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NAS honours gold medal co-winners


[FILE] President of Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS), Prof. Mosto Onuoha (left); Winner of the NAS Gold award for invention, Dr. Emmanuel Unuabonah and Chair, Science Prize Committee, NAS, Prof. Gabriel Ogunmola, at the induction of fellows and presentation of 2017 NAS Gold Medal/ Medalist’s lecture, held in Abuja.

The President of the Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS), Prof. Mosto Onuoha has commended Nigerian scientists for their excellent research prowess that has put the country in the forefront of global recognition.

Speaking at the official presentation of the 2018 NAS gold medal for life sciences to the three distinguished Nigerian scientists, who were co-winners for the year 2018, Prof. Onuoha said their achievements were of local relevance to the problems of African region that has internal resonance of high-level scientific knowledge.

The winners include Dr. Emmanuel Oluwadare Balogun, Faculty of Life Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof. Wasiu Lanre Adeyemo of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, and Prof. Temidayo Olusade Ogundiran of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.

Prof. Onuoha paid glowing tributes to the dons for their significant scientific achievements in using cutting-edge and expertise of basis of Cleft and Palate (CLP) in sub-Sahara Africa, describing it as “an original contribution to the understanding genetic disparity in cancer between people of African descent and other areas.”

In his citation, Prof. Adeyemo was noted for his research accomplishment in the area of molecular genetics of the environmental aetiology of cleft up and palate (CLP) and craniofacial defects. Adeyemo’s research has also promoted collaborative activities between University of Lagos, University of Iowa, University of Pittsburgh, University of Dundee and other African Universities.

He added: “Professor Adeyemo and his research group have taken several giant steps towards understanding the genetics causes of non-syndrome clefts in Nigeria and African populations.”

Dr. Emmanuel Balogun was noted in his citation as his expertise cuts across the life sciences and focused on molecular parasitology, structural biology and genomics which was applicable for drug discovery studies against African-endemic tropical diseases.

According to the citation, Dr. Balogun and his research group discovered that, “midgut of mosquitoes contain a 45.kDA glycoprotein that is capable of killing trypanosomes, These has led to ongoing efforts in Germany towards producing transgenic tsetse flies containing the mosquito glycoprotein as a means of biological control of the endemic disease.”

Citation of Prof. Temidayo Ogundana showed that his research work focuses on breast cancer as a genetically heterogeneous disease with polygenic pattern of inheritance.Prof. Ogundiran and his team’s cumulative work led to the development of the Nigerian Breast Cancer Risk Prediction Model as a Public health tool for breast cancer control, prevention and early detection in sub-Sahara Africa.

NAS Science Prize Committee Chairman, Prof. Gabriel Ogunmola said that the NAS gold award which came with a certificate, a gold medal and a pulse was the highest honour that the Academy would bestow on a Nigerian scientist in recognition of his or her work, adding that the award was in two categories which is given in alternate years, which he said is physical sciences and life sciences.

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