Collaborating on Phytomedicines
From Farm to Bedside

Investigating medical cannabis compounds in treatment of cancer, and pain leveraging our TiDTaC technology

Nanotechnology has opened up a new, previously unimaginable world in cancer diagnosis and therapy, leading to the emergence of cancer nanomedicine and nanoparticle-aided radiotherapy. Smart nanomaterials (nanoparticle drones) can now be constructed with capability to precisely target cancer cells and be remotely activated with photons to emit micrometer-range missile-like electrons to destroy the tumor cells. These nanoparticle drones and our other smart radiotherapy biomaterials (TiDTaC) technology can also be programmed to deliver therapeutic payloads like medical cannabis compounds precisely to tumor sites. We are investigating the potential of leveraging this smart technologies loaded with medical cannabis compounds to simultaneously target cancer and cancer pain.  The work has opened up new possibilities for delivery medical cannabis more precisely to treat different indications with minimal to no systemic distribution or side effects. This includes collaborations with other partners in different institutions and industry.


Phytomedicines to treat cancer anemia

Over 2 billion people around the globe suffer from the blood disorder anemia including up to 80% of cancer patients. Working in collaboration with African partners and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, we have identified a plant from the genus Justicia (Family Acanthaceae) and isolated a biomaterial from it with major potential as a remedy for treating anemia. Results from experiments present the biomaterial as  a compound or fusion of blood elements that include key electrolytes and metabolites found in blood plasma and high levels of hemoglobin. We are building on this discovery to develop applications in anemia treatment, as radio sensitizers, and blood substitute. The work opens new opportunities for applications in medicine and plant-based foods, and reducing anemia health disparities. Current strategies to treat or control anemia include iron supplementation, and nutritional interventions such as: home fortification with micronutrient biomaterials or powders, fortification of staple foods and condiments, and activities to improve food security and dietary diversity.  In resource-poor countries, especially  endemic for malaria and other infections,  interventions involving iron supplementation are often not appropriate. This new discovery opens up possibilities for new solutions that may be more appropriate for these populations, towards reducing anemia health disparities.  


International Phytomedicines and Medical Cannabis Institute (IPI) collaboration initiative

The IPI is an international collaboration initiative involving faculty and top phytomedicines scientists at other institutions in the USA and around the world to develop evidence based phytomedicines. Learn more