This lecture by Dr. Alain Touwaide, illustrates the Mediterranean pharmacopeia and shows how ancient drug making is an invaluable source for novel medicines.The search for novel medicines is on the agenda of the pharmacological world across the globe. New substances, new approaches, and new applications are expected to help fight multiple devastating medical conditions, old or new. Strangely enough an incomparable source of information has all too rarely been taken into consideration: the experience of the past, gained through clinical trials accumulated over centuries and recorded in precious ancient manuscripts to be found in libraries all over the world.
Alain Touwaide is a Historian of Science and Medicine. He focuses on the development and transmission of medicine and pharmacy in the Ancient Mediterranean World. He is currently a Visiting Professor at the Department of Classics of UCLA College, Division of Humanities, and teaches a class on “The Legacy of Ancient Medicine”. He is the Scientific Director of the Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions and a Research Associate at the Department of Botany of the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, DC.