A leading Kenyan scientist is set to be awarded for his research activities in the field of medicine in the US.
Dr George Njoroge, a senior research fellow at Lilly and Company, will receive the pioneer award for impact on science and medicine on July 14 at Capitale in New York during the Pan-African Weekend.
“Over the years, I have received numerous accolades here in the US and elsewhere, however, being recognized by an afro-centric organization is just remarkable and makes me dance with joyful exhilaration,” said Dr Njoroge.
Dr Njoroge who has over 30 years’ experience in research will be honoured at the FACE List Awards.
Previously, he was a Director in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at Merck Research Laboratories in Kenilworth, New Jersey where he oversaw chemistry program in infectious diseases platform.
Through research, his leadership at Merck, an anti-HCV viral drug Victrelis™ (also known as Boceprevir or SCH 503034) was discovered.
The medicine was approved by FDA on May 13, 2011 as the first-in-class therapy for Hepatitis C treatment and is currently in the market.
Dr Njoroge led his team in the discovery of the second generation HCV protease inhibitor Narlaprevir® that has completed Phase IIb clinical trials and is currently marketed in Russia as Arlansa.
He has also worked extensively in the oncology area, especially in the discovery of therapeutic agents that are geared towards intervention of signal transduction process in proliferating cells: this work led to the discovery of Sarasar®, a farnesyl transferase inhibitor that is currently in Phase II for the treatment of Progeria.
Dr Njoroge is a pioneering scientist with over 100 patents in drug discovery in the United States.
He graduated from University of Nairobi, Kenya, with first class honours. Dr Njoroge completed his PhD in organic chemistry at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio in 1985 and joined Schering Plough Research Institute (SPRI) in 1988.
Dr Njoroge’s research at SPRI has focused on the design and synthesis of orally bioavailable small molecules for the treatment of viral diseases and cancer.
He has published extensively in professional journals on synthetic organic chemistry and drug design and authored and co-authored 134 scientific publications and has 104 US granted patents under his belt.
Dr Njoroge has won numerous awards including the Emerald Award for Professional Achievement in Industry and the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award for Emerging Therapies and a host of others.
He was also inducted into the ‘Hall of Fame’ as the latest Hero of Chemistry by the American Chemical Society (ACS) in 2012.
In 2014, he was conferred with an Honorary Degree of Pharmaceutical Science by Mount Kenya University.