William R. Folk, PhD



Contact Information

Email FolkW@missouri.edu
Phone 573-882-4857
Address 202D Schlundt Annex
Website Linking Science & Literacy for All Learners


BA Biochemistry Rice University Houston, Texas
PhD Biochemistry Stanford University Stanford, Calif.

Research Description

Global healthcare; studies of plants used in traditional medicines and dietary supplements for musculoskeletal, neurocognitive disorders and infections in Africa and Asia; improvement of science education in U.S. middle schools.

Current objectives are:

  • Researching the safety of botanical medicines for TB treatment and prophylaxis
  • Researching the efficacy and safety of botanical  medicines used for osteoarthritis, spinal cord injury and autism

Notable Honors and Service

  • Extraordinary Professor, University of the Western Cape, South Africa
  • University of Missouri 21st Century Corps of Discovery Lecturer, 2015
  • Outstanding Research Mentor, University of Missouri, 2012
  • Principal investigator and co-director, The International Center for Indigenous Phytotherapy Studies
  • Director, Howard Hughes Science Education program Maps in Medicine
  • Senior associate dean for research, University of Missouri School of Medicine 2002-2008
  • Chairman, Dept of Biochemistry, University of Missouri 1989-2001
  • American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award
  • International Union Against Cancer, Eleanor Roosevelt Fellowship
  • National Cancer Institute-INSERM Fellowship
  • International Union Against Cancer, Yamagiwa-Yoshida Memorial Fellowship

Selected Publications

Romine WL, Miller ME, Knese SA, Folk WR. (2016). Multilevel Assessment of Middle School Students’ Interest in the Health Sciences: Development and Validation of a New Measurement Tool. CBE Life Sci Educ. 15(2). doi: 10.1187/cbe.15-02-0034. [PubMed]

Folk WR, Smith A, Song H, Chuang D, Cheng J, Gu Z, Sun G. (2016). Does Concurrent Use of Some Botanicals Interfere with Treatment of Tuberculosis? J. Neuromolecular Med. 2016 Sep;18(3):483-6. Review. [PubMed]

Wilson D, Goggin K, Williams K, Gerkovich MM, Gqaleni N, Syce J, Bartman P, Johnson Q, Folk WR. (2015). Consumption of Sutherlandia frutescens by HIV-Seropositive South African Adults: An Adaptive Double-Blind Randomized Placebo Controlled Trial. PLoS One. 10(7):e0128522. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0128522. eCollection 2015. [PubMed]

Ngo LT, Okogun JI, Folk WR. (2013). 21st century natural product research and drug development and traditional medicines. Nat Prod Rep. 30(4):584-92. doi: 10.1039/c3np20120a. Review. [PubMed]

Full list of Folk’s publications here.

Current Funding

NIH-NCCIH 1R21AT009086-02 (Folk, PI/PD) 09/01/2016-08/31/2020
Phased Exploratory Clinical Studies of Harpagophytum procumbens’ Impact upon the Biological Signature of Inflammatory Osteoarthritis

NIH-NIGMS 8 R25 GM 129228-02 (Folk, co-PI/PD) 09/01/2018-08-31-2022
Strengthening Middle School Science and Health Education for Diverse Learners by Linking Grade-Level Reading of Complex Texts and Inquiry

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