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Jamaican Scientists


Jamaican scientists Manley West, Albert Lockhart, Lawrence Williams and Henry Lowe

While scientific discovery is new to the Jamaican scientific community, there have been significant successes in pharmaceutics for the treatment of illnesses, such as cancers, glaucoma, asthma and the common cold.  Here are some of the outstanding discoveries by Jamaican scientists.

 Canasol, the treatment for glaucoma was developed after several years of research by pharmacologist, Professor Manley West, and ophthalmologist, Dr Albert Lockhart. The drug, derived from cannabis, was the first eye medication to be developed at the University of the West Indies. An important benefit of Canasol is it does not have the negative side effects associated with synthetic glaucoma therapies. In the early 1990s, Professor West also developed the drug Asmasol, to treat asthma, colds and the flu.

Dr Lawrence Williams, a research scientist with the Scientific Research Council, discovered a compound isolated from the guinea hen weed (Petiveria alliacea), a protein complex of called dibenzyl trisulphide. This protein complex has the ability to combat cancers, such as melanoma, lung cancer and breast cancer.  Rights to the patent are shared with Dr George Levy, a Jamaica-born medical doctor living in the United States.

 Dr Henry Lowe, pharmaceutical research work began in the 1970s on the medical application of cannabis.  He along with a team of research scientists produced experimental findings which demonstrate the efficacy of cannabis flavonoids in combating illnesses, such as hepatitis.  They also discovered that cannabis falvonoids can be a potent medicine for prostate cancer, through its cytotoxic properties toward cancer cell lines. Dr Lowe produces a variety of health products based on his discoveries in these areas. Among his recent successes is the drug Chrysoeriol gaining the orphan drug status by the FDA

For more on Jamaican scientific discoveries visit these links:

The Business Year - Miracle Drug

Digicel Jamaica - 5 Jamaican investors and innovators

Jamaica Gleaner - Lead Story


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September 2020