Dr. Herbert T Nagasawa received his B.S. degree in
chemistry from Western Reserve University (now,
Reserve) in Cleveland, Ohio, and a Ph.D. degree in organic
chemistry from the
University of Minnesota.
spent two years as a Post-doctoral Fellow in biochemistry at the
University of Minnesota before joining the research staff of the
V.A. Medical Center in Minneapolis as a Senior Chemist.
appointed Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the
University of Minnesota in 1959, and was named Principal
Scientist of the V.A. Medical Center in 1961. He was promoted in 1963 to
Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and to Professor in 1973.
In 1976 he was promoted to Senior
Research Career Scientist, a nationwide VA title reserved for
top VA's scientists.
Dr Herbert T Nagasawa also held joint professorships in the Department
of Pharmacology and the university-wide Division of Toxicology, and
served as Visiting Professor at
Washington State University in 1990.
He also served for 32 years as a Senior Editor for the prestigious
International Journal of Medicinal Chemistry from 1972 to 2004, and
one year as Acting Editor-in-Chief.
In addition, he served on the Editorial Board of the journal,
Bioconjugate Chemistry for eight years, and as an ad hoc grant
reviewer for the NCI and NIAAA,
National Institutes of Health.
He has published over 186 papers in peer-reviewed journals as
The Inventor of the
3 minute Cyanide Antidote
Dr. Herbert T. Nagasawa is the inventor named on ten U.S. and PCT
University of Minnesota Center for Drug Design
Medical Center researchers have discovered a new fast-acting
antidote to cyanide poisoning, discovered by retired
University of Minnesota Professor Herbert T Nagasawa.
Dr Herbert T Nagasawa joining with
International in taking Riboceine™ to the world
"Glutathione is so important…it encompasses the whole spectrum of your organism.
For example, it is important in talking about, not so much the
antioxidant properties, but it is important for having amino acids
get transported (that means protein synthesis), it is important in
regulation, it is important in maintaining your immune system
healthy, and finally, it is important as the protective agent that
actually sequesters free radicals that you get from the environment.
And the organs that are highest in glutathione levels: that is
the eye, the ears, the lung, the liver, the kidneys, and the skin.
These organs have the highest concentrations of glutathione, for
good reason, because these organs are subject to all of the toxins
in the environment.
When I started to work on glutathione and started to find out all
of the ramifications of glutathione and …then we found that a
particular molecule can replenish the glutathione,…I felt that this technology, if not transferred within my
lifetime, I would be very unhappy.
I’d like to be able to have this technology transferred, and the
only way to transfer this technology, is to have a commercial entity
Myself, being a scientist, I have absolutely no knowledge of the
And I’ve been taught, when I was in school, that…if you have a
the first thing you have to do is patent it.
And second thing if you want to have it disseminated is to get a
commercial person to do it and stay out of it.
Just stick to the science."
"My research interests over the past several decades have been in the
design of prodrugs of biologically active substances, some of them
of endogenous origin. For example, the design and synthesis of
prodrugs of glutathione, known as the master cellular antioxidant,
as well as its biochemical precursors, in order to render them
orally bioavailable. Research on the biochemical-pharmacology of
cyanamide, an alcohol deterrent drug whose action is to inhibit the
enzyme aldehyde dehdrogenase (AlDH), led to the identification of
the highly reactive nitroxyl (HNO), the active metabolite of
cyanamide that inhibits ALDH, and the development of a series of
nitroxyl prodrugs that were potent inhibitors of this enzyme.
Based on principles learned above, various prototype prodrugs of the
chemically unstable 3-mercaptopyruvate (3-MP), the endogenous
transamination product of L-cysteine, were developed as novel and
highly effective cyanide antidotes. 3-MP is a substrate for
3-merecaptopyruvate sulfur transferase (3-MST), the ubiquitous
enzyme found in the cells of most organs including the central
nervous system, and is converted to a reactive sulfane sulfur that
detoxifies highly toxic cyanide to innocuous thiocyanate."
Dr Herbert T Nagasawa about his new inventions
More recently, attention has been directed toward the design of
hydrogen sulfide generators that could protect against
ischemic-reperfusion injury following a heart attack, and
rationally-designed nicotine haptens that provide more specific
nicotine antibodies for the development of smoking cessation
personal message to me on 28th October 2021
Thanks so much for the nice words and the 3 slides. I don't deserve
all the accolades. All I did was develop Riboceine, and you all did
the rest. I am continuing my research and hope to come up with
another product before I succumbed to my age--so far so good. Keep
up your good work and I will do MY best!
This document was last updated on
Friday, 20 October 2023