Department of Plant Biology & Pathology
Foran Hall/ Cook Campus
59 Dudley Rd.
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Office: Room 396C Foran Hall, 848-932-6239
Lab: Room 392 Foran Hall, 848-932-6244
Dr. Simon's area of expertise is in the development of new uses of traditional crops, new crop development, aromatic and medicinal plant domestication, NonTimber Forest Species, with a specialization in natural products such as those containing extractable chemicals in interest for flavor, aroma, and medicinal activity. Simon has published over 200 scientific papers, books, and reviews in the areas of new crops, aromatic and medicinal plants and nutraceuticals. Dr. Simon serves as the Director of the Rutgers University program on New Use Agriculture and Natural Plant Products Program (NUANPP) working cooperatively with research groups around the world and in the USA and New Jersey seeking to develop standardized botanical products for health and nutrition and to develop improved germplasm.
Under the programmatic leadership of Professor James E. Simon, the New Use Agriculture and Natural Plant Products Program in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS), Rutgers-the State University and the NJAES has a core mission to develop new crops/plants and to identify and develop new uses for plants and plants.
The NUANPP at Rutgers focuses on the development of new crops and plant products, ethnic produce, the identification of new bioactive compounds, new uses of plants and plant products, and the botanical standardization of phytomedicines. NUANPP serves as a research center for several national and international research and development projects including, the Partnership for Food Industry Development/ Natural Products (PFID/NP), which seeks to commercialize natural products for sub-Saharan African farmers utilizing a market first science driven model of development. Our program is currently working formally in over five different African countries providing technical support and expertise in plant improvement, germplasm evaluation, chemistry, sustainable NonTimber forest species development, quality control and the introduction of new technologies.
A mission of the NUANPP is to develop new crops for Jersey agriculture, and to identify new uses and applications of plants, with a focus on fruits and vegetables and herbs. This program seeks to bring together the scientific disciplines ranging from genetics and plant variety development, through production and processing, product standardization, and to identify new bioactive compounds in the plants and foodstuffs that are of potential health and/or commercial interest. Previous work (Govindasamy et al., 2007a, 2007b) has shown that ethnic consumers are looking for produce with specific attributes, such as specific varieties with authentic flavors. The aim of this project is to assist small and medium-sized farmers with better understanding of those ethnic products in highest market demand and to develop the production technologies including the identification of the best genetic materials that can be used to meet this market demand for greens and herbs.
This program will develop new crops and value-added products for NJ and US agriculture creating economic opportunities and increasing the competitiveness of the US farmer and associated US agri-industries. Value-added products not only from the plants and their extracts but also from the waste streams of processing will also led to new economic opportunities for the US farmer. Our international development work in natural products seeks to enhance trade and economic opportunities in teas, spices, botanicals and medicinals by developing sustainable production, processing, quality control programs and new product development. Impact internationally will be the development of new products traded regionally and internationally coupled to defined grades and standards for African natural products. Research in botanical authentication, chemical and genetic taxonomic analyses and natural product standardization within our national center for botanicals research in medicinals and nutraceutical plants are also cornerstones of our program and will assist in the use of standardized botanicals for in vitro and in vivo trials. Visit our NUANPP research program website to learn more of our domestic and international research projects!
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Dr. James Simon serves as director of The New Use Agriculture and Natural Plant Products Program at Rutgers University.