Department of Biochemistry University of Ibadan

The Department of Biochemistry was a part of the Department of Physiology in the Faculty of Medicine from the beginning of this University. In 1955 Dr. O. Bassir, a biochemist with special interest in Nutritional Biochemistry, joined the staff of Physiology as Head of the Sub-Department of Biochemistry.

The Department assumed the status of a full Department in 1960. A chair in biochemistry was created in 1962 and Dr. O. Bassir was the first occupant. Thus Dr. O. Bassir became foundation Professor and Head of Department of Biochemistry; a position he held until retirement from University service in 1979. Since the retirement of Professor Bassir, and following the creation of multiple Professorships in academic departments, newly promoted Professors have headed the Department with equal zeal and commitment as their predecessor.

Although, the Department had developed with emphasis on Nutritional Biochemistry from its inception, its philosophy has since widened considerably and areas of teaching and research had been expanded to include Biotechnology; Brewing; Drug Metabolism and Toxicology; Forensic Biochemistry; Membrane Biochemistry; Microbial Chemistry and Fermentation; Molecular Biology and Oncology.

Today, postgraduate teaching and research in the Department has been re-organized into four broad academic sections, namely;

  • Cancer Research and Molecular Biology
  • Membrane Biochemistry and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Drug Metabolism and Toxicology
  • Nutritional and Industrial Biochemistry/Biochemical Toxicology

These four sections have been operational since 1984. The Cancer Research and Molecular Biology Unit is under the directorship of Dr. Oyeronke.A. Odunola while the Membrane Biochemistry and Biotechnology Unit is under the directorship of Professor O.O. Olorunsogo. The Molecular Drug Metabolism and Toxicology Unit is under the directorship of Professor E.O Farombi while the Nutritional and Industrial Biochemistry/Biochemical Toxicology Unit is under the directorship of Professor E.N. Maduagwu.


Professor Oyeronke A. Odunola
Professor Oyeronke A. Odunola

Professor Oyeronke A. Odunola is the Dean of the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Ibadan, Head of Department of the department of Biochemistry and Director of Research, Cancer Research and Molecular Biology Laboratories, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. She is the immediate past Director, Research Management Office, of the same University. She has also served the University as Hall Warden (Obafemi Awolowo and Queen Elizabeth II Halls) and as Acting Head of the Department of Biochemistry.

She obtained her BSc, MSc and PhD degrees in Biochemistry from University of Ibadan in 1984, 1986 and 1990 respectively. She emerged the best graduating student at both the B.Sc. and M.Sc. levels.

Prof. Odunola has thirty-three (33) years teaching and research experience in cancer research and molecular biology, environmental toxicology, immuno-oncology, bioinformatics, nutritional genomics and climate change. She also has expertise in research administration and management, and public engagement. She is a recipient of International Agency for Research on Cancer (1985) and African Petroleum (1989) Travel Grants, University of Ibadan Senate Research Grants (1996, 1999 & 2000). She led the teams that won the DFID, UK-funded Climate Impact Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement (CIRCLE) Implementation Grant for University of Ibadan (2017, 2018 & 2019).  In terms of capacity building, she has mentored and empowered several students and early career researchers, and has successfully supervised eight (8) PhD thesis, five (5) MPhil dissertations, one hundred and twenty-five (125) MSc dissertations and over two hundred (200) undergraduate projects.

Prof. Odunola has organised and coordinated several training workshops on manuscript writing, grantsmanship, data management and commercialization, researcher’s development and research ethics, mentoring, and research administration and financial management. She has also facilitated a couple of cancer awareness and screening programmes. She has over one hundred and thirty (130) publications in reputable peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings to her credit.

Prof. Odunola has served as External Examiner to several Universities in Nigeria and to University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa; University of South Africa, South Africa and University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana, and as External Assessor for University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana and University of Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana. She also served as a mentor on the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) programme.

Prof. Odunola is a member of the following learned societies: Science Association of Nigeria; Nigerian Society of Experimental Biology (NISEB); West African Research and Innovation Management Association (WARIMA); African Society of Drosophillists (ASD); the Society of Toxicology (SOT), USA, Society of Research Administrators International (SRAI), (USA) and Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSDW). She is an honorary Fellow of the Chemical Society of Nigeria, Kwara Chapter.