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Children’s Natl. Medical Ctr., Washington, DC

NIDCR/NIH, Bethesda, MD. (Post-Doctoral)


Michigan State University, E. Lansing, MI
Cell/Growth Biology

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
Animal Science

Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN

Animal Science

Positions and Employment

1992 - 1996 Research Assistant, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan. Cellular and Molecular Biology Laboratory.
1996 - 1998 Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Laboratory of Molecular Signaling, Cellular development and oncology, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD.
1996 - 1998 Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Children’s National Medical Center. Received the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Minority research supplement award.
1998 - 1999 Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine, Howard University, Washington, DC. (Temporary position)
1999 - 2003 Assistant Professor of Biology, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS.
2004 - Present- Associate Professor of Biology, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS

Awards and Honors (selected)

1985 Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award in Agriculture
1994 Gamma Sigma Delta (Agriculture Honor Society) for Graduate Students
1996 Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society

Publications (selected)

Izevbigie, E.B., Gutkind, J.S., and Ray, P.E. Angiotensin II and Fibroblast Growth Factor- 2 modulate the Proliferation of human fetal mesangial cells through different signaling mechanisms. Pediatric Research 47(5): 614- 621, 2000
Izevbigie, E.B., and Bergen, W.G. -adrenergic agonist hyperplastic effect is Associated with increased fibronectin geneexpression not mitogen-activated protein Kinase Modulation inC2C12 myoblasts. Exp. Biol. Med 223: 302-309, 2000.
Izevbigie, E. B., Gutkind, J.S., and Ray, P.E. Isoproterenol inhibits basic Fibroblast Growth Factor-induced renal cell proliferation. Pediatric Neuphrology 14: 726- 734, 2000.
Izevbigie, E.B., Ekunwe, S.I., and Howard, CB. Ethanol Modulates the Growth of Human Breast Cancer Cells in vitro. Exp Biol & Med 227(4): 260-265, 2002.
Izevbigie EB. Discovery of Water-Soluble Anticancer Agents From A Vegetable Found In Benin City, Nigeria. Exp Biol and Medicine 228(3): 293- 298, 2003
Ventura-Holman T, Lu D, Si X, Izevbigie EB, Maher JF. The Fem1c Genes: Conserved Members of the Fem1 Gene Family in Vertebrates. Gene 314: 133-139, 2003
Howard CB, Stevens J, Izevbigie EB, Walker A, McDaniel O. Time and Dose-Dependent Modulation of Phase 1 and Phase 2 Gene Expression in Response to Treatment of MCF-7 Cells with a Natural Anticancer Agent. J Cell. And Mol. Biol. 49(7): 1057-1065, 2003
Izevbigie, EB, Bryant, JL, Walker, A. Edible Vernonia amygdalina leaf extracts Inhibit Extracellular Signal-
regulated kinases and Human Breast Cancer Cell growth. J. Nutr. 133(11): 3860S, 2003
Izevbigie EB, Bryant JL, Walker A. Natural Inhibitor of Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinases and Human Breast Cancer Cells. Exp Biol and Medicine 229: 163-169, 2004
Izevbigie EB Signaling Pathways in Human Breast Cells in Response to Alcohol: Mechanisms for Alcohol-
induced-Breast Cancer. Comprehensive Handbook of Alcohol Related Pathology Vol. 2 (Chapter 79),
Elsevier, United Kingdom, 2005

Research Support

1. P20 MD000534-01 (Mawson) 10/1/03-9/30/08. 20%
NCMHD/NIH $5,000,000
Excellence in Partnerships for Community Outreach, Research on Health Disparities and Training.
My sub-project, as a CO-PI, will 1) assess the effect of V. amygdalina Extracts on the Growth of bispsic tumor samples collected from African-American women in Mississippi. 2) Evaluate effects of V. amygdalina treatments on cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) and bio-transformation enzymes (phase I and phase II) enzymes. CO- PI (Izevbigie) level of effort is 20%, and my budget for the above studies is ($280,000). This project is strictly limited to in vitro studies using crude not standardized extracts as currently being proposed in the present NCCAM grant. Therefore, there is no overlap.

2. G12RR013459-07S1 (Mason) 7/1/04- 6/30/08 50%
RCMI- Faculty Development Award $603,953
My project title: Assessment of Anticancer Properties/Activities of Purified Extracts of V. amygdalina, $371,810 for 6/1/04-5/30/08. This project does not overlap with project one, which tests the crude extracts only. This project will purify the extracts, characterize it, and assess the therapeutic value in animal model. It fits the NCI portfolio, therefore, subsequent proposals will target NCI for funding.

Both project 1 and 2 do not overlap with the current application because it seeks to develop a protocol for standardization of the extracts. Because we have preliminary data that V. amygdalina extracts may ameliorate the anticancer and toxic effects of Tamoxifen, current application will evaluate the combined effects of the extracts and Tamoxifen in vitro and in animal model. The effects of the combination of extracts and Tamoxifen on apoptosis will also be investigated. Only standardized extracts will be used. This projects fits the funding portfolio of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Therefore subsequent applications will target NCCAM for funding.


In a related development, the JSU-licensed spinoff company Edo Botanics, Inc., was recently approved by the Government of Nigeria National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control to manufacture and sell Edotide Plus Bitter Leaf capsules in Nigeria. JSU biology professor Ernest Izevbigie owns the company, which is approved by the Mississippi University Research Authority. This accomplishment is the culmination of several years of research at Jackson State University that has resulted in several patents assigned to JSU by the U.S. Patent Office and licensed by JSU to Edo Botanics Inc.

A Nigerian born Professor of Biology, Ernest Izevbigie, has been given two patents for bitter leaf-based anti-diabetic and cancer medication in the United States, THISDAY can report.His product may also benefit HIV/AIDS patients, it was learnt.
Izvebigie, a Professor in the area of vernonia amygdalina (bitter leaf) research at Jackson State University, Mississippi, received the first patent Phytochemotherapy for Cancer U.S. Patent 6,713,098 in 2004 and the second 6,848,604 in 2005.
He founded Edobotanics, a company that uses technology at the university to process, extract and standardize compounds from bitter leaf.
Edobotanics now produces nutrition al supplements called edoTIDEplus that promotes gastrointestinal, breast and prostate health, THISDAY gathered.
“We found that in using the plant material, some compounds from the extracts were able to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells,” said the professor.
“Later through collaborative research, we found they were also effective in other tumor cells,” he added.
Although, the formulations are not optimized for diabetes, they provide some health benefits to diabetes patients, he explained.
His research focus is cancer biology and pharmacognosy.
As for HIV/AIDS patients, Izevbigie explained that evidence from cell culture and animal studies research and reports from individuals reveal that bitter leaf formulary supplementation may abate or improve their health conditions or symptoms which include abrosia (wasting away), nausea and vomiting, compromised immune systems etc.
“Since immune suppression and abrosia represent some of the key features of HIV/AIDS pathogenesis, bitter leaf supplement-induced stimulation of the immune system could benefit HIV/AIDS patients,” he stated.
The professor further explained that available data shows that bitter leaf extracts may be effective against Kaposi sarcomas (KS), a tumour caused by Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8).
He said that although KS infection occurs in the general population, the frequency of occurrence among HIV/AIDS patients is higher.
An estimated, 40 per cent of HIV/AIDS sufferers are said to develop KS, which is noted to be m ore progressive and less responsive to therapy in HIV-positive individuals compared to HIV-negative patients.
Recently, Edobotanics won second place in the University division of the Mississippi Technology Alliance’s Mississippi Business Plan competition.
The competition included 27 companies who presented their plan to some entrepreneurs and investors in the state.
Edobotanics presented a plan for producing and marketing dietary supplements that promote health and wellness.
According to the CEO of the company, Mr. Bruce Deer, “this product supports general health and well being. It is a combination of science and nature for optimum health.”
Izevbigie came to the US from Nigeria in 1982.
His interest in bitter leaf dates back to his childhood days in Nigeria.
He said he watched his grandmother who practised herbal/alternative medicine use bitter leaf to cure patients.
Narrating his research work, he said upon receiving his Ph.D degree in Michigan State University, he pursued a post-doctoral training at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
There, he developed a passion to apply modern scientific techniques to investigate the health benefits of some Nigerian botanical or herbal medicines.
Izevbigie says other researchers have joined his research team since receiving two patents from his exclusive and original work.
Asked about the availability of bitter leaf in the US for his product, he says there is a possibility the plant will be grown outside Nigeria.
The company can also rely on Nigerian contractors, he said.
Jackson State University is a historically black school founded in 1877.
It is located in Jackson, the capital city of the State of Mississippi
Jackson State-initiated company presents nutritional supplement business plan at statewide competition

(JACKSON, Miss.) The Jackson State University-initiated company EdoBotanics will present its plan for producing and marketing dietary supplements that promote health and wellness June 2 at the Mississippi Technology Alliance's second annual Mississippi Business Plan competition at the Jackson Marriot in Jackson, Miss.
EdoBotanics produces nutritional supplements called edoTIDEplus, which are made from the Vernonia amygdalina plant. The products have been found to promote gastrointestinal, breast and prostate health, said EdoBotanics CEO Bruce Deer. A supplement made from the plant also is intended for use in patients suffering the harsh side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.

"This product supports general health and well being," Deer said. "It is a combination of science and nature for optimum health."

EdoBotanics uses technologies created in Jackson State University labs to process, extract and standardize compounds from the Vernonia amygdalina plant, which is native to Nigeria.

JSU biology professor Ernest Izevbigie, a world-renowned authority in the area of Vernonia amygdalina research, founded EdoBotanics.

The Nigerian-born Izevbigie became fascinated with Vernonia amygdalina commonly known as bitter leaf during his childhood in Nigeria. He used to watch his grandmother gather the plant to create herbal cures.

Later as a scientist, Izevbigie devoted much of his work to determining the health benefits of bitter leaf, particularly in the area of cancer therapy.

"We found that in using the plant material, some compounds from the extracts were able to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells," Izevbigie said. "Later through collaborative research we found they were also effective in other tumor cells."

The Mississippi Technology Alliance Business Plan competition will include 27 companies who will present their plans to some of the states top entrepreneurs and investors. For more information about EdoBotanics, visit edobotanics.com. For more information about the Mississippi Technology Alliance Business Plan Competition, visitwww.technologyalliance.ms.


Idahosa varsity gets new deputy VC

Wednesday, 06 April 2011 00:00

Editor News - National

THE Governing Council of Benson Idahosa University, Benin City, Edo State capital, has appointed a Professor of Biology and Biochemistry from Jackson State University, Mississippi, United States of America, Ernest Izevbigie, as the deputy vice-chancellor of the university to succeed the immediate past DVC, Prof. Olu Adeniran, whose tenure expired recently.

According to a statement, Izevbigie obtained his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.d) degree in Growth Biology/Biochemistry from Michigan State University, Michigan in 1996. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Biochemistry/Cancer Biology at the National Institute of Craniofacial and Dental Research (NDICR)/National Institute of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. He joined Jackson State University’s Department of Biology in 1999 and rose to become a full Professor of Biology/Biochemistry in the same university.

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