Wed | Sep 20, 2017

UTech professor receives United States patent for anti-cancer drug

Published:Wednesday | July 26, 2017 | 7:11 AM
Dr Lawrence Williams displays two of his guinea hen weed pharmaceutical products retailed under the Timeless Herbal Care brand – the Guinea Hen Weed Tonic and Restorative, and the Guinea Hen Weed Magic Relief pain ointment.

Twenty eight years of dedicated research on one of the endogenous plants of Jamaica Petiveriaalliacea (guinea hen weed) has landed Adjunct Professor in the College of Health Sciences at the University of Technology (UTech) Dr Lawrence Williams, and co-researcher Dr George Levy from the United States (US) a patent with the US for the discovery of anti-cancer activity of the plant.

The invention involves the isolation of the active ingredient dibenzyl trisulphide (DTS). DTS is classified as a polysulphide mitogen with a wide spectrum of activity, including anti-proliferation and or anti-cytotoxic effect on human cancer cell lines. DTS also acts to stimulate the production of stem cells from bone marrow and thymus with very little toxic effects

Dr Williams joined the College of Health Sciences in 2016 and has been involved in plant-based research at both the graduate and undergraduates levels.

He obtained his PhD from the University of the West Indies followed by post-doctoral studies at the University of Hohenheim, Institute for Chemistry in Stuttgart, Germany. He is an accomplished researcher with over 70 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on plant-based medicine.

His extensive research profile had made him the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the 2013 Honored Member for Research, Continental Who's Who, US; 2011 Silver Musgrave Medal for Outstanding Merit in the Field of Science (Scientific Research) from the Institute of Jamaica; induction into the International Biographical Centre (IBC), Hall of Fame in Cambridge, United Kingdom (2004); among many other awards.

Dr. Williams' current work at UTech also includes the supervision of a post-graduate research project on anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin and canabidialand undergraduate research projects on insecticidal activity of Neem extracts and malathiam and antibacterial activity of Neem extracts.