Professor Timothy Oyebode Olagbemiro was born in Jos, Plateau State
on 10th February 1948. He
attended the Baptist Day School, Jos, from 1954 to 1960, Baptist High School,
Jos, between 1961 and 1966 where he obtained the Secondary School Certificate
with Division I. He then attended Olivet Baptist
High School, Olivet Heights,
Oyo in 1967.
Professor Olagbemiro received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry
from Stetson University,
– DeLand, Florida,
U.S.A in 1971, and from thence went to Fisk
University, Nashville, Tennessee
and Howard University, Washington D.C., where he graduated in 1972 and 1976
with the Degrees of Master of Arts in Chemistry and the Doctor of Philosophy in
Chemistry, respectively. Upon graduation
from Howard in 1976, he received the U.S.A National Science Foundation
post-doctoral award at the same University, working on bioinorganic compounds
of medicinal importance, before proceeding to take up up a teaching appointment
at one of his alma mater, Fisk
University, at the later
part of the year. He was on a tenured
track appointment as Assistant Professor of Chemistry.
From June 1977 to September 1978, Professor Olagbemiro joined the
Medicinal Division, Laderle Laboratories, American Cyanamid Company, Pearl River, New
York, working as Research Chemist, first at the
Infectious Disease Research Section and subsequently at the Cardiovascular
Central Nervous System Research Section.
During this period, he synthesized a variety of organic compounds of
medicinal importance, a majority of which has since been patented as antituberculosis and antipsychotic lead compounds by the
American Cyanamid Company.
In October 1978, he returned to Nigeria
to join the Chemistry staff of Bayero University, Kano,
rising in five years from the rank of Lecturer I in 1978 to Reader in
1983. In October 1984, he was appointed
to the chair of Chemistry Department at the Abubakar Tafawa
Bauchi, where he taught Chemistry at the Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels.
Over the last twenty-eight years,
Professor Olagbemiro’s research work focused on developing novel strategies for
the control of pest insects of human (Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes)
and plant-sucking (Heteropteras) pests of Agriculture in Nigeria, through the
isolation, identification and synthesis of varieties of semiochemicals which
are derived from and employed by theses pests for communication viz. host
location, attractant, repellent, trail marking, mate location etc. Aspects of
this pioneering pest insect control strategy in Nigeria continue to receive
scientific attention as these established synthetic pheromones contribute
towards the search for solution to the problems of vectors of some human
pathogens (mosquitoes), as well as increased food production. Professor Olagbemiro is a recipient of
numerous awards, grants and fellowships as a mark of his distinctive and
brilliant career as an outstanding scholar.
Among the several awards, grants and fellowships accorded him are: The
Stetson University Dean’s List and Honours Roll (1969, 1970 and 1971) for
academic excellence, the Omicron Delta Kappa award at graduation in 1971 for
outstanding service to the University community, the United States
National Science Foundation (NSF) award for postgraduate and post doctoral
Fellowships, the British Council research grant for over fifteen years, the
International Foundation for Science award for a period of eight years, the
Third World Academy of Science Research Award, the Association of
Commonwealth-US Carnegie research award, and the Wellcome Trust, U.K. Senior
Scientist and Research Development award for collaborative research initiative
with IACR-Rothamsted Experimental Station, Harpenden, U. K.. He has served as
Visiting Research Professor at Howard University, Washington, D.C. USA;
International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), Nairobi,
of Alagoas, Brazil,
South America; University of Wales, College
of Cardiff, Cardiff,
New Castle Upon Tyne, Nottingham University, Nottingham and Rothamsted Experimental
Station, Harpenden, all in the UK.
Professor Olagbemiro collaborates with scientists in Nigeria,
UK, East Africa and Europe, and has over the years through these linkages
attracted several research grants in form of teaching and research equipment,
books as well as scientists and technologists of international repute to
Nigerian Universities where he had served. He is a Fellow of the Chemical
Society of Nigeria, as well as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Chemists
of Nigeria. In March, 2007, he received the Prestigious 2007 Distinguished
Alumni Award of his alma mater, Stetson
University, Deland, Florida, USA. He became the first non-white
to be so honoured by the University. He is Vice-Chancellor of Bowen University
(of the Nigerian Baptist Convention) and the current Chairman, Committee of
Vice-Chancellors and Registrars of Private Universities in Nigeria.
Professor Olagbemiro also excelled
in sports, having been awarded the Stetson University, U.S.A, Hall of Fame
membership in 1990 for his outstanding leadership qualities and achievement in
sports. He was also listed as All
American and Outstanding College Athlete of America as well as a Fellow of the
Christian Athlete of America (1969, 1970 & 1971).
Professor Olagbemiro belongs to several Scientific and Professional
organizations amongst which are: Chemical Association of Nigeria, American
Chemical Society, Science Association of Nigeria, the New York Academy of
Science and Society for Chemical Ecology.
Professor Olagbemiro is also a Fellow of the Chemical Society of Nigeria
as well as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria. His leisure hours are spent in reading and
insect watching. He enjoys the game of
football and he is married and blessed with five children.
*(1) Holy Fire, New Scientist,
pp23, 2nd October 1999.
*(2) New Anti-Mosquito Chemical Discovered,
BBC NEWS, 7:46 GMT, Sept 30,