Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Department

Introduction

In tandem with the vision of becoming a hub for excellence in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology research, workforce development and wealth creation in Nigeria, the department has the track records of researching into “omics” of bacteria, fungi and protozoa, essentially of gastrointestinal and urogenital origins. We have high impact publications in molecular epidemiology of Salmonella enterica ser. Typhi, non-typhoidal salmonella (NTS), Helicobacter pylori, entero-haemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC, 0157:H7), determinants of antimicrobial resistance and mobile genetic elements driving antibiotics resistance transmissibility.

Also, we explore the biotechnological potentials of local isolates of lactic acid bacteria with many 16S rRNA genes deposited and accessioned in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), Bethesda, USA. Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic engendered three (3) diagnostic kits; DNA, RNA extraction kits, sample release buffers, which are being processed for patenting.

Currently, in bracing up to the public health problems in the country, the department is repositioned to operate under five (5) laboratories/units with strategic research focus as follows;

  1. Molecular epidemiology and Food safety
  2. Nanotechnology
  3. Probiotics and gut microbiome
  4. Molecular techniques
  5. Respiratory diseases

The department collaborates with local/international institutions such as Federal and State Ministries of health, Nigeria, FHI, Alexander von Humboldt (AvH), Germany, INSERM, France, TWAS, ROCHE and Universities.

T. A. Bamidele MSc, Ph.D. Medical/Pharmaceutical MicrobiologyCoordinator/Senior Research Fellow
S. I. Smith MSc, PhDProfessor, Director of Research
B. A. Iwalokun MSC, PhDDeputy Director, Research
M. A. Fowora MSc, PhDResearch Fellow I
T. Y. Raheem MSc, PhDResearch Fellow I
O. A. Adagbada MScResearch Fellow II
J. I. Yisau MScResearch Fellow II
Laboratory Scientists
G. Akintunde MSc, FMLSChief Medical laboratory Scientist
T. W. Fesobi MScChief Science laboratory Technologist
N. AiyedogbonMedical laboratory Scientist
J. C. IkpoMedical laboratory Scientist
Secretariat/Departmental Office
A.O Okolie

Chief Secretarial Assistant

T. S. AdebiyiExecutive Officer

The head of the Molecular Epidemiology Unit is Prof. Stella I. Smith has 166 peer-reviewed publications to her credit. Her Research Gate score is 36.22 with a top 5% ranking of members. Her Google scholar citation is 2,290 and h-index of 25.

The Molecular Epidemiology Laboratory over the years has been involved in Molecular epidemiology of infectious agents of majorly bacterial diseases particularly Helicobacter pylori, Campylobacter jejuni/coli, Enterohaemorrhagic E. coli and Salmonella (typhoidal and non-typhoidal) diseases. The Laboratory has won several grants most notable of which are TWAS, IFS, INSERM, ICGEB, DFG, TeTFUND and ACE (collaborating partner).

The Laboratory is also involved in capacity building of students, lecturers and researchers from the six geo-political zones in the country either as IT, project or molecular biology hands-on-training workshop since 2009 with over 200 IT and project students from BSc to PhD. Over 160 participants have been trained in the Molecular biology hands-on-training workshop since inception.

The Laboratory collaborates with Researchers both nationally and internationally. International collaborating countries have been from Germany, France, Netherlands, UK, US, Belgium, South Africa and Cameroon.

Notable equipment in the laboratory include:

  • VIDAS: For food pathogen detection
  • Fluorescent microscope: For rapid and direct detection of pathogens in situ.
  • Real-time PCR: For quantification of DNA or RNA in real time.
  • Urea Breath Test Machine: For non-invasive detection of H. pylori
  • Photodocumentation system: For documentation of agarose gels.

Contact:


Prof. Stella I. Smith
stellasmith@nimr.gov.ng
stellaismith@yahoo.com
+234 803 70 58 989

 


Workshop 2020