BY LOGAN KIRKLAND
Ole Miss will formally dedicate its new Maynard W. Quimby Medicinal Plant Garden on Wednesday.
The portion of the School of Pharmacy’s natural products research center named for Quimby has relocated to a few facility at Insight Park and is being dedicated in honor of its namesake researcher.
Derek Oglesby, senior staff researcher at the garden, explained Quimby’s work with the university’s research program.
“The plant garden has been named after Dr. Maynard W. Quimby, who joined the pharmacognosy department working to develop the garden into small plots for growing plants to provide their materials for research purposes,” Oglesby said. “His timeless efforts and dedication to the garden and School of Pharmacy were rewarded.”
The new facility is built on five acres of land and includes an administrative and laboratory building, a herbarium, a seed bank and a taxonomy lab where plants can be identified. The facility also features a storage tank capable of capturing up to 20,000 gallons of rainwater.
The medicinal plant garden’s roots date back to 1965 when university professor Norman Doorenbos began to study the chemistry of some native plants. Quimby then worked to expand the garden after joining the department in 1967.
Oglesby and Ikhlas Khan, director of the garden, said the purpose of the garden and new facility is to maintain a diverse, well-documented and accurately identified plant collection.
The collection supports and enhances teaching and research on drug discovery for faculty, staff and students of the School of Pharmacy and the National Center for Natural Products Research at the university.
“The research center is devoted to improving human health and agricultural productivity,” Oglesby said. “When you combine the garden with the capabilities of the researchers at NCNPR, we have one of the most unique and well-respected natural products research facilities anywhere in the world.”
Khan said he would like to make more demonstrations and be able to serve the public, but right now time is being dedicated to research due to limited resources.
“We would really like to see the whole state and institution benefit from this garden,” Khan said.