Posted by Elena del Valle on January 10, 2024
In The Plant Hunter A Scientist’s Quest for Nature’s Next Medicines (Viking, $27) Cassandra Quave, Ph.D., associate professor of dermatology and human health, Emory University, shares her life’s journey in pursuit of plants and their curative properties. Quave describes her growing years in Florida, including a childhood peppered with surgeries, her pursuit of an education meant to lead her to medical school and her charge of heart following an internship in the Amazon.
The 371-page hardcover book published in 2021 is divided into three main parts: Nature, Infection and Medicine. In its pages the scientist describes her marriage to an Italian man and the birth of three children, alongside studying for a postgraduate degree, her search for a steady income stream that resulted in grants and took her to Emory University where she also became herbarium curator.
Two attempts to reach Quave by email via her website and the publisher over weeks failed. She responded initially to a more recent message and has yet to reply for an interview request.
According to her biography she leads anti-infective drug discovery research initiatives and teaches courses on medicinal plants, food, and health; is the co-founder of PhytoTek LLC, “a drug-discovery company dedicated to developing solutions from botanicals for the treatment of recalcitrant antibiotic-resistant infections.” Her website lists, among other current and past funding sources, the National Institute of Health, National Eczema Association, United States Agency for International Development and The Coca Cola Company.