Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development

Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development

Studies of Anti-viral and Anti-parasitic Compounds from Selected Ghanaian Medicinal Plants

Principal Investigator: Shoji YAMAOKA, Professor of Department of Virology, Graduate School, Tokyo Medical and Dental University

Summary

Tokyo Medica l and Denta l Universit y (TMDU) established in 2008 Research Center for Infectious Diseases at Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) in Ghana, West Africa, dispatched two researchers to NMIMR and implemented research collaborations on virology and parasitology. We are now starting new research projects, supported by Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), on Ghanaian medicinal plants whose components are effective in the control of viral or parasitic infections. Based on request from the Ghanaian side, the research collaborations have been planned by the groups of Prof. Yamaoka (Virology, TMDU), Prof. kannagi (Virology, TMDU), Prof. Ohta (Parasitology, TMDU),Prof. Shoyama (Pharmacology, Nagasaki International University), Prof. Nyarko (Toxicology, NMIMR) and Prof.Okine (Biochemistry, Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine). The geographical and financial situations in Ghana have not allowed Ghanaian people easy access to modern medicine, and instead, they rely on traditional herbal medicine so that the Ghanaian government expresses a great deal of expectations on the projects. Ghana is well-known for its production of cacao beans, in which we have recently found promising inhibitory activity on virus replication.

Meeting at NMIMR.

Prof. Nyarko (centre)
and
Prof. Okine (right).

A pod of cacao (upper) and beans inside (lower).