Brian Doyle


Assistant Professor



Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Pharmacognosy, University of Illinois at Chicago (2008)
  • B.S., Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2002)


Assistant Professor

My career at Alma began in


My expertise:

1. Cytotoxicity of Mid-Michigan medicinal plants. Over the past few years we have been collecting plants from the Alma College Ecological Station and building a library of plant extracts for biological and chemical analysis. Currently we screening these extracts for toxicity in Artemia salina and in pancreatic cancer cells in order to identify plants with potential anticancer activity.

2. Biosensors for medicinal plant research. In collaboration with the Mechanical Engineering Department at Bradley University, Peoria, IL, we are developing a microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) biosensor for detecting biological activity in medicinal plants. We have also been using a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) that operates on a similar principle to detect the interaction between plant extracts and drug target proteins.

3. Medical ethnobotany in the Amazon. Over the last two years we have been documenting the traditional medicine of a Kichwa community in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The community of San Jose de Payamino, like other vulnerable indigenous communities in the Amazon, depends on plants as its primary and often only source of medicine. As acculturation leads to loss of medicinal plant knowledge with successive generations, it is important that this knowledge is documented so that the community may continue to benefit from these time honored remedies. In addition, documentation of ethnomedical data is the first step in the scientific investigation of traditional medicines, which may lead to the discovery of new pharmaceuticals or botanical drugs that may benefit people beyond the region where the plants are used traditionally.

Signature course(s):

Medical Botany, Biotechnology first year seminar, Medical Ethnobotany of the Amazon, Superfoods

Recent publications:

1. Doyle BJ, Svobodny GS, Batallas R, Fernández D. Medical ethnobotany of the Amazonian Kichwa community of San José de Payamino, Ecuador: preliminary results from an undergraduate-level field course. Acta Horticulturae (in press).

2. Thourson SB, Marsh CA, Doyle BJ, Timpe SJ. Quartz crystal microbalance study of bovine serum albumin adsorption onto self-assembled monolayer-functionalized gold with subsequent ligand binding. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces 2013, 111:707-712.

3. Lawal TO, Soni KK, Doyle BJ, Adeniyi BA, Mahady GB. Susceptibility of Helicobacter pylori to Natural Products: Can Past Research Direct Future Drug Development? Current Bioactive Compounds 2012 8(3):266-276.