The plant kingdom represents an extraordinary reservoir of molecules that can be useful to mankind in various forms. Though a multitude of medicinal and aromatic plants occur in the state, their phytochemistry and potential utility are little understood and exploited. In this scenario, Kerala Academy of Sciences (KAS) organized a one day ‘International Symposium on Phytochemistry and Prof. A. Hisham Endowment Award’ ceremony, to commemorate the contributions of the late Prof. A. Hisham, an internationally reputed phytochemist and academician from Kerala. The event was held at the Malabar Botanical Garden and Institute for Plant Sciences, Kozhikode, Kerala on February 27, 2016.
The Symposium was inaugurated by Suresh Das, Executive Vice President, KSCSTE and Prof. Oommen V. Oommen, President, KAS delivered the presidential address. The symposium’s focus was the chemistry of plants. Sessions included an endowment lecture in Phytochemistry by Prof. Khozirah Shaari, UPM, Malaysia, endowment award presentation in Phytochemistry, invited talks and poster presentations in Phytochemistry.
Prof. Asoke Banerji, School of Biotechnology, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham was honoured for his outstanding contributions to Phytochemistry. Prof. Banerji also gave an invited lecture on “Value addition to Lesser Known Natural Products: Wealth from Waste.”
A Poster Session consisting of 54 posters in Phytochemistry from all over the country was one among the major attractions of the symposium. The programme was attended by more than 150 participants from across the country and abroad, and provided a common platform for effective discussions related to the recent progress and future prospects of Phytochemistry. As the eminent phytochemists pointed out in the panel discussion, the advances in the phytochemistry field have to be explored skilfully for the utilization of our plant wealth.