Data Oruwari | Pharmacognosy
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- Creative Strategy -


The American Society of Pharmacognosy (ASP) came to us with one simple task. Recruit more members into their association. At the top level, there were a lot of problems associated with why they were struggling with membership.

  • – Misconception as to what they actually do.

  • – Low membership from younger members.

  • – Lack of respect/trust from fellow colleagues.

  • – Lack of funding from pharmaceutical companies.


Pharmacognosy is the forgotten hero of drug-related science:

The number of natural product drug discovery programs has steadily declined since the 1980s, primarily because pharmaceutical companies have shifted to using synthetic chemical libraries. Prior to 1980, Pharmacognosists were the Einsteins and Indiana Jones of drug discovery and were viewed in high esteem. They tapped into nature, finding solutions to problems that would have otherwise ruined mankind.

● Salicylic acid, the precursor of Aspirin, was isolated in 1874 from Willow bark.

● More potent painkillers such as Morphine and Codeine, were isolated from the Opium poppy.

● The antimalarial agent Quinine was separated from Cinchona (China Bark).

In the past, when a new drug was found, it meant that someone discovered a new natural origin from which a cure could arise. However, the modern definition of drug discovery means that already existing compounds are combined in a different way from which a cure could arise.


Pharmacognosy is still the mother of all drug-related science:

Crude products found by Pharmacognosists are the prototype and inspiration for all synthetic drugs. Despite how drug synthesis has advanced, it is still impossible to mimic the molecular structure of some of these very important crude products. Pharmacognosy also provides an infinite source for drug development and can provide opportunities for new discoveries to combat illnesses that still trouble mankind (e.g Aids, Cancer, Diabeties , Ebola). Without it, all other drug-related sciences would not have gotten to where they are. Doctors would not have cures to save lives. The Molecular Biologists that pharmaceutical companies are crazy about, wouldn’t have a library of molecules to pull from.


Aspirational Scientists: (18 – 30)

● Currently in College / Graduate school

● They aspire to one day become professionals in the field of pharmaceutical science

● They have an idea of what they want to do but need help getting there

● When seeking out a profession, they are looking for reliability, stability, mentorship, and acknowledgement

● They are intrigued by nature and the secrets that it holds

● Innately curious: so they keep up with Journals and research



“I’m not satisfied by using the results of other peoples work. I want to be part of the scientific process.”

“I’m fulfilled when I find something that no one else found”

“I’d love to be able to pave the way for people to access information”


Make drug discovery an adventure and invite them to become explorers.



As a Strategist you need to be prepared to find solutions to topics you’ve never heard of before. Prior to this project, I never knew who a Pharmacognosist was or what they did.


Data Oruwari – Strategist

Lauren Thompson- Creative Brand Manager

Melanie Matlock- Copywriter

Brittain McNeel- Art Director

Kory Rozich- Creative Technologist



One -on- One interviews

Social Scour

Secondary Research