About Us

US Botanical Safety Laboratory

The US Botanical Safety Laboratory (USBSL) is a non-profit botanical ingredient testing laboratory service in North Carolina. USBSL offers botanical identity, microbials, heavy metals, pesticides, and phytochemical testing services for supply chain clients in the US natural products industry and abroad. USBSL operates in a collaborative network of research and private institutional labs with core botanical expertise. USBSL also offers extraction concentration and formulation services for natural products including dietary supplements, personal care products, and cosmetics.

Bent Creek Institute, Inc. (BCI) is a 501(c)3 non-profit business incubator conserving and developing WNC’s unique plant biodiversity assets by anchoring our nation’s emerging integrative wellness economy through science in botanical quality and safety. BCI is a collaborator of The North Carolina Arboretum(TNCA), an affiliate of The University of North Carolina. BCI will collaborate with Asheville’s extraordinary integrative healthcare community to make our region synonymous with safe, effective, and affordable botanical therapies as a primary wellness support system backed by ethical life sciences, sustainable cultivation practices, and thousands of years of traditional use worldwide.

The BioNetwork Laboratory is a well-equipped laboratory located on the Enka campus of A-B Tech Community College near Asheville. The BioNetwork  offers a variety of laboratory testing and quality-related services including making analytical equipment such as CAMAG HP-TLC, and HPLC-DAD available for USBSL client projects. 

Located at the heart of the North Carolina Research Campus(NCRC), the David H. Murdock Research Institute (DHMRI) bridges the research gap between academics and industry by providing R&D solutions in a customer-focused, yet collaborative environment. Working together with the campus partners, DHMRI, a 501(c)3 research institute, supports R&D efforts by bringing together campus wide expertise and advanced instrumentation. 

Contact us today for a free consultation and quote!


Director | Amanda Vickers, M.S.
Amanda Vickers discovered a love of science at the North Carolina School of Science and Math, later earning a bachelor’s in Biology from Johns Hopkins University and an MS from Frostburg State University in 2011 with a thesis in the chemical ecology of the Appalachian medicinal plant black cohosh. Amanda joined Bent Creek Institute in 2012 as USBSL’s first employee. In 2013, Amanda directed a grant from the NC Biotechnology to launch USBSL’s formulation services, making possible a vertically integrated nutraceutical economic development pipeline in WNC. Since then, she has continued to lead a growing team of scientists in the application of botanical expertise to the benefit of entrepreneurs and established companies alike, having assisted more than sixty companies in the commercialization of new products, improvement of botanical supply chain quality, and clearance of major regulatory hurdles. Amanda also serves on the boards of the NC Natural Products Association and the Center for Agricultural and Food Entrepreneurship, and is a founding partner of the transparently sourced and wild-harvested skincare company, Mountains to Sea.
Quality Manager | Morgan Tompkins
Morgan has always had a passion for cosmetic chemistry, so much so that she tailored her Interdisciplinary Studies Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, Biology, and Psychology from Salisbury University in Maryland specifically to suit her individualized and broadened interests of chemistry better than the standard options offered could. Before joining the USBSL team, Morgan worked in Quality Control within GMP, ISO 9001:2008, and ISO 13485:2003 environments. At USBSL, Morgan’s primary focus is the maintenance and continual improvement of the Quality Management System to better comply with ISO standards. She also acts as the Quality Assurance Official, helps manage formulation projects, works on fragrance development, and assists with laboratory technical support. In her free time, Morgan can be found at the local coffee shop with a book in her hand or hiking with her husband and their dog, Copper.
R&D Manager | Matt Robison, Ph.D.
Dr. Matt Robison ("Dr. Matt") holds two bachelor degrees in Biochemistry and Textile Chemistry from NC State and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from UW Madison in the study of diatom genomics. As a part of the USBSL team, Dr. Matt applies his knowledge of biology, chemistry, and background in computer programming to the discovery of innovative solutions for USBSL clients, with special expertise in the development of novel extraction, purification, and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) methods for natural products. In his spare time, he enjoys growing unusual plants and forging for mushrooms.
Compliance Manager | Chanel Kaminis
Chanel maintains up-to-date awareness of the US regulatory environment pertaining to dietary supplements, cosmetics, and botanical drugs. She has worked for USBSL since mid-2016, and specializes in providing consulting services for the preparation and submission of New Dietary Ingredient Notifications to the FDA on our clients’ behalf. Chanel has a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Biology and Ecology from UNC Asheville and graduated Magna Cum Laude with distinction. Prior to her work here at USBSL, she has worked as a consultant in the natural products sector and prior to that, assisted with Appalachian forest dynamics research projects with the US Forest Service. In addition, she has worked with conservation NGO’s in Bolivia and Colombia studying endemic bird and plant populations. Her passions include hiking, traveling the world, environmental activism, mycology, art, whole-food nutrition and her pets.
Laboratory Manager | Rolando Boye

Executive Committee

Chairman of BCI Board of Directors

George Briggs


President and Vice Chair, BCI Board of Directors

Greg Cumberford

Technology Crops International


Vice President, Business Development

Dr. Hyonho Baek

Bent Creek Institute