Silver Spring, MD — The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) has named Holly E. Johnson, Ph.D., a pharmacognosist with more than 20 years of experience, its new chief science officer.
“We are excited to welcome Dr. Johnson to AHPA. Her extensive experience and knowledge will be a valuable asset to AHPA and its members, and will benefit the herbal products industry as a whole,” said AHPA President Michael McGuffin.
As AHPA’s Chief Science Officer, Johnson will act as the primary scientific resource for the organization, providing individualized technical guidance to member organizations and helping the herbal industry use the latest science, technology and research to ensure consumers continue to have informed access to innovative, safe and effective herbal products.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to AHPA’s efforts to promote the rational use of herbs and to help AHPA members leverage the latest science to meet the growing demand for botanicals in commerce” said Johnson.
Prior to joining AHPA, Johnson was the laboratory director for Alkemist Labs, an ISO 17025 accredited natural products testing lab specializing in botanicals.
“Alkemist Labs greatly appreciates Dr. Johnson’s contributions to the company, and we are pleased that her significant expertise will now more directly benefit the broader herbal industry” said Alkemist CEO Elan Sudberg, who also serves on AHPA’s Board of Trustees. “We look forward to continuing working with Holly in her new position at AHPA to promote the responsible commerce of herbs and herbal products.”
Johnson earned a Ph.D. in Pharmacognosy at the College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), under renowned Pharmacognosist and researcher Dr. Norman Farnsworth. She was awarded a National Institutes for Health Pre-Doctoral Fellowship and trained at the UIC/NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements. She Johnson was also a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for EthnoMedicine where she studied the etiology of neurodegenerative disease, and worked for Waters Corporation conducting technical training and regulatory consulting for pharmaceutical and supplements companies.
Johnson is currently a research associate with the National Tropical Botanical Garden and serves on AOAC Stakeholders Panels and Expert Review Panels for Foods and Dietary Supplements. She is a member of the United States Pharmacoepia’s (USP’s) Medical Cannabis Expert Panel, the Editorial Board of the AOAC International Journal, and also serves on the Advisory Boards of the American Botanical Council (ABC) and the American Herbal Pharmacoepia (AHP).
She has more than 20 years of experience in natural products chemistry with botanicals and spent many years conducting research on medicinal plants and giving courses at the University of Hawaii.