Location: Bowdoin / Earth and Oceanographic Science / Research / Speakers and Panelists

Earth and Oceanographic Science

Speakers and Panelists

Paul A. Cox

Paul A. Cox
Director, Institute for EthnoMedicine
P.O. Box 3464
Jackson, WY 83001

E-mail: info@ethnomedicine.org

Dr. Cox graduated in Botany and Philosophy from Brigham Young University. As a Fulbright Fellow, he read for his M.Sc. in Ecology at the University of Wales. He later received his A.M. and Ph.D. in Biology from Harvard University where he was a Danforth Fellow and a National Science Foundation Fellow. At Harvard, he was twice awarded the Bowdoin Prize in Literature. He was later awarded a D.Sc. Honoris Causa by the University of Guelph.

His current ethnobotanical research is focused on neurodegenerative illness with the goal of discovering new therapies for ALS and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Cox was a Miller Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, and named a Presidential Young Investigator by Ronald Reagan. In the same year, he was also named as a Melbourne University Research Fellow. He served as Professor and later Dean at Brigham Young University before being appointed as the King Carl XVI Gustaf Professor of Environmental Biology in Uppsala in honor of the Swedish King’s 50th birthday. Cox is currently Distinguished Professor at Brigham Young University, Hawaii, and holds adjunct professorships at the University of Hawaii and at the University of Illinois.

Cox founded and is chairman of Seacology, an environmental organization headquartered in Berkeley, California, which has preserved 98,000 acres of rain forest and 1.7 million acres of coral reef on islands throughout the world. He is also Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the National Park of American Samoa, a park which he was instrumental in establishing. Cox has served on the boards of the AIDS Research Alliance, the Center for Plant Conservation, and Hawaii Reserves.

Selected Relevant Publications:

 Downing S, Banack SA,  Metcalf JS,  Cox PA, Downing TG. 2011. Nitrogen starvation of cyanobacteria results in the production of ß-N-methylamino-L-alanine. Toxicon In Press (Available online 16 June 2011)

 Banack SA, Metcalf JS, Spácil Z, Downing TG, Downing S, Long A, Nunn PB, Cox PA 2011. Distinguishing  the cyanobacterial neurotoxin ß-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) from other diamino acids. Toxicon 57: 730-73. 

 Banack SA, Downing TG, Spácil Z, Purdie EL, Metcalf JS, Searle S, Esterhuizen M, Codd GA, Cox PA 2010. Distinguishing the cyanobacterial neurotoxin ß-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) from its structural isomer 2,4-diaminobutyric acid (2,4-DAB). Toxicon 56:868-879

 Cox, P.A., Richer, R., Metcalf, J.S., Banack, S.A., Codd, G.A., Bradley, W.G. 2009. Cyanobacteria and BMAA exposure from desert dust: A possible link to sporadic ALS among Gulf War veterans. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis 10(Supplement 2): 109-117.

 Pablo J, Banack SA, Cox PA, Johnson TE, Papapetropoulos S, Bradley WG, Buck A, Mash DC 2009. Cyanobacterial neurotoxin BMAA in ALS and Alzheimer's disease. Acta Neurologica Scandinavica 120:216-225. 

 Metcalf JS, Banack SA, Lindsay J, Morrison LF, Cox PA, Codd GA 2008. Co-occurrence of ß-N-methylamino-L-alanine, a neurotoxic amino acid with other cyanobacterial toxins in British waterbodies, 1990-2004. Environmental Microbiology 10(3): 702-708.
 Banack SA, Johnson HE, Cheng R, Cox PA 2007. Production of the neurotoxin BMAA by a marine cyanobacterium. Marine Drugs 5: 180-196.

 Cox PA, Banack SA, Murch SJ, Rasmussen U, Tien G, Bidigare RR, Metcalf JS, Morrison L, Codd GA, Bergman B. 2005. Diverse taxa of cyanobacteria produce ß-N-methylamino–L-alanine, a neurotoxic amino acid. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 102(14):5074-5078.

 Murch SJ, Cox PA, Banack SA 2004. A mechanism for slow release of biomagnified cyanobacterial neurotoxins and neurodegenerative disease in Guam. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 101(33):12228-12231.

 Cox PA, Banack SA, Murch SJ 2003. Biomagnification of Cyanobacterial Neurotoxins and neurodegenerative disease among the Chamorro people of Guam. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 100 (23):13380-13383.