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Having studied in Makerere University, (Uganda); University of Nairobi, (Kenya); Ben Gurion University of the Negev, (Israel), University of Haifa, (Israel), and University of Giessen, Institute for Genetics, (Germany), Dr. Owour set out to specialize in molecular genetic engineering, examining DNA cloning and nucleotide sequence analysis for medical drug design and discovery. His interest in this speciality was driven by the advent of human genom mapping which opened up a great treasure in molecular medicine for future disease therapy, especially in cancer and HIV/AIDS. This is an area that has attracted interest among pharmaceutical companies especially when he was examining transcriptional factors for the regulation of gene expression in medical intervention through delivery of small DNA molecules and proteins for medicine among patients.
Upon completion of his Doctorate from Mount Carmel, Haifa, (Israel) Dr, Owuor joined the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center (UIC), Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology as a Post Doctoral Fellow specialising in signal transduction by Cancer Chemotherapeutic drugs. During this time, he examined the role of tamoxifen as a chemotherapeutic drug targetting breast cancer and the signalling pathways that are involved. He also lectured to Ph.D graduate students in the Pharmaceutics & Pharmacodynamics and Drug Metabolism by Cancer Chemotherapeutic and Chemoprevention Drugs Programme of the UIC Medical Center. He specialised in teaching Onco-protein networks and especially mitogen activated protein Kinase networks as potential drug targets in future anti-cancer drug design.
He further joined the Department of Pharmaceutics, Earnest Mario School of Pharmacy, The State University of New Jersey (Rutgers) and Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, (EOSHI) of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) where he looked at the relationship between green tea Polyphenols and Phenethylisothiocyanate (PEITCs) in Apoptosis (self-suicide) and Cancer Chemoprevention. Dr. Owuor also examined the role of nuclear related transcriptional Factor-2 (NrF2) in the regulation of phase 2 drug metabolizing enzymes and cellular defensive mechanism in humans. He developed research interest in examining the role phosphorylation of the newly discovered Extra-cellular Regulated Kinase 5, a sister pathway to the ErK1,2 pathway necessary for tumor proliferation. During this time, Dr. Owuor was able to elucidate the link between p38 cell death and suicide pathways, and especially the MKK6 oncoprotein and ErK5 defensive mechanism. To put it in lay man's terms, this kind of cross-talk between defensive and cell death genes, complicates cancer therapy and leads to the death of cancer patients. This cross-talk also results into cancer drug resistance and therapeutic by-pass, therefore making this a very significant finding in cancer research. He also collaborated with several pharmaceutical companies. In one such collaboration with Centacor in PA while examining the drug quinacrine and its potential to target cervical cancer in humans, he discovered the signalling pathway leading to the death of cervical cancer cells. This has a great significance in cancer therapy since quinacrine had only been used as an anti-malarial drug used as a chemotherapeutic adjuvant.
Dr. Owuor was further appointed Research Teaching Specialist in the Division of Surgical Oncology, The Department of Surgery, the Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ)-UMDNJ-RobertWood Johnson Medical School). After this he was appointed a Consultant Specialist in cDNA micro array analysis, in Forensic Toxicology and Aircraft Accident of the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI). During this time, Dr. Owuor was more interested in developing fine molecular signatures for normal and impaired human physiological performance in the cockpit during operation of an aircraft. He also examined the role of alcohol and drugs abuse in impairing human physiological performance in the operation of an aircraft by commercial airline pilots in Civil Aviation. At the CAMI, Dr. Owuor published in international medical peer review journals such as Aero Space Medical Research R&D Bulletin, carcinogenesis, Journal for biological Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Research Journal of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, Biochemical Pharmacology, among others. (see website for the Journal for Biochemichal Pharmacology, Journal for Biological Chemistry; jbc.org, carcinogenesis, pubmed, Ncbi the Journal for The American Association for Pharmaceutical Scientist, Korean Pharmaceutical Society.