Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Department


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 and food safety laboratory is Prof. Stella I. Smith has 187 peer-reviewed publications to her credit. Her Google scholar citation is 3237 and h-index of 31. Prof. Smith was recently inducted as a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science and is a member of several international organisations. Prof. Smith also doubles up as the founding President of the African Helicobacter and Microbiota Study group (AHMSG) a group comprising experts from eight African countries. She is also a reviewer to several international journals as well as member of African German Network of Excellence in Science (AGNES).

The Molecular Epidemiology and food safety 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, Humboldt, INSERM, ICGEB, DFG, TeTFUND, NIMR 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 300 IT and project students from BSc to PhD. She has co-supervised 13 PhD students with 3 on-going. She also established the annual molecular biology hands on training workshop for final year 400L students at the Mountain Top University where she is the Professor of Microbiology. Over 400 participants being 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
  • TEMPO: 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
  • Photo-documentation system: For documentation of agarose gels.
  • Thermal cycler
  • Microcentrifuge (Eppendorf)
  • -80oC and -40oC ultra low freezer
  • Nanodrop spectrophotometer for DNA quantification
  • Biosafety Cabinet


Prof. Stella I. Smith,
+234 803 70 58 989


Workshop 2020


Prof. Stella Smith (Director of Research): Middle, Dr. Abraham Ajayi: left, Mr. Essiet Utibeima: Right
Food Safety Laboratory Equipped with Vitek Immunodiagnostic Assay System (VIDAS), TEMPO Filler and TEMPO Reader, Smasher and other accessories for the detection and quantification of foodborne pathogens
Fluorescence Microscope
Hotplate Stirrer, Water Bath and Water-deionizer
Mini Bead Beater, Refrigerated Centrifuge, Light Microscope, pH Meter
Gel Electrophoresis Station, Photo documentation system fitted with trans-illuminator, Scintillation Counter for diagnosis of H. pylori infection using the Urea Breath Test (UBT)
Incubator, Micro-centrifuge, Plate centrifuge and Microwave Oven
StepOnePlus Real Time PCR System (Applied Biosystem), MJ Research PTC-200 Thermal Cycler, Mini Amp Plus Thermal Cycler
Ultra-low temperature refrigerator -80oC
Deep Freezer and Ultra-low temperature refrigerator -40oC