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Maximo Nivel > Study Abroad Programs > University Courses > Multidisciplinary Research on Medicinal Plants

Multidisciplinary Research on Medicinal Plants

Peru’s incredible natural biodiversity and its various ecosystems serve to train students in medicinal plant research and pharmacology through the discovery of bioactive compounds and the development of medicines derived from plants.

Multidisciplinary Research on Medicinal Plants

Program Description

Participants learn about the ethno botanical study, data collection, and preliminary processing of medicinal plants. Students take part in both classes and fieldwork in the Peruvian cities of Lima (capital), Huaraz (highlands) and Iquitos (tropical rainforest). Students acquire knowledge about the evaluation of biological and toxic activities in plants (in in vitro and in vivo models), and lab work involves the study of chromatographic techniques currently used in the isolation of active substances and the characterization of their chemical structures. Students also get an overview of the quality, efficacy and safety studies necessary for the development of plant-based medicines.

This course is open to students worldwide. Participants should be enthusiastic about research and development of medicinal plants and should have already completed at least first year courses in Biology and Chemistry.

The 5 credit course in Multidisciplinary Research on Medicinal Plants includes:

– Classes in multidisciplinary research methods of medicinal plants
– Fieldwork in ethno botanical study of medicinal plants—4 days in Iquitos and 3 days in Huaraz
– Lab work focused on botanical, chemical, and biological studies of medicinal plants
– Field visits to the Natural History Museum and ESSALUD Center for Complementary Medicine
– Guided independent study through recommend readings
– Oral presentation and research projects at end of course


Academic performance is assessed using the Peruvian system of zero (0) to twenty (20), with eleven (11) being the minimum passing grade.

– Class participation (10%)
– Weekly written tests (30%)
– Research Project presentation (30%)
– Final exam (30%)


Dr. Rosario Rojas
Dr. Rojas holds a Bachelor’s of Chemistry from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP); and graduated as a Medical Doctor from Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH). She was a Fulbright Scholarship and obtained her PhD in Medical Chemistry and Pharmacology from Ohio State University in the United States. USA. She is currently the Director of the Natural Products Research Unit at UPCH. Dr. Rojas is the Coordinator for the Master’s program in Chemistry & Biodiversity and is an Associate Professor at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Dr. Rojas has led several basic and applied research projects aimed at the development of phytomedicines, phytocosmetics, nutraceutics, biocides, and veterinary products. In 2008, Dr. Rojas won the L’Oreal-UNESCO-CONCYTEC award for “Women in Science.”

Dr. Michel Sauvain
Dr. Michel Sauvain is a French citizen and obtained his PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Paris XI (Paris-Sud). He currently resides in Peru and is a Visiting Professor at UPCH. Dr. Sauvain is the Director of Research at the Institute of Research & Development (IRD)—a public scientific and technology research institute under the joint authority of the French ministries in charge of research and overseas development. Dr. Sauvain He is an expert in the areas of parasitic tropical diseases and the chemistry of natural substances to fight diseases such as malaria. Dr. Sauvain’s achievements have been recognized through the Michel Delalande Award of the National Academy of Pharmacy in France; and his nomination as Honorary Professor of the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés in La Paz, Bolivia; and in his nomination as Knight in the French National Order of Merit by the French Minister of Research and Higher Education.

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