As part of the Botanic Gardens initiative, the University of Kansas Medical Center held a grand opening for their new Cancer Research Garden on Jan. 16, 2020. The Cancer Research Garden is an innovative collaboration between the university’s landscape department and The University of Kansas Cancer Center.

The interior garden contains turmeric, ginger, bitter melon, banana, oregano, thyme and black pepper which cancer center researchers are studying to discover pioneering cancer therapies and cancer prevention strategies.

According to Shrikant Anant, Ph.D., associate director for basic science for KU Cancer Center, findings show compounds in some plants protect you from different cancers. “We are trying to figure out how we can increase the absorption of that compound in your stomach so that it can go to different parts of the body,” Anant said, “and if there’s a cancer there, kill it.”