US-based Kenyan researcher granted over 100 patents

Dr George Njoroge a US-based Kenyan researcher has made history as the first African to be granted  more than 100 patents by the US Patent and Trade Office./COURTESY

A US-based Kenyan researcher has made history as the first African to be granted more than 100 patents by the US Patent and Trade Office.

Dr George Njoroge, senior research fellow at Eli Lilly and Company and a director of research at Merck Research Laboratories, attained the hallmark with a new discovery of novel molecules used in treating viral infections.

Njoroge says Africa has the brain power to lead global research in communicable and non-communicable diseases. “It is ironic that our continent lags behind in drug research, yet it is the most in need and is endowed with the necessary raw materials,” he said.

In 2015, Chinese researcher Tu Youyou won the Nobel Prize for medicine. It was for her work in discovery of anti-malaria medicine called Artemisinin, derived from Wormwood.

The tree is widely found in Tanzania and parts of North Africa. “We have the natural resources and the scientific know-how, yet Africa is nowhere on the map of drug discovery. The remaining piece of the puzzle is to enhance our commitment to local research.”

-the-star.co.ke

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