.

Scientific program
Dr. Robert Bye and Dr. Edelmira Linares inaugurated the EHPE with a lecture on the American perspective of Iberian ethnobotany. Dr. Vernon Heywood held the ISE inaugural lecture evidencing the interface between ethnopharmacology and biodiversity in the context of a sustainable future for indigenous peoples. Dr. Rudi Bauer, Dr. Ramón Buxó, Dr. Elaine Elisabetzky, Dr. Marco Leonti, Dr. Will C. McClatchey, Dr. Pulok K. Mukherjee, Dr. Victoria Reyes Garcia, Dr. Johannes Van Staden, Dr. Caroline Weckerle and Dr. Zhongzhen Zhao gave further plenary talks. The different contributions emphasized and discussed the impact of TCM on “Western” as well as on local Chinese medicine, the cross-cultural exchange of medicinal plant knowledge, archaeobotanical evidences for medicinal plant use, the importance of text in the transmission and development of local medicinal plant knowledge, challenges in the development of save and effective treatment options in local and global medicinal plant use, the future of “traditional” medicinal systems in a globalized world, the consideration of anthropological and ecological concepts and methodologies, the continuum of food, medicine and poison and the importance of defining a clear working hypothesis whatever bias the study has. Apart from that, there were another ca. 100 interesting oral presentations (for details see: interspersed with rich discussions, addressing a plethora of topics as well as the presentation of ca. 200 posters.

New network and new society
A students’ network for the ISE coordinated by Sol Christians has been formed (see:, while a roundtable established the Hispano-Portuguese Society of Ethnobiology ( coordinated by the general secretary of the congress Dr. Alonso Verde.

ISE business assembly
The ISE business assembly was held in a pleasant atmosphere on one of the first evenings of the congress. 39 members of ISE followed the agenda under the direction of the president Michael Heinrich. In the absence of the Secretary of the ISE, Peter Houghton was elected to take the minutes of the meeting. Michael Heinrich thanked the group at Albacete who had organised the conference, and remarked that it was a special occasion to honour and pay tribute to the late Nina Etkin. Caroline Weckerle the ISE webmaster reported that most important changes and renewings (e.g. online registration, members’ area) have been implemented on the website during the last year. She welcomes more contributions from the members, e.g. in the form of a photo-essay. Peter Houghton the ISE treasurer presented the accounts. A surplus had risen steadily over the past three years. Although membership had dropped, the surplus from the meeting in Sao Paulo had helped keep the accounts healthy. Barbara Frei Haller the ISE Newsletter editor reported that she had edited the newsletter now for 9 years and that it had become a downloadable web-based publication over the past 18 months. The special issue to commemorate Nina Etkin had been received very well. Barbara appealed for more contributions from members. Thanks for the hard work put in by Caroline, Peter and Barbara was carried unanimously. The assembly then moved to the election of Officers (2010-2012).All the members standing as officers were elected nem con. A. Jäger was confirmed as President Elect and Marco Leonti as President. The detailed list of newly elected and confirmed board members and their affiliation is listed on Other board members, who had not attended two successive conferences, according to the rules, were no longer eligible to be board members.

Two proposals for the venue of the next conference had been received for a meeting in September 2012: One from Prof R Bauer for a meeting in Graz/Austria and one from Dr P Mukherjee for Kolkata/India. Both gave good presentations to back up their proposals and considerable discussion took place without a final decision, so the matter was referred to a small group of the Committee under the new president Marco Leonti for resolution. Within two days it was decided that one meeting to be held in Kolkata in Feb 2012 and one in Graz in Sept 2012.

Michael Heinrich was thanked for his work as president over the last two years.

Memorial to three reputable scientists
A particularly emotional moment of the congress took place at the Botanical Garden of Castilla la Mancha, with the memorial ceremony to honour three well-respected scientists: the recently deceased Spanish botanist Professor Cesar Gómez Campo, and Dr. D. Pedro Montserrat, distinguished Botanist and Professor Emeritus of research of the Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología de Jaca/Spain, as well as the American anthropologist Prof. Dr. Nina Etkin who passed away two years ago and who was committed to ethnopharmacology and deeply involved in the Society of Ethnopharmacology. The event was accompanied by the performance of a musical quartet, with voice and strings. The ceremony was completed by two guided tours of the Botanical Garden plantations in Castilian and English, by the Scientific Director, Prof. Esteban Hernández Bermejo and Dr. José Fajardo respectively.

At the end of the congress "Nina Etkin" prizes were awarded to a selection of outstanding posters presentations:

E1-P03: Aplicacion de algunos metodos y conceptos de la investigacion en ciencias sociales a un estudio etnobotanico realizado en Mallorca (Islas Baleares)
E. Carrio, J. Valles

ISE-P15: Sustainable use of wild medicinal plants: a case study in Nabanhe National Nature Reserve, Yunnan/China
S.F. Bucher, B. Ghorbani, G. Langenberger, J. Sauerborn

ISE-P57: Traditional Cree medicines modulate stetosis and antioxidant activity, but not insulin sensitivity in fat-laden H4IIE liver cells
A. Afshar. P.L. Owen, L. Martineau, T. Johns, J.T. Arnason, P.S. Haddad

Further information
For more info, photo galleries and press releases of this fantastic event go to “Press” at and “Past Congresses” at

Compiled, translated and edited by Arturo Valdés Franzi, Diego Rivera, Marco Leonti, Barbara Frei Haller

3-Nina Etkin Award: $5000 for Ethnopharmacological Research!
Dear ISE members
With this exciting announcement, I bring to a close my work as chair of the Nina Etkin Award steering committee. The final version of the founding document is attached below. The first Award will be made at the meeting in Kolkata, India in February 2012. Due to changes in the ordinary meeting schedules in 2012 (two meetings: Kolkata and Graz), the proposals will be due by October 1, 2011. For all further details please visit the society’s home page

Speaking for the committee, we hope you are all pleased with the way the award is designed. We hope that you will announce the award to colleagues and friends throughout the field of ethnopharmacology, and that we will have a significant pool of exciting proposals to consider.

With all best regards

Dan Moerman
Past Past President, ISE

Founding Documents Nina Etkin Award
The Nina Etkin Young Researcher Award of the International Society for Ethnopharmacology (ISE).
1. Purpose: The purpose of the Etkin Award has two parts. First, it is to honour the memory of Nina Etkin and her work in ethnopharmacology. Second, it is to support the work of graduate students doing field work in ethnopharmacology.

2. International dimension: Members of the ISE are well aware of the broadly international membership in the Society, and the international interest in ethnopharmacology. Therefore, the rules stated below will be read creatively by the award committee so as not ever to exclude some worthy student because his or her education system works somehow differently that they do in North America or Europe. It is our hope that, in time, this award will have been given to people from all over the world.

3. Award schedule and proposals: Ordinarily, one award will be made every two years (even numbered years), in the amount of $5000. The inner board of the ISE may sanction variation in this rule (changing years of the Award, or the amount). The inner board will, at every ISE meeting in an even numbered year, appoint an award selection committee made up of 3 or 4 ISE members (one as chair) who will evaluate and rank proposals. [In the first instance of the award to be made in 2012, the selection committee will consist of ISE members Dan Moerman (Chair), Elaine Elisabetsky, Paul Ross and Marco Leonti]. Ideally, at least one member of the committee will have served on the previous committee, to provide for continuity. Proposals will ordinarily be due by February 1 [Due to changes in ordinary meeting schedules in 2012, the first award will be made at the ISE Meeting in Kolkata in February 2012 and the proposals will, therefore, be due by October 1, 2011] of even numbered years for consideration by the selection committee. Details of where proposals should be sent, and the deadlines for that year, will be available on the ISE web site. The committee should report a decision to the President by April 1. Applicants must be in recognized programs working toward the PhD degree in ethnopharmacology or a closely related field (pharmacology, anthropology, pharmacy, etc.). People with PhD degree in hand for less than two years who are Post Doctoral Fellows in these fields are also eligible to apply. Proposals will have several necessary components. The proposal will describe a scientific project with a rich theoretical foundation, and one which will easily meet the requirements of the “Rules of Five” of the Journal of Ethnopharmacology (
It is possible that the award will be for gathering preliminary data (that is, research which would lead to significant subsequent funding); or for pursuing exploratory research in a novel area with limited evidence, but based on some well-founded concepts. In any case the proposal should lead to a project of exceptional scientific interest. The proposal shall not be longer than 4 double spaced pages, and shall be supplemented by a supporting letter from the student’s major professor; the letter shall describe any departmental support being provided for the student, and the progress he or she is making toward the degree. Post Docs shall provide a supporting letter from the director of the program or laboratory where they are working.

4. Award requirements: Award winners should be members of the ISE when they submit their proposal but this requirement may be lifted by the chair of the Awards Committee if it is an undue hardship. The award recipient shall provide the ISE President with a progress report 12 months after the award is made; the report will ordinarily be published in the next ISE Newsletter. When the research is completed, the recipient is encouraged to submit a manuscript for publication by the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. If accepted for publication, it will be labelled as a Nina Etkin Young Researcher Award Winning Paper. In any other subsequent publication of the results of this research, the author shall appropriately acknowledge the Nina Etkin Award.

Nina Etkin Award steering committee, Fall 2010

4-Announcement: 12th congress of International Society for Ethnopharmacology ISE. February 17-19, 2012. Kolkata, India. “Traditional Medicines and Globalization – The Future of Ancient Systems of Medicine”.
This conference will focus on some crucial and contemporary issues on the scientific study, development and evaluation of ancient systems of medicines and will center on the theme of globalization. Everybody working in this area is welcome, particularly researchers; manufacturers of medicines, phytomedicines, pharmaceuticals and dietary as well as food supplements; those who work with raw materials; representatives of conventional and traditional health care systems; regulatory authorities; standard-setting organizations; contract laboratories and research organizations; NGOs, academics, scientists, health care professionals and students from all parts of the world. Please give us your suggestions and ideas regarding how we can make this event successful. If you feel any other organization or institution can be a collaborator/sponsor for this event, we encourage you to involve them with this esteemed event.

Pulok K. Mukherjee, PhD, FRSC , Director
School of Natural Product Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India

For further Information:
5-Announcement: 13th International Congress of the International Society of Ethnopharmacology, September 2-5, 2012 in Graz, Austria
Co-Sponsor: Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research

Organizer: Prof. Dr. Rudolf Bauer, Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences Karl-Franzens-Universitaet Graz, Austria

Main Topics:
Ethnomedicine along the Silk Road
Intercultural ethnopharmacology (East meets West)
Traditional herbal medicinal products in modern societies
Holistic approach and systems biology in medicinal plant research
Traditional herbal medicinal products in age related diseases

More info to follow!

6-More Upcoming Conferences
April 18-20-2011 – Amsterdam, The Nederlands
Pharma-Nutrition – Discussing the interface between pharma and nutrition
Conference Organizer: Elsevier

May 4-7-2011 – Columbus, Ohio, USA
The 34th Annual Meeting of the Society of Ethnobiology “Historical and Archaeological Perspectives in Ethnobiology”
Department of Anthropology at the Ohio State University

June 21-24-2011 – Brasov, Romania
4th Ethnopharmacological Symposium Ethnopharmacology, interface between biofoods and phytomedicines
Transilvania University, Faculty of Food and Tourism

July 6-9-2011 - Saas-Fee, Switzerland
ISHS MAP Mountain 1st Int. Symposium on Medicinal, Aromatic and Nutraceutical Plants from Mountainous Areas
International Society for Horticultural Sciences ISHS

July 9-13-2011 – St. Louis, Missouri, USA
The 52nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Economic Botany
William L. Brown Center, Missouri Botanical Garden

July 25-27-2011 – Nuremberg, Germany
15th International Congress PHYTOPHARM
Interregional Center "Adaptogen", Russia; Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research (GA), Germany, University of Regensburg, Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, Germany; Institute of Nutrition of the Russian Academy of Medical Science, Russia; Saint-Petersburg Institute of Pharmacy, Russia

May 21-25-2012 – Montpellier, France
13th Congress of the International Society of Ethnobiology
Center for Functional and Evolutionary Ecology (CEFE)

7-New Book
From Berghahn Books:
The publisher is offering a 30% discount to ISE Newsletter readers on the following book. For orders please use the attached order from.

Hsu, Elisabeth; Harris, Stephen (2010) Plants, Health and Healing
On the Interface of Ethnobotany and Medical Anthropology
316 pp., 21 b/w ills., 4 tbls, bibliography, indexes, 16cm x 23.5cm, Hardback (ISBN 978-1-84545-060-1), $95.00/£56.00, for ISE £40.00 (30% discount)

Finally, with this book a longstanding void in the literature has been filled! Although the uses of medicinal plants and their related cultural history have always attracted lay and scientific communities, until now there has been very little research done on the interface of ethnobotany and medical anthropology. The authors ((ethno-)botanists, medical anthropologists, clinician) link these disciplines with outstanding contributions by digging through historical aspects (chapters on non-native plants and medicinal uses; A. annua and Chinese Materia Medica) and anthropological aspects (Shamanic plants and gender; Childhood illness) and through plant portraits (G. biloba and dementia, the use of caffeine-containing plants as medicinals, stimulants, and in rituals). A remarkable part of the book is the introduction to the book by E. Hsu where she explores the interface between the two disciplines in depth.

The book all in all “emphasises that plant knowledge arises situationally as an intrinsic part of social relationships, that herbs need to be enticed if not seduced by the healers who work with them, that herbal remedies are cultural artefacts, and that bioprospecting and medicinal plant discovery can be viewed as the epitome of a long history of borrowing, stealing and exchanging plants”

For other books in the series “Epistemologies of Healing” see:

8-Interesting Links
As described on Frontiers is not just an open-access publisher of scholarly articles: it is a pioneering approach to the world of academia, radically improving the way scholarly research is managed. The grand vision of Frontiers is a world where all people have an equal opportunity of seeking, sharing and generating knowledge. As a first active measure in this direction, Frontiers provides immediate and permanent online open access to all of its publications, but this alone is not enough to realize our grand goals. The Frontiers solution develops around two main concepts, mutually integrating each other within the innovative Frontiers’ platform:1) the Frontiers Journal Series, and 2) the Frontiers Community.

9-News from Elsevier and Journal of Ethnopharmacology (JEP)
We recently published a Special Thematic Issue on The Use and Misuse of Khat (Catha Edulis) in a Changing World: Tradition, Trade and Tragedy, Edited by Michael Odenwald, Nasir Warfa and Axel Klein [Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 132, Issue 3, Pages 537-620 (1 December 2010)]

Access to this issue has been sponsored (to be available also to non-subscribers); link:

We are happy to let you know that thanks to the continued efforts of the Editorial team and the Reviewers, we have been able to further reduce the turnover time for articles submitted to the JEP. We thank everybody who helped achieve this.

We are taking the saying “A picture says more than a thousand words” to the next level and encourage all authors to submit multimedia content (like video files) to complement the written article.

Irene Kanter-Schlifke, PhD
Publisher Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical Sciences | ELSEVIER |
10-Membership Renewal Form/Membership Application Form 2011
If you would like to join the ISE or want to renew your membership for 2011 then visit the ISE website and click on “Membership” where you will be able to join/renew your membership online by credit card or download the application/renewal form to pay by check or transfer.
ISE Newsletter, email bulletin of the International Society for Ethnopharmacology

Barbara Frei Haller, PD PhD (Editor),
Bröl dadaint 14, CH-7546 Ardez/ Switzerland

Marco Leonti, PhD (Co-Editor)
Sue Evans, PhD (Proof reader)

Dead line for Next Issue: April 30, 2011

As part of the Newsletter’s general policy we want to share the personal views of the authors with our readers. Unless otherwise stated the opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the ISE, its board or the editors of the newsletter.

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