Peter Pang, PhD, DSc, an accomplished researcher and academic who helped initiate the development of various herbal product companies, died May 9, 2005, from injuries sustained in a traffic accident in China.1
Dr. Pang contributed to multiple research projects throughout his career, including investigations into the causes of hypertension and a study regarding the effects of calcium on various diseases. Dr. Pang also published two books, a treatise of five volumes, and more than 300 scientific papers during his lifetime.1
His former colleague Christina Benishin, PhD, associate professor of physiology at the University of Alberta, said Dr. Pang significantly contributed to the field of comparative endocrinology and to research in traditional Chinese medicines (C. Benishin, oral communication, September 2005). “He was very proactive, early on, in bringing rigorous scientific studies to the field [of herbs and nutraceutical ingredients] to help us understand the mechanisms of action in a number of products used in herbal medicine,” said Dr. Benishin. “His scientific contributions speak for themselves.”
Dr. Pang was born in Hong Kong in 1941. He earned two bachelor degrees in science from the University of Hong Kong, a masters in science and doctorate from Yale University, then returned to the University of Hong Kong to achieve a Doctor of Science. He taught at Yale, Columbia University, the City University of New York, and Texas Tech University. In 1986, he began serving as chair of the physiology department of the University of Alberta’s School of Medicine.1
Dr. Benishin said Dr. Pang was always anxious to initiate and encourage research efforts within the department, and he actively recruited minority students and research colleagues to the University of Alberta. “He was a great friend,” said Dr. Benishin. “He was always a great research ally and, I’d say, one of the most intuitive scientists I’ve ever known. He will be really missed by everyone around here.” The University of Alberta has established a graduate student award in Dr. Pang’s name (C. Cheeseman, e-mail, September 6, 2005).
In 1992, Dr. Pang co-founded CV Technologies, a science-based herbal product development firm based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. While working at CV Technologies, Dr. Pang contributed to the development of the all-natural immunostimulant, Cold-fX®, based on isolated ginsenosides from American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L., Araliaceae). Cold-fX is the best-selling cold remedy in Canada according to statistics analyzed by marketing information company ACNielsen over a 52-week period ending in April of 2005.2
CV Technologies published a tribute to Dr. Pang in the Edmonton Journal, which included the following statements: “Dr. Pang, in addition to being our company’s founder, was a friend, teacher, mentor, and leader to many of our former and current employees. In his role as a mentor, he guided our scientists and helped open doors for success in science and business. As a world renowned scientist and enthusiastic entrepreneur, his groundbreaking work and keen vision shaped our company’s scientific and business foundation. Even after his retirement from CV Technologies in early 2000 his dream had continued to inspire us to pursue evidence-based natural medicine and will continue to motivate us in the future.”3
After leaving CV Technologies, Dr. Pang helped found another Edmonton-based botanical product development firm, CP Drug Development. He was working to develop another research-based herb-derived products company at the time of his death.1
1.Farrell J. Cold-fX creator Dr. Peter Pang remembered for friendship, fun. Edmonton Journal. May 14, 2005:B1.
2.Cold-fX: number one selling cold remedy in Canada [press release]. Edmonton, Alberta: CV Technologies; May 24, 2005.
3. CV Technologies. In memory of Dr. Peter Pang. Edmonton Journal