Dr. F. George Njoroge
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Frank George Njoroge
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|Born||20 April 1954|
|Education||Thika High School, Kenya|
|Alma mater||University of Nairobi (B.Sc) Case Western Reserve University (Ph. D)|
|Occupation||Drug Hunter (Research) Chief Scientific Advisor Kenyatta University Hospital|
|Title||Founder and Chairman Center Of Africa's Life Sciences|
Dr. F. George Njoroge born on April 20th 1954 in Kiambu County, is a Kenyan scientist who has made major contributions to the field of medicinal chemistry. Specifically, he is a drug hunter who has discovered novel medicines to cure life threatening diseases. He is well known for the discovery of Victrelis (also known as Boceprevir or SCH 503034), the first oral protease inhibitor for the treatment of the deadly Hepatitis C virus. His contribution towards finding a cure for progeria, a disease that causes accelerated aging in children bore fruits after the Food and Drug Administration approved the drug Zokinvy on 24th November 2020. Zokinvy reduces death in patients suffering from that rare disease. Dr. Njoroge is Founder and Chairman of Center of Africa's Life Sciences (C.O.A.L.S) an institution for research and development of new medicines that is based in Naivasha, Kenya.
Background and education
Frank George Njoroge was born to Alice Nyaucha in Kamuchege, a village that is 40 kilometers from Nairobi and is located in Lari constituency within Kiambu County once referred to as "the night of long knives". He was educated at Kamuchege and Kiawairia primary schools and thereafter joined Thika High School for his secondary education. It was at Thika High School where he was introduced to the wonders of life sciences by such teachers as Ms Pamela Ashcroft, Henry Murray Humphreys, Dr. Gordon among others. His star started shining at the University of Nairobi where he came top of his graduating class with a first class honors degree in Chemistry. His next stop was Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio from where he graduated with a Master of Science degree in Chemistry in 1983. He took record time to graduate with a PhD in Organic Chemistry in 1985 in the same University, less than 2 years after his Master’s degree.
Dr. Njoroge's career chronology spans wide in the medical research field. He has overseen several projects in major international companies such as Schering-Plough, Merck and Eli Lilly. He is currently The Chief Scientific Advisor and the Acting Director Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Kenyatta University, Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital. He is also a member of KCA university council. Dr. Njoroge was a Senior Research Fellow at Eli Lilly and company, a leading pharmaceutical company headquartered in Indianapolis since 2011 where he initiated projects in immuno-oncology. Prior to that, he was the Director of medicinal chemistry at Merck & Co research laboratories, another multinational pharmaceutical company and one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. This is where he directed a team of chemists towards the discovery of Narlaprevir and several other HCV inhibitors. Before that, he was the Associate Director Medicinal Chemistry at Schering-Plough research institute where he directed a team that discovered the first protease inhibitor Victrelis for the treatment of Hepatitis C. As the Senior principal scientist at Schering-Plough company, Dr. Njoroge and his team discovered the anti-cancer drug Sarasar, a drug that was recently approved by FDA for the life-threatening disease, Progeria, a debilitating disease that toddlers demonstrate accelerated aging that ultimately lead to premature death. During the early years at the Case western university in Cleveland, he collaborated with Dr. Vincent Monnier to establish the very important correlation between aging and diabetes through a reaction referred to as Maillard. He discovered an important biomarker pyrraline that got the attention of researchers in the geriatrics field. Some of his professional accomplishments are;
- Inducted to ‘Hall of Fame’ as 2012 ACS Hero of Chemistry for the discovery of hepatitis C drug Victrelis (Boceprevir), the first Hepatitis C virus protease inhibitor approved by FDA in 2011 and Narlaprevir a second generation HCV protease drug with the trade name Arlansa licensed to a Russian company, R-Phama.
- Spearheaded the discovery of the anti-cancer drug Sarasar - in Phase II clinical trials for treatment of Progeria.
- Published 103 US granted patents and 136 papers in reputable journals.
- First African to be granted over 100 patents by U.S patenting agency.
Centre of Africa's Life Sciences Project (C.O.A.L.S) in Naivasha
After being away from his motherland for more than 30 years, Dr. Njoroge felt that the least he could give back to his country and the world at large would be to initiate a facility that would be futuristic in nature and one that could nurture and develop young Africans to participate in the NEXT BIG THINGS- the era of creating a better world than the one into which one was born and that was when C.O.A.L.S project was started, though it had been an idea for over twenty years. Dr. Njoroge could foresee a future where one could promote Africa's drug and vaccine manufacturing capabilities, tapping into the biodiversity in terms of nutraceuticals, and initiating break-through discoveries in the unchartered territories such as new ways of treating cancer, infectious and non-communicable diseases. The thought of putting Africa on the map- a path to innovation was an extremely attractive one to him. With goodwill from all those in diaspora and the talented colleagues in Africa, he was confident that we could achieve on that noble goal. Dr. Njoroge, therefore, called upon all those professionals from different disciplines to join in that great cause and to make Africa a land of great opportunities.
When not hunting for new medicine, Dr. Njoroge is an avid farmer and naturalist. His love for nature is beyond measure. To his credit, he has established Nyaucha tea plantation at Kagaa in Githunguri and has planted over 250,000 trees in Naivasha area. He talks with great passion on how trees are so important to our livelihood as they provide one of the most important precious commodity to support life-oxygen.
He also believes in establishing a sustained ecosystem for better living toward this and he plans to continue planting both regular and medicinal plants at his Center of Africa's Life Sciences (C.O.A.L.S) establishment.
- Awarded honorary doctoral degree in pharmaceutical science by Mount Kenya University on July 2014
- Awarded the Heroes of Chemistry Award by the American Chemical Society in August 2012
- Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award for US patent number 7,012,066 “Novel Peptides as NS3-Serine Protease Inhibitors of Hepatitis C Virus. – November 2006
- Value Enhancement Initiative (VEI Wins) award for Executional excellence in customer value enhancement – November 2005
- Top Minority in Research Science – Science Spectrum Trailblazer. Presented by Career Communication Group in Baltimore, Maryland – September, 2005
- Schering-Plough Congratulations Shining Performance Award (Shared Accountability and Transparency, Cross-Functional Teamwork and Collaboration, Business Integrity: Kilo synthesis of RLC recommended HCV Inhibitor, Sch 772502) – August 2005
- Emerald Award for Professional Achievement in Industry. Presented by Career Communication Group in Nashville, Tennessee – September 2004
- File:Dr. Njoroge 10.jpg|thumb|134x134px|Dr. Njoroge adorned with Face2Face Award in New YorkSchering-Plough Research Institute’s President Award for the Discovery and development of an Orally Bioavailable NS3 Protease Inhibitor for Treatment of Hepatitis C Infections through Structure –assisted Design – 2002
- New Jersey minority Achievers Award for Cutting Edge Research into Life Threatening Diseases, such as Cancer and Hepatitis C – 1999
- Black Achievers Award for Excellence in Research for Anti-cancer Drugs – 1995
- Schering-Plough Research Institute’s President Award for the Discovery and development of Non-Peptide Tricyclic Inhibitors of Ras Farnesyl Protein Transferase – 1994
- Awarded Pioneer Award for Impact in Science & Medicine by Face2Face Africa Organization in New York on July 14th 2018
Dr. Njoroge is married to Esther Nyambura, a financial consultant with Eli Lilly and Company. Together they have two children, Dr. Joyce Nyaucha, a cardiology fellow at University of California at San Francisco and Dr. Jesse Kimani, a pharmacist at CVS in Charlottesville, Virginia.
- "Dr. F. George Njoroge". KCA University. Retrieved 2021-01-26.
- am, Noni Ireri on 15 March 2020-11:24. "Kenyan Back From US After 30 Years With Ksh20 Billion Investment". Kenyans.co.ke. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
- Grätzer, George (2016), "The PDF file format", More Math Into LaTeX, Cham: Springer International Publishing, pp. 299–305, ISBN 978-3-319-23795-4, retrieved 2021-02-10
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- awmagazine (2018-07-14). "Dr. George Njoroge, a Kenyan Scientist With Over 100 US Patents to Be Honored". African Warrior Magazine. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
- Arasappan, Ashok; Padilla, Angela I.; Jao, Edwin; Bennett, Frank; Bogen, Stephane L.; Chen, Kevin X.; Pike, Russell E.; Sannigrahi, Mousumi; Soares, Joana; Venkatraman, Srikanth; Vibulbhan, Bancha (2009-05-14). "Toward Second Generation Hepatitis C Virus NS3 Serine Protease Inhibitors: Discovery of Novel P4 Modified Analogues with Improved Potency and Pharmacokinetic Profile". Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 52 (9): 2806–2817. doi:10.1021/jm801616e. ISSN 0022-2623.
- "First African scientist awarded over 100 patents in drug discovery to be honored at the FACE List Awards". Face2Face Africa. 2018-06-27. Retrieved 2021-01-26.
- Commissioner, Office of the (2020-11-23). "FDA Approves First Treatment for Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome and Some Progeroid Laminopathies". FDA. Retrieved 2021-02-02.
- Njoroge, F G; Fernandes, A A; Monnier, V M (1988-08-05). "Mechanism of formation of the putative advanced glycosylation end product and protein cross-link 2-(2-furoyl)-4(5)-(2-furanyl)-1H-imidazole". Journal of Biological Chemistry. 263 (22): 10646–10652. doi:10.1016/S0021-9258(18)38020-7. ISSN 0021-9258.
- Chen, Kevin X.; Njoroge, F. George (2012), "Discovery of Boceprevir and Narlaprevir: The First and Second Generation of HCV NS3 Protease Inhibitors", Case Studies in Modern Drug Discovery and Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, pp. 296–335, doi:10.1002/9781118219683.ch12, ISBN 978-1-118-21968-3, retrieved 2021-02-10
- Oduor, Augustine. "Naivasha to host Sh20 billion premier medical research hub". The Standard. Retrieved 2021-02-02.
- "Fellow Spotlight: Joyce Njoroge, MD | UCSF Cardiology". ucsfhealthcardiology.ucsf.edu. Retrieved 2021-02-02.
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