Health

Morgan State U.’s First Patent Helps Alzheimer’s Patients

Dr. Jayfus Doswell has become accustomed to finding solutions to complex problems.

The Maryland-born founder of The Juxtopia Group – a nonprofit established to reduce the critical learning gap of the underserved and disadvantaged in STEM and to increase the number of minorities who pursue doctorates – has helped to find another solution to a problem that involves Alzheimer’s disease.

And this solution has proven to be historic.

To address disparities in cognitive degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Juxtopia Group collaborator and Morgan State University’s Dr. Kadir Aslan invented a crystallization device to make clearer the proteins found in the brains of people with cognitive degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Aslan’s research has led to the first patent at MSU in the school’s 148 year history.

The patented technology is the metal-assisted and microwave-assisted evaporative crystallization.

“MSU was having challenges to commercialize the patent so that it could benefit millions of persons in United States suffering from diseases like Alzheimer’s disease,” Doswell said.

Aslan then met with Doswell who gathered his JUICE Network to solve the problem under the Health Informatics and Information Technology Disparities Campaign, which engages young engineering and entrepreneurship apprentices who are training in the art and science of biotechnology, engineering, health informatics, public health, media and urban entrepreneurship.

The campaign’s mission is to create innovative science and technology solutions that prevent and eliminate healthcare disparities in Maryland communities, Doswell said.

“The JUICE Network responded by accomplishing [several] milestones towards the mission objective in less than 12 months,” Doswell said.

The network assisted MSU in obtaining several grants and securing the patent.

“Now, iCrystal is one of many JUICE Network member companies that are collaborating where each JUICE Member company is focused on a different piece of the disparities problem with a shared mission of objective to HIIT Disparities,” said Doswell, who two years ago was featured on the HistoryMakers, the nation’s largest African-American video oral history collection that preserved the life stories of thousands of historic black figures.

The patent is important, particularly in minority communities, because the Alzheimer’s Association reported that older African-Americans are twice as likely to suffer from aging-related dementia or Alzheimer’s as their white counterparts.

An estimated 5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, and estimates reveal that half of those individuals don’t know that they have the disease.

Those in minority communities are often misdiagnosed, or the diagnosis is simply missed, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Also, according to Aslan’s research, there has been increased interest in the area of controlled crystal formation in the pharmaceutical industry, particularly in the area of crystal size control and solid form purity.

Typically, the synthesized drugs are crystallized in the purest form possible and marketed in the forms of pills and tablets.

Additionally, crystallization is used for understanding of the molecular structures and interactions of proteins to develop new drug treatments that target specific human, animal, and plant diseases.

Doswell said he’s proud of the new patent.

“My main motivation when I began mentoring came from an experience I had when I was rising up the corporate ladder,” said Doswell, who holds a doctorate from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and who also was named among the “stars who make things happen in Greater Baltimore” by the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore.

“I am most proud of what I have accomplish utilizing Juxtopia as an intervention to significantly and measurably achieve Juxtopia’s mission of improving human performance and specifically helping minority companies secure funding, patents, and providing wrap around JUICE services to help companies create products for developing innovations for improving human performance,” he said.

Doswell noted that he’s also proud that he’s continued to train “under-represented minority children and students in STEM skills that transform them from low-income existence to middle to upper class lifestyles” allowing him to serve as a role model.

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Stacy M. Brown

I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

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