This concentration is directed toward students who have an interest in pursuing careers that combine human health and the relevant biology/chemistry of plants. It addresses the growing interest in the role of plants in various health-related sub-disciplines including medicine, preventive medicine, therapy, health care delivery, healthcare policy, and drug discovery. In addition to being an excellent option for students interested in pursuing careers in academia or industry, this concentration provides an alternative pathway to medical or pharmacology careers. Furthermore, it fulfills a societal responsibility to educate future professionals in the health-care field on the importance of the plant-human health relationship. Accordingly, there are a number of career pathways at the interface between plants and human health and these are covered in the options listed below:
- Health Careers, Pharmacology or Industry: students could pursue a career in health delivery (M.D. degree, P.A. [Physician’s Assistant] Degree) or biomedical research in academia or industry in pharmacology or toxicology (Ph.D. degree). Students with interests in such careers should keep in mind general requirements for medical school by choosing appropriate courses under the Plant Science Major requirements and by adding a year of physics to their science curricula.
- Plants and Human Health Policy is directed toward preparing students for careers in healthcare policy. Possible careers include hospital administrator, public health administrator, legislative assistant, policy analyst, and environmental policy analyst.
- Ethnobotany is designed for students who wish to pursue careers working at the interface of indigenous plant use, efficacy and related pharmacology, anthropology and/or sociology. There are a number of career pathways here but academic research seems to be the most likely trajectory.
- Careers in Academia: rigorous class work design in combination with opportunities for the independent research study and participation in the Research Honors Program in Plant Sciences creates a clear path to graduate school.