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Last Updated: 07/25/22

Natural Products Branch (NPB)


The primary responsibility of the Natural Products Branch (NPB) is the acquisition of crude natural product materials from terrestrial and marine environments for extraction and screening of extracts in the NCI 60 cancer cell line screen and other intramural and extramural screening programs. The NPB Natural Product Extract Repository and facilities for the NCI 60 cancer cell screening are located at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research. The responsibilities of the NPB include the selection and evaluation of the materials to be extracted and tested, the extraction and fractionation of active extracts, and the procurement of sufficient quantities of raw materials to produce adequate quantities of those active agents selected for preclinical and clinical evaluation.

The NPB is responsible for the NCI’s Open Repository Program, Active Repository Program, and Fractionated Natural Products Library.

The NPB is also establishing collaborative programs through the signing of a NATURAL PRODUCT COLLABORATION AGREEMENT or LETTER OF COLLECTION with qualified research organizations in source countries for the screening of natural product extracts.

The NPB oversees the operations of the Natural Products Support Group of Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc. at FNLCR, which conducts isolation and chemical identification of active components from various crude extracts that are active in cancer in vitro and in vivo screens, as well as scale up production of active compounds to support pre-clinical and early clinical evaluation.

Contact NPB

Natural Products Branch
Developmental Therapeutics Program
Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis
National Cancer Institute
Riverside Five, Suite 400
P. O. Box B
Frederick, MD, 21702
Telephone: (301) 624-1269
Fax: (301) 631-3026

About the Branch Chief

Dr. Barry R. O’Keefe Dr. Barry R. O’Keefe received a B.S. in Botany from Michigan State University, and a Ph.D. in Pharmacognosy from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1993. In 1994 he joined the National Cancer Institute’s Laboratory of Drug Discovery Research and Development to study novel proteins from natural products extracts. More…