The Vice Chancellor of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria, Prof Igbekele Ajibefun, was Thursday last week honoured with the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the University of Ibadan Alumni Association Ondo State Branch.
In a chat with the media after receiving the award which ceremony was held at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Professor Ajibefun expressed gratitude to the organizers for counting him worthy of the award.
Prof. Ajibefun, who said he was proud of what the UI Alumni Association has been doing, described alumni associations as veritable partners in the progress of higher institutions.
He urged ex-students to always give back to their alma maters.
Prof Ajibefun said, “It is obvious that governments can no longer adequately fund tertiary education. Therefore, it is high time every alumnus played critical roles in the development of his or her alma mater.”
He stressed the need for alumni to get involved in the provision of significant structural and other critical needs of higher institutions.
The Vice Chancellor was honoured along with other distinguished alumni, including a former Vice Chancellor of FUTA, Professor Adebisi Balogun, who delivered the Alumni Lecture; the Vice Chancellor of that institution, Professor Joseph Fuwape; and the Registrar of the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, Dr. (Mrs.) E.F. Oyebade.
AAUA Develops Drugs for Diabetes, Lassa Fever
Researchers in Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria, are on the verge of what could be a groundbreaking discovery of global proportion as they have developed a drug that has been proved effective in curing diabetes, while the first phase of producing a cure for the dreaded Lassa Fever has been completed.
The Director of AAUA’s Bio-Computing and Drug Development Centre, Dr Olaposi Omotuyi, dropped the hint on Monday last week during a public lecture entitled, Pharmacologic Strategy against Lassa Virus (Arenavirus) Targeting Human Pre-protein Convertase Site 1 Protease Upstream Glycoprotein Cleavage Pathway.
According to the Lecturer, Dr. Omotuyi, the diabetes drug was derived from indigenous plants and has proved potent in lowering high blood sugar level within few days of oral administration of the herbal drug.
He said, “We have developed a herbal medicine with strong potentials to cure diabetes, not just manage it like current drugs. The data we have as at now is that the herbal drug is able to regenerate damaged pancreas.
“We have been screening some local plants since 2015 and we have screened over 40 that have strong anti-diabetic properties. After extracting such properties, we divided them into components and tested them on laboratory animals whose blood sugar level was 500mg per deciliter before the experiment.
“After seven short days of oral administration of 10mg per kilogramme body weight, we were pleasantly surprised when we were able to completely bring down the hitherto high blood sugar level to less than 100mg per deciliter that continued for 28 days of no further administration of the drug.
“We have tested it in all the laboratories that we know. What remains now is to test same on humans. So, we have finished all the work and we now want to go into tablet production. We even have a name for it already. It will be called Diabeprem.
“As if that impending feat was not enough, the Centre has also completed the first phase of producing a cure for the dreaded Lassa Fever. Dr. Omotuyi explained that the first phase involved testing the drug that was wholly developed in the laboratories of Adekunle Ajasin University on infected human cells in tests carried out in conjunction with Winnipeg University in Canada.
“That means that if we have an outbreak of Lassa Fever in about two years’ time, our drug could be among the experimental ones to be used, Dr. Omotuyi said.”
AAUA Becoming Research Hub in Nigeria – Minister
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has affirmed the rising profile of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria, as a citadel of knowledge that has become the hub of scientific and technological development researches in Nigeria.
Dr. Onu said this feat necessitated the choice of the University as the South-West Centre for National Bio-technology Development.
The Minister made the confirmation on AAUA campus on Monday last week at a Stakeholders’ Workshop on Application of Bio-Informatics Tools in Drug Design, Discovery and Development, organized by the Centre for Genomics Research and Innovation, National Bio-Technology Development Agency (CGRI/NABDA) in collaboration with the Centre for Bio-Computing and Drug Development, Adekunle Ajasin University.
Dr. Onu, who was represented by Pharmacist Abayomi Oguntunde, said, “I’m highly impressed by the quality of research in this University. I never knew that we have gone this far in Nigeria, especially coming from Adekunle Ajasin University.
“I must say that the newer and younger universities are doing better in the area of research activities than some of the older ones; probably because they are putting in more efforts or that the young researchers are putting in more efforts and dynamism than the older professors who seem to have lost all motivation for further researches.”
The Minister, however, urged collaboration between government-owned research centres and universities in order to achieve the desired goals of national scientific and technological development.
He also called for researches aimed at solving identified societal problems and a strong collaboration with local industries and entrepreneurs in order to avoid the pitfall of local industries not taking advantage of the results from research centres and the universities.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Igbekele Ajibefun, who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Prof. Olugbenga Ige, had noted that ground-breaking research is inevitable to developing the society.
He said AAUA would leave no stone unturned in engaging in researches that would solve societal problems.