Natural Products Association Adds Research Scientist to Staff

Welch is Latest Ph.D. to Join the Association’s Science and Regulatory Affairs Group

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 16, 2009) – Cara Welch, Ph.D. has joined the staff of the Natural Products Association (NPA), the oldest and largest trade association representing retailers and manufacturers of dietary supplements and other natural products. Welch serves as the program coordinator for the Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Department at NPA.

In her new role at the association, Welch will provide additional guidance and technical expertise regarding the scientific and regulatory programs, including the association’s Natural Certification for Personal Care and Dietary Supplement GMP Certification programs.

“Dr. Welch brings great knowledge and expertise to our association and will certainly help us as we advance our already very successful initiatives like the natural certification program forward to include household products, which will be launched in the very near future, and as we move ahead to natural standards in other areas,” said Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., NPA vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs.

“As the natural products industry serves an increasingly demanding and health-conscious consumer, the addition of Dr. Welch demonstrates our long-standing commitment here at NPA to continue to expand our tradition of ground-breaking self-regulatory programs,” said John Gay, NPA’s executive director and CEO. “Dr. Welch’s contributions will allow us to increase our service to our growing and diverse membership and we look forward to her contributions.”

Prior to joining NPA, Welch studied at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at Rutgers University, under the direction of renowned plant biologist James E. Simon, Ph.D., working on African botanicals and medicinal plants. Throughout her tenure at Rutgers, Welch obtained a National Institutes of Health (NIH) pilot study grant for her research on African traditional medicinal plants as a part of the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine Botanicals Research Center on Metabolic Syndrome at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Welch authored and co-authored numerous peer-reviewed papers and book chapters on traditional medicine and analytical chemistry. She also studied with NPA Burton Kallman Award winner Koji Nakanishi, Ph.D. through the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) award program.

Welch earned her M.S. in Chemistry from the University of Iowa under James B. Gloer, Ph.D. and her B.A. in Chemistry from Dordt College. She is a member of the American Chemical Society and the American Society of Pharmacognosy and serves as a peer-reviewer for editorial boards.

About the Natural Products Association
The Natural Products Association ( is the nation’s largest and oldest non-profit organization dedicated to the natural products industry. The association represents more than 10,000 retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products, including foods, dietary supplements, and health/beauty aids. Association members meet annually each June in Las Vegas at the association’s official tradeshow, Natural MarketPlace (


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