Professor Emeritus Geoffrey A. Cordell obtained his Ph.D. in structural and synthetic natural product chemistry at the University of Manchester in 1970. After two years as a NATO postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Chemistry, Massachuse s Institute of Technology (MIT), he joined the College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). A Professor since 1980, he served as a Department Head for 12 years and as Interim Dean of the College of Pharmacy for almost three years. From 1984-1985, he was an Associate Dean in the Graduate College and in 1986 became Assistant Vice-Chancellor for Research, responsible campus-wide for human and animal subject research, faculty seed grant funds, research policies, and reviewing all faculty promotion recommendations. From 1984-1988, he served as Chairman of the campus Animal Care Committee. He was the Co-founder of the US-Thai Consortium for Pharmacy Education, which developed and trained faculty for six existing and eight new schools of pharmacy in Thailand. He retired from the University of Illinois in 2007 to learn from and share his experience with countries around the world. Since 1983, he has served as President of Natural Products Inc., a consulting company. He was the Principal or Co-principal investigator on more than $40 million of research funding.
He is the author of about 600 research publications, book chapters, comprehensive reviews, and professional publications. He is also the author of three books, the editor of 37 books, including 29 volumes in the series “The Alkaloids: Chemistry and Biology”, and is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of 30 international scientific journals. He has traveled very widely, particularly in Asia, and has been an invited plenary symposium speaker at over 170 major international meetings in the United States, Morocco, England, France, Germany, Poland, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Turkey, Jordan, Iran, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Myanmar, ailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, the Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, the People’s Republic of China, Japan, Fiji, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Mexico. He is a former President of the American Society of Pharmacognosy, and is also one of sixteen Honorary Members. He was named as the Outstanding International Ethnopharmacologist for 2015 by the Society for Ethnopharmacology.
In 1981, he became an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the University of Munich. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Chemical Society, the Linnean Society of London, the American Society of Pharmacognosy, and the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists. In addition to assisting international organizations such as WPRO, corporations, and academic organizations in several countries around the world develop their research and academic programs, he is an Honorary Professor at Sichuan University, Chengdu, China and at Amity University, Noida, India. He is a Visiting Professor at universities in Japan, Malaysia (four universities), Colombia, Peru, Mexico, and Brasil, and was formerly an International Collaborative Partner of the UTAR Global Research Network in Malaysia in biodiversity and cancer. In 2010, he served as one of three authors of the WPRO Regional Strategy for Traditional Medicine in the Western Paci c. His research interests focused on the discovery of biologically active natural products and the application of new NMR techniques for spectral assignment and structure elucidation; they now include the chemistry and biosynthesis of alkaloids, the sustainability and quality control of medicinal agents, the remote detection of biologically active natural products, and the use of vegetables as chemical reagents. His recently (2015) published book is called “Alkaloids: A Treasury of Poisons and Medicines”. A comprehensive (2,000 pages) treatise on the “Biosynthesis of Alkaloids” and a volume on “Sustainable Medicines” are in progress. He has over 19,520 citations, an h-index of 63, and an i10-index of 404.
Professor Cordell contributed to the continuing professional development program of UST in the field of natural products chemistry on Drug Discovery and Development through seminars he conducted at UST during the period of 1992-2010. UST faculty members of the College of Science and Faculty of Pharmacy, as well as the graduate students, benefited from these seminars. He had generously shared literature materials derived from NAP LERT (NAtural PRoduct ALERT), a database on natural products researches that was managed by the University of Illinois at Chicago. He served as expert adviser/consultant and co-authors of some of the young natural product scientists of UST that allowed publications in highly reputable journals. He was likewise generous in sharing his knowledge and expertise with the Philippine chemistry and pharmacy community as plenary and invited speakers at the Philippine Chemistry Congress, Organic Chemistry Teachers’ Association, the Natural Products Society of the Philippines and the UST Philippine Pharmacy Research Congress. Prof. Cordell has served as member of the International Advisory Committee of Acta Manilana, the offcial journal of the Research Center for the Natural Science since 2002. He imparted his experience and reputation in international publications in reviewing articles on natural products research. His involvement in the Acta Manilana contributed in promoting the international character of the journal which eventually led to the recognition of the Commission on Higher Education as Category-A Research Journal.