Tai-Ping Fan, associate Professor at U. of Cambridge, appointed SVP of ABDA for Europe

Dr Tai-Ping Fan, Treasurer and immediate past President (2017-2018) of Good Practice in Traditional Chinese Medicine Research Association (GP-TCM RA; www.gp-tcm.org), associate professor at the Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge, joins the American Botanical Drug Association as Senior VP and represents the organization in Europe, for botanical drug research and development.

Dr. Fan is active in developing phyto-pharmaceuticals from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and other ethnic medicines. Trained in immunopharmacology, he has embarked on a quest to transform the art of traditional medicine into a rigorous evidence-based science of healthcare and wellness for more than 20 years.

Dr Fan and his collaborators are using multi-disciplinary approaches to discover and optimize natural products for the prevention/treatment of diseases where there is excessive (e.g. cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetic retinopathy) or inadequate angiogenesis (e.g. myocardial infarct, chronic wound). With Prof. Xiaohui Zheng of Northwest University in Xi’an, they have developed Jun-Shi Medicinal Compatibility Model for discovering and patenting pro-angiogenic and anti-convulsant compounds derived from Salvia miltiorrhiza and Acorus tatarinowii, respectively, as well as elucidating their molecular mechanisms of action. More recently, together with Prof. Yujie Cai of Jiangnan University, the team uses engineered E. colior cell-free biosynthetic approach to generate D-danshensu (D-3,4-dihydroxyphenyllactic acid), rosmarinic acid and other natural products of therapeutic value.

As a proponent in raising the profile of traditional medicine’s potential to improve health and prevent/cure illness, he was commissioned by AAAS Science to edit a 3-part Special Supplement (2014-2015) on The Art and Science of Traditional Medicine, featuring recent advances in the standardization, safety, R&D and regulation of materia medica. In 2015, he delivered a speech “Health and Healing Through Evidence-based Applications of Traditional Medicine” at United Nations Headquarters, as part of United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) conference entitled START, Skills and Technology Accelerating Rapid Transformation. In 2017, he was instrumental in convincing the Czech Chamber of Deputies to incorporate TCM as an integral part of Czech healthcare system. In recognition of his contributions to the field of TCM, Dr Fan has been honored with prestigious professorships from many universities and the 2019 Qihuang International Prize from China Association of Chinese Medicine.

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Dr Fan has been collaborating with Authenmole Biotech in Shenzhen and Zhejiang University of TCM to develop high quality herbal teas for the prevention and treatment of coronavirus infection. Using patented Plant Low-temperature Extraction & Efficient Separation Integration Technology (PLEESIT), they have isolated pure phytochemicals from common edible plants (e.g. honeysuckle, dandelion, almond, ginger) and medicinal herbs (e.g. Houttuynia cordata, Atractylodes chinensis, Coriolus versicolor) while eliminating heavy metals and pesticide residues. Superior molecular Chinese medicine extracts of established TCM prescriptions have been used to produce 4 standardised herbal teas for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Two formulations have been used to protect front-line medical professionals with resounding success, while the other two formulations have saved many patients in 4 hospitals in Wuhan, China. Currently Dr Fan is participating in clinical evaluation of these and other herbal formulations used to combat COVID-19 and other diseases.

• http://www.phar.cam.ac.uk/research/fan

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