Dr. Eloy Rodriguez, Ph.D., James A. Perkins Professor of Environmental Studies in the Division of Biological Sciences, at Cornell University has been named the fifth annual E. E. Just Lecturer.
Rodriguez was born in Edinburg, Texas, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas, Austin in Phytochemistry and Plant Biology. He received medical postdoctoral training at the University of British Columbia in Medicinal Botany. Rodriguez has published over 150 research articles in the areas of Biological Chemistry, Tropical Biochemical Ecology and Zoopharmacocnosy (self-medication by wild primates). He is currently exploring biodiverse organisms of the Amazonas and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Uganda) for novel medicines. His laboratory research efforts in natural products chemistry, medicinal chemistry, medicinal chemistry systematics and phytochemical evolution are concentrated in four areas:
- Comparative phytochemistry and ethnopharmacognosy of endemic medicinal plants of the Asteraceae, Anacardaceae, Fabaceae, Lecythidaceae, and Rubiaceae of the Tropical Rainforests of Africa, Asia, and Latin America;
- Environmental studies of tropical and desert agromedical ecosystems and conservation of biochemical diversity and chemical specialties;
- Zoopharmacognosy, the study of the non-nutritional use of pharmacoactive constituents of wild apes of Africa and monkeys and other mammals of the Amazonas and the Atlantic rainforest, and
- cellular phytochemistry of antimalarial, antiviral and anticancer natural products produced by plants, insects, and fungi.
Dr. Rodriguez is also the creator of numerous science programs for K-16 students, with a focus on minority students. His favorite program is the KIDS (Kids Investigating and Discovering Science) Program which is designed for K-6 elementary students and is still in operation in Southern California.