Global Institute for BioExploration (GIBEX)

The Global Institute for BioExploration (GIBEX) is a global research and development network that promotes ethical, natural product-based pharmacological bioexploration to benefit human health and the environment in developing countries. GIBEX was established by Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and recently North Carolina State University. All are leading US universities with strong records of building successful international programs in discovering and developing life-saving medicines.

GIBEX is guided by the pioneering “Reversing the Flow” paradigm intended boy&berryto bring pharmacological screens to developing countries (Screens-to-Nature technology) and reverse the human ‘brain drain’. GIBEX does not remove any natural resources from partnering countries. Instead, it trains and equips local scientists and students with innovative, cost-effective, and portable drug-discovery tools and technologies that can be directly deployed into forests, savannas, deserts and marshes. In addition to adapting the process of drug discovery and commercialization to the needs of partnering countries, GIBEX promotes sustainable infrastructure and capacity improvements, local intellectual property ownership, conservation, educational opportunities, and entrepreneurship.

‘REVERSING THE FLOW’ concept is a founding principle of GIBEX, which distinguishes it from other international bio-exploration activities.

  • Reversing the Resource Drain
    Biological materials are customarily collected from the natural sources in developing countries and moved to developed countries for pharmacological screening. This practice creates numerous political, social and legal problems. GIBEX reverses the flow of the discovery process. It brings portable, field-deployable pharmacological screens directly to nature in the developing countries, thus creating a new paradigm of ethical bio-exploration.
  • Reversing the R&D Drain
    Developing countries are rarely involved in pre-clinical and clinical development of therapeutic agents derived from their flora and fauna. GIBEX enhances the economic returns for the source countries by keeping the later-stage development work in these countries through building, nurturing and facilitating internal R&D. Thus, the value of any licensing agreement for the source country is maximized. To achieve this goal, GIBEX is building pre-clinical and clinical development capacity in the member countries using the ‘reversed brain drain’ approach (see below).
  • Reversing the Brain Drain
    The training of the scientists from developing countries is customarily done in the developed countries. This practice, in addition to being costly and inefficient, creates a major ‘brain drain’ detrimental to the local economies. It makes poor countries poorer and the rich ones richer. GIBEX sends scientists from developed countries to developing countries to provide hands-on training in the application of the ‘screens to nature’ technology as well as in all other aspects of pharmacological discovery and research.

Just a few of the recent training sessions conducted for GIBEX:

  1. St. Mary’s, on the Yukon, AK, USA, summer 2016
  2. Elder’s Camp & University of Alaska-Anchorage and University of Alaska-Fairbanks, AK USA, May, 2013
  3. United Tribes Technical College, Bismarck, ND, August 2012
  4. University of Alaska-Anchorage and University of Alaska-Fairbanks, AK, USA, June 2012
  5. University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, USA, July 2011
  6. National Biodiversity Center of Bhutan, Thimphu, Bhutan, November, 2010
  7. University of Nairobi, Kenya, March 2010
  8. United Tribes Technical College, Bismarck, ND, USA, July 2009
  9. Point Hope, Akutan, and Seldovia, AK, USA, July 2009
  10. Point Hope, Akutan, and Seldovia, AK, USA, July 2008
  11. Maquipucuna, Ecuador 2008


For more information, visit the GIBEX website.