Jamaican scientist honoured by US legislators
The United States House of Representatives honoured Jamaican cancer researcher Dr. Henry Lowe with a proclamation last month, while the New York State Senate gave him a citation for outstanding contributions to the sciences, science education and exemplary public service.
Dr. Lowe, a member of the American Association of Cancer Research and a life member of the New York Academy of Sciences, received the proclamation signed by Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke and the citation signed by New York’s 20th District State Senator Eric Adams at the Barclays Center in New York City in December.
The proclamation from the House of Representatives described Dr. Lowe as a “leader in the field of medical research, researching plants indigenous to Jamaica for their bioactive principles as well as their potential for pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmeceuticals, and has shared his work with other scientists and the public through hundreds of published articles, reports and books”.
The New York State Senate citation read in part, “Whereas, it is the sense of this legislative body that when individuals of such noble aims and accomplishments are brought to our attention, it is appropriate to publicly proclaim and commend those individuals for the edification and emulation of others.”
Dr. Lowe discovered several bioactive molecules from Jamaican medicinal plants – particularly Jamaican Ball Moss – which are being developed for cancer therapy and treatments for diabetes and HIV/AIDS. He is also the holder of patents based in the areas of his research in chronic diseases. Along with doctors Manley West and Albert Lockhart, he developed the first commercial product from cannabis for the treatment of glaucoma.
Dr. Lowe is founder and executive chairman of the Environmental Health Foundation Group of Companies and the Biotech R&D Institute, as well as being an entrepreneur, scientist, cancer researcher and academic.
“Jamaica must be known for more than reggae, sports, sun, sea and sand,” Dr. Lowe said. “It is important that we encourage and educate our citizenry to contribute significantly in the field of science and as such begin to place Jamaica on the map for scientific research and development, which is often times held in reserve for the first world. We must forge ahead into new frontiers that will fast-track Jamaica’s economic and social growth and development. We are a gifted people and with vision, grit and handwork it can be done.”
Dr. Lowe, an adjunct professor at the Department of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Ethno-medicinal Chemistry at the University of Technology Jamaica, is also a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Society of Medicine in the United Kingdom, Harvard Medical School Postgraduate Association, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and the American Chemical Society.
He has also authored multiple scientific journal articles and books, including his recent autobiography, “It Can be Done”.
Dr. Lowe specialises in medicinal chemistry, and has contributed about 50 years in the fields of science and technology, energy, the environment, wellness and health sciences nationally, regionally and internationally since graduating from the University of the West Indies, Mona.
He has earned several recognitions nationally and regionally, including the Commander of the Order of Distinction in 1982 and the Order of Jamaica in 2012.
A former permanent secretary for the government of Jamaica, Dr. Lowe researched and established the first Ministry of Science and Environment in the CARICOM region. He served as chairman, president and chief executive officer of Blue Cross of Jamaica. He is also founder and executive chairman of the EHF Group of Companies, which includes a private, nonprofit organisation, the Environmental Health Foundation, which was established in 1992.
He has published more than 20 books and has three in various stages of completion at the moment. Dr. Lowe was the first Caribbean person to publish a science textbook series for secondary schools, which were not only used in Jamaica but also in Africa.