Inspiring innovation from tradition

Alain Touwaide was educated in Classics, Oriental studies (Byzantium and the Arabic World), Linguistics, and Pedagogy at the University of Louvain (Belgium) (1971-1978). He earned a PhD degree in Philosophy and Letters (Classical Philology) (summa cum laude) from the same university with a thesis on Toxicology in Classical Greece (1981), and a Qualification to Direct Scientific Research Programs in History from the University of Toulouse (France) (summa cum laude) on the basis of his research activity and publications on Mediterranean medical history (1997).

Besides being the co-founder and the Scientific Director of the Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions, Alain Touwaide is the Principal Investigator of the UNESCO Chair Plantae Medicinales Mediterraneae − Plants for Health in the Mediterranean Traditions, established in 2020 at the University of Salerno, Italy, and one of the Instructors of the new course Plant Medicine from Rainforest to Metropolis – A Legacy for the Future. organized by the Ethnobotany Collaborative Group (ECoG), within the Pharmacognosy Institute, an integral part of pharmaceutical research and education at the College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois Chicago (UIC).

He has been a Visiting Professor and then an Academic Administrator at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), a historian of science at the Smithsonian Institution, an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Humanities and the Graduate School of the University of Victoria BC (Canada), and in the Department of Medieval Studies of Georgetown University in Washington, DC; and an Adjunct Scholar at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.


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