Bent Creek Institute Inc. Hires Analytical Chemist

Bent Creek Institute, Inc. is pleased to announce the hire of its new Analytical Chemist, James Lyles.

Bent Creek Institute, Inc. (BCI) is a non-profit organization associated with The North Carolina Arboretum, an affiliate institution of the University of North Carolina. BCI conserves and develops the unique plant biodiversity assets of Western North Carolina and assists the growth of the Arboretum’s Bent Creek Germplasm Repository, a medicinal plant germplasm and endophyte repository. BCI also administers the US Botanical Safety Laboratory, a non-profit consortium of university botanical research facilities based in North Carolina and dedicated to serving the nation’s needs for improved botanical ingredient identity, purity, strength, and compositional validation.

“The North Carolina Arboretum's Bent Creek Germplasm Repository, in collaboration with the associated non-profit corporation, Bent Creek Institute, Inc. provides Western North Carolina the nucleus of a new wellness-based economic sector in botanical medicines and integrative health,” said George Briggs, Executive Director of The North Carolina Arboretum. “Capitalizing on the long heritage of botanical use in the mountains with the growth and sophistication of North Carolina's advanced life and health sciences, this Bent Creek partnership opens new forefronts in research, agriculture, product safety and intellectual property commercialization. We anticipate over time an escalation of the pace in attracting and growing new companies in the botanical sector.”

Lyles is a graduate of Rhodes College with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He received a Master of Philosophy in Biology from The Graduate Center at City University of New York, where he will soon be awarded his Doctor of Philosophy in Biology. Lyles has roots in the region, having grown up in Spartanburg, South Carolina. In his role as Analytical Chemist, Lyles will be responsible for developing extract collections of medicinal and nutraceutical plants.

“James Lyles is a wonderful addition to our staff, and comes to us from an excellent research group who specialize in natural product chemistry,” said Joe-Ann McCoy, Director of Bent Creek Germplasm Repository of Bent Creek Institute, Inc. “His laboratory project will focus on developing a diverse extract collection to screen for potential alternative medicines, drug discovery, and product development.”

The Bent Creek Institute, Inc. and The North Carolina Arboretum gratefully acknowledge Golden LEAF Foundation for its support of the Bent Creek Germplasm Repository's ongoing mission and objectives.


The central mission of The North Carolina Arboretum, an affiliate institution of the 17-campus University of North Carolina system, is to cultivate connections between people and plants. For information, call (828) 665-2492 or visit