Liberian Bio-Medical Scientist and Others Hit a Medical Milestone: Invent Noninvasive Diagnosis for Ulcer


By Winsley S. Nanka

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

September 20, 2004

Dr. Dougbeh Christopher Nyan, a Liberian bio-medical scientist currently at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and others have developed a noninvasive diagnosis method for the bacteria that causes ulcer. Ulcer is a gastric intestinal disease that “effects about 50% of the world population at various levels”. The invention by Dr. Nyan and others was published in the September 2004 edition of the Journal of Infection and Immunity of American Society for Microbiology.

Drs. Nyan, Anthony R. Welch, Andre Dubois, and William G. Coleman, Jr. conducted the study, which resulted into the invention of the noninvasive diagnosis, while he was employed at the National Institute of Health (NIH) as a bio-medical scientist in Bethesda, Maryland. The invention is critical because “current diagnosis are expensive, invasive or requires the patient to ingest radioactive substances”. Dr. Nyan and others’ invention allows “for a quick, specific, inexpensive, non-invasive method for diagnosis” of ulcer. The invention is likely to be very useful in developing countries where patients do not have access to advanced medical facilities. The scientists invented the noninvasive diagnosis method for ulcer by isolating the human species Helicobacter pylori, which is a “major infectious agent of the human gastric intestinal track”.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) has obtained a provisional patent for the invention, and is marketing the technology to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies for commercial applications.

Dr. Nyan is a German trained medical doctor. The National Institute of Health trained him as a bio-medical scientist. In an interview, Dr. Nyan intimated he plans to contribute to the medical sector of Liberia by taking up residence at the University of Liberia Medical College where he will continue his bio-medical research to help meet the medical needs of humanity.