The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Drug Discovery: Medical Properties of Plants

Date: July 5 - July 18, 2020

Plant-derived products have been used to cure diseases throughout the course of human history. It’s no surprise that the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine was awarded to Chinese pharmaceutical chemist YouyuTu for her discovery of artemisinin, an anti-malaria drug that has saved millions of lives (

This 2-week summer program will utilize the Plant Cell Culture Library (PCCL) at UMass Amherst, a unique resource containing over 1,000 plant cell lines collected from across the globe. Over the two weeks, students will gain hands-on lab experience: Micropipetting, DNA Extraction & Purification, PCR and much more! Learn to use critical thinking to create and investigate research questions. Compose an academic research poster and present at a poster session. Tour labs on campus and become familiar with cutting-edge research projects and the techniques utilized. Spend time in the UMass Greenhouses and Herbarium. Students will also have the opportunity to work closely with UMass faculty, researchers and graduate students.

This course is hosted by the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department and the Biology Department with support from the Plant Biology graduate program at UMass Amherst.

Li-Jun Ma, Associate Professor, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Sergey Savinov, Associate Professor, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Sibongile Mafu, Assistant Professor, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Jennifer Normanly, Professor, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Tristram Seidler, Assistant Professor, Biology



Li-Jun Ma

Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology