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Grantees Profile

Dominic Omosa Ochwang’i

Country (Nationality)


Grantee Title

Project- Complementary anticancer therapy using medicinal plants: from molecular characterisation to preclinical testing   

Grantee Description

Dominic Omosa Ochwang’i holds a Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Nairobi acquired in 2007 and is a registered veterinary surgeon with the Kenya Veterinary Board. He was awarded a University of Nairobi Scholarship and Academic Research Enhancement Award by Western Kentucky University as a visiting research scholar, USA in 2008 for a MSc in Comparative Mammalian Physiology and graduated in 2011. Ochwang’i was then employed as a Tutorial Fellow in the Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nairobi. He graduated with Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in September 2017 with a dissertation in “Pharmacophysiological anticancer potential of medicinal plants used in Kakamega County in Kenya” under the Regional Initiative for Science and Education (RISE AFNNET) PhD scholarship programme.

During his PhD project, he acquired diverse molecular techniques as a visiting research scholar at the Institute of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany. He has published in internationally peer reviewed journals and has interests in cell signaling and gene expression, molecular biotechnology, cancer therapeutics, natural products research and Comparative Physiology. He is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology at the University of Nairobi, Kenya.

Project- Complementary anticancer therapy using medicinal plants: from molecular characterisation to preclinical testing   

Cancer is a disorder involving unregulated cell growth characterised by uncontrolled cell division that results in the formation of tumors that may metastasize to invade other parts of the body. Current standard treatment regime includes chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery. Effectiveness of chemotherapy is often limited by toxicity to other non-target tissues in the body, multidrug resistance and high costs. There has been a therapeutic paradigm shift with consideration for alternative low cost therapies from medicinal plants. Ochwang’i seeks to investigate the anticancer potential of selected Kenyan medicinal plants through evaluation of their effects on breast, prostate, leukemia, colon, glioblastoma, cervical and esophageal human cancer cell lines selective cytotoxic viability, molecular gene expression profiling, pre-clinical in-vivo testing in  mice cancer xenografts and active dog cancers.

The present study intends to scientifically validate the anticancer effects of the selected medicinal plants extracts and identified molecules for therapeutic efficacy assurance. It is envisaged that the outcome of this work will be a validation of use of medicinal plants as an alternative and complementary source of cancer therapy.

We intend to engage Traditional medical practitioners (TMPs) as stakeholders for this innovative approach for the development of natural products for local indigenous community consumption as well as industry development and potential commercialization. This will primarily provide a standard for medicinal plant use and also reduce treatment cost of cancer in the human population.