McLaughlin, Ph.D., received his Degree in Pharmacognosy from the
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. For the next 34 years, he
served as a Professor of Pharmacognosy at the University of
Michigan, the University of Washington at Seattle, and Purdue
University in Lafayette, Indiana. In 1999, Dr. McLaughlin
became the Vice President of Research, Development, and Quality
Assurance at Nature's Sunshine Products in Provo, Utah. He
also served as the Chief Scientific Officer of Nature’s Sunshine
Products, and retired in 2004. He resides today in Florida,
although he enjoys fishing in Alaska during the summer months.
Dr. McLaughlin has made well over 300 scientific presentations
in several different countries, and his work is chronicled in over
330 publications, supported by nearly 80 different grants and
He is best known for his research with natural medicinal products.
He describes his type or work as “grind and find” research in
which he grinds up a plant and tries to find its bioactive
components. The methods of his brine shrimp lethality bioassay,
first published in 1982, have now been cited over 1,000 times in the
Without question, Dr. McLaughlin’s most important work lies in his
contributions to our knowledge concerning the Annonaceous
acetogenins found in the pawpaw tree. Following his observations in
1982 that the North American paw paw tree was potently bioactive, his
group identified some 50 acetogenins in its seeds and bark with
antitumor and pesticidal properties. The acetogenins not only
selectively inhibit cancer cells, but they also thwart multiple drug
resistant tumor cells. He published several scientific papers
on that effect.
Pawpaw is now in capsule form as a supplement, and reports are that
many cancer patients who have been taking or have taken the product
have experienced lowered tumor antigen count, shrinkage of tumors
and more energy.