Year In Review: A lot happened at Alkemist Labs in 2015!


Between the ability to count protons as part of our new DNA testing, hiring a PhD rockstar and welcoming a brand new baby girl to the team, there have been an abundance of exciting additions to Alkemist Labs this past year!

We announced significant partnerships adding to our reference materials offering as well as launching an e-commerce functionality to our website.  This spring, Alkemist Labs became the North American distribution partner for Extrasynthese phytochemical reference standards. In October, Alkemist Labs and the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia announced a distribution agreement that expanded our catalog to include the AHP-Verified Botanical Reference Materials (BRMs).

Collaboration is at the heart of all we do, and working with outside organizations to further our broader industry is no exception. Alkemist Labs President and CSO Sidney Sudberg was invited to join the NIST/NIH Dietary Supplements Laboratory Quality Assurance Program Advisory Board and was elected to begin a three-year term on the AOAC Technical Division on Reference Materials (TDRM) as an Executive Committee Member.

With the heightened focus on product testing during this rather tumultuous year raising more questions than it answered, Alkemist put a lot of effort into educating the industry. Elan wrote two dozen articles for industry trade publications, and was interviewed for more than a dozen other articles. He also spoke at multiple tradeshows, symposia and conferences.
Alkemist expanded the internal pool of skills and talent in 2015 with new key staff members:

  • Holly E. Johnson PhD joined the staff of Alkemist Labs as Senior Analytical Chemist, and was quickly promoted to Laboratory Director. Holly is one of the PhD rock stars cultivated by Dr. Norman Farnsworth.
  • Technical-scientific laboratory service sales veteran Paul Burns joined the company as Director of Sales.
  • Petra Erlandson has joined the Alkemist staff as Strategic Sales Manager – Reference Materials to work with customers on standard selection.

And our last big announcement of the year: Beginning in early 2016, Alkemist Labs will include Next Generation DNA Sequencing in the arsenal of testing capabilities we offer clients. Our new state-of-the-art equipment with the Ion Torrent NGS Technology is the world’s first post-light sequencer that counts protons, not photons, using a semiconductor chip. Check it out at:

We have a lot to do to get ready as you can well imagine. Initially we will be accepting single botanical crude or powdered materials for analysis, with multiple botanical blends and finished products to follow. Processed materials such as extracts generally contain largely degraded DNA requiring careful method development and enough validation for cGMP compliance and accurate determination. So while our scientists and the standards setting bodies are hard at work to this end, HPTLC will remain the accepted go to technology for those materials.

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