64-year-old US-based Kenyan, Dr George Njoroge, a research scientist has been honoured at a banquet in New York yesterday for his discoveries of drugs used to treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases. He was presented with a “Pioneer Award” from Face2Face Africa, a pan-Africa media company, for his sustained impact on science and medicine. He made history as the first African scientist to receive more than 100 patents from the American Patent and Trade Office.
A Native of Kiambu in Kenya, Dr Njoroge received his undergraduate degree from the University of Nairobi and earned a PhD in organic chemistry at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Global Pharmaceutical Company; Eli Lilly and Company, company that provides new discovery of novel molecules used in treating viral infections.
Dr Njoroge holds more than 100 patents for his work on cancer and immunology and has received a top global award in recognition for his drugs discoveries. In 2012, the Kenyan researcher was inducted into “Hall of Fame” as a Hero of Chemistry by the American Chemical Society (ACS). He led a team in the discovery of anti-HCV viral drug Victrelis™, which was approved by FDA on May 13th, 2011 as the first-in-class therapy for Hepatitis C treatment. He won the Emerald Award for Professional Achievement in Industry and the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award for Emerging Therapies.
While at the award presentation, Dr Njoroge explained how he hopes to attract 100 doctoral degree-holders from around the world to take part in the institute’s work on malaria, Aids, diabetes and cancer. He also revealed his plan to move to Naivasha next year, where he is establishing a biotechnology institute.