As Director of the NHP Research Alliance, Dr Newmaster serves as a catalyst between cutting edge molecular diagnostic scientific research and industry tools to support quality assurance in botanicals and probiotic ingredients used in food and natural health products. His vision is to provide tools to ensure consumers are getting the ingredients they seek for healthy lifestyles. His mission is to assemble and share knowledge of medicinal plants and to democratize molecular biology so that it is accessible to society-at-large. He leads his research team in constructing a world class botanical ingredient reference library and the development of a transparent block chain of DNA identity tests that represents authentic ingredients in the supply chain from producer, supplier, manufacturer, distributor and finally the consumer.
The Newmaster lab is located at the University of Guelph at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario where over 7 million DNA sequences for almost 300,000 species have been assembled in the Barcode of Life Database. Dr Newmaster’s team includes almost 20 researchers whom are dedicated to developing and validating molecular diagnostics methods in scientific Journals; >20 validated methods every year. The team has produced over 400 publications including books, and scientific Journal publications of which form a strong foundation for developing many commercial applications. The training of highly qualified personnel includes over 1000 students each year of which includes undergraduates, interns, graduates, and industry scientist or technicians. His funding in genomics and metabolomics includes of $20 million dollars from prestigious national and international organizations (NSERC, NSF, NRC, OCE, CIDA/IDRC).
The research impact on society includes the development of new methods for quality assurance in food and natural products, novel biotechnology (e.g., IP patents & products), new validated standard operating protocols (AOAC, USP), regulatory methods and tools. This research has been featured documentaries (Front Line; Fifth Estate), and popular media NY Times, USA including TV shows such as USA Today and Dr Oz. He has helped develop environmental policy of biodiversity and conservation of rare plants. Dr Newmaster and his students also work with First Nations in many different cultures around the globe in the preservation of Traditional Knowledge concerning medicinal plants.