Sr. Angela Hoffman, O.S.B., chemistry, has been named the Oregon Academy of Science 2014 Outstanding Higher Education Teacher in Science and Mathematics. Hoffman has helped undergraduate students with more than 150 projects involving the ingredient Paclitaxel and the anti-cancer drug Taxol (marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb). University of Portland environmental science professor Bob Butler was the recipient of the same award in 2013.
Paclitaxel is found originally in the rare and rapidly vanishing Yew tree, native to the Pacific Northwest. Taxol is used to treat ovarian cancer, breast cancer, the AIDS-related cancer Kaposi’s sarcoma, and other conditions. Hoffman currently has four patents from 1997, 2003, 2006, and 2010, all pertaining to recovering taxanes (including Taxol) from soil around yew trees and other plants that are grown to produce Taxol.
This past November, several dozen yew trees were planted on the University’s River Campus. Known as “Sr. Angela’s Yew Garden,” the garden is home to more than 10 different varieties of the yew tree, which Hoffman and her students will use for their research.
Hoffman was recognized in 2012 as an American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellow for her “outstanding achievements in and contributions to Science, the Profession, and the Society.” In 2007, Hoffman was chosen as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow in 2007.
The Oregon Academy of Science promotes scientific research and education in Oregon representing all areas of the natural sciences and social sciences. To see a video interview with Sr. Angela go to http://youtu.be/KbVC2xYcfVU. For more information, contact Steve Kolmes, environmental studies, at 7291 or firstname.lastname@example.org.