Leadership


Dr. Karriem H. Ali, Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Karriem H. Ali
Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Karriem H. Ali was born in Detroit, Michigan, and was accepted into a highly-selective school for the gifted which he attended all 12 years of his primary and secondary school education. Upon graduation at the top of his class, he matriculated at Harvard University, where he received an A.B. degree in Organic Chemistry.

While an undergraduate at Harvard, Dr. Ali was accepted into the research group of Prof. Paul A. Wender of the Department of Chemistry. His graduate-level research focused upon the synthesis and pharmacology of TPA (12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate), a bioactive botanical compound which promotes tumor development, in the interest of comprehending and reversing that process. During his upperclassman years, Dr. Ali was also appointed to several teaching positions at Harvard in Chemistry and the Mathematics.

Dr. Ali holds a degree of M.D. with Distinguished Honors in Research from Stanford University, and was selected as a Stanford Medical Student Scholar four consecutive years. At Stanford, he continued his work in Natural Products Medicinal Chemistry and pharmacophore determination of tumor promoting agents on a Merck Foundation Research Fellowship, and soon afterwards was awarded a position in the highly-esteemed Stanford-NIH M.D.-Ph.D. Program in Cancer Biology. His thesis focus being the quantum chemical basis of molecular recognition, Dr. Ali was invited to be a Visiting Scholar at the Washington University School of Medicine following the second year of his research. There he was among the first to apply 3-D computer graphics molecular modeling technology (TRIPOS) to pharmacophore determination of the TPA, teleocidin B and aplysiatoxin families of tumor promoting agents.

The greatest breakthroughs in medicinal therapy have come from botanical, marine, and microbial natural products — Antibiotics, Local Anesthetics, Muscle Relaxants, Sedative-Analgesics, Anti-Cancer Agents, etc. As a physician-scientist, Dr. Ali clearly knew the importance of being able to translate the insights gleaned from Natural Products Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology research into therapeutic opportunities for doctors and their patients. In recognition, he was awarded an American Heart Association Clinical Research Fellowship for advanced study in Clinical Pharmacology and Intensive Care.

Throughout his years at Harvard and Stanford, Dr. Ali was recognized by his faculty and peers through appointment and election to leadership positions, including: a term as a Harvard House Representative, and on the Harvard Department of Chemistry Academic Advisory Committee; three terms as Stanford Medical Student Association (SMSA) Class President, one term each as the SMSA Executive Board Chairman, SMSA Representative to the Stanford Medical Faculty Senate, and Clinical Clerk Representative on the Stanford University Medical Center Committee On Ethics. His global perspective on the need for excellence in medical scholarship and provision of care to the human community led him to found SMSA World Community Outreach to “facilitate local and international medical philanthropy, and medical student public service experiences”. For this work, and the establishment of its founding endowment, Dr. Ali was awarded the CIBA-Geigy Foundation Outstanding Community Service Award.

A Board-Certified Diplomate in Medicine (NBME), Dr. Ali completed multidisciplinary internship training in Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Psychiatry, Neonatal Intensive Care, Pediatrics and Nutrition, before entering residency training in Anesthesia, Intensive Care & Pain Management at the Stanford University Hospitals. He was later recruited from Stanford to do bioprospecting work, leading ethnobotanical drug discovery research teams in the rich savannahs of Tanzania, and in the Amazon, Chocó, and Mayombe rainforests of South America and Africa.

Over the 20-plus years which have ensued since his earliest research, Dr. Ali’s career has always been one of an analogical mind focussed upon comprehension of vital systems, and the numerous agents which can benefit individual human health. He continues to consult and lecture around the world, fusing ancient healing traditions, contemporary Clinical Pharmacology principles, and future Biotechnology methods to the research and development of safe, effective and reliable Biotherapeutics — Nutraceuticals, Phytomedicinals & Biopharmaceuticals.