Department Philosophy:

Virus Epidemiology/Surveillance, Isolation and Characterization of Viruses of Medical and Economic Importance in Nigeria and Viral Chemotherapy.

This Department is the only full-fledged Department of Virology where graduate students are trained in basic and medical virology in Nigeria. Significantly, twelve viruses, most of which are arboviruses were isolated first in the world from this Department when it was well funded by the Rockefeller Foundation (1964 to early 70’s). Since the exit of the Rockefeller Foundation from the department, one globally recognized feat has also been achieved, that is, the isolation of HIV-1 IbNg strain (CRF02).  It is worth mentioning that this virus strain has been identified as the major HIV strain circulating across West Africa and a possible vaccine candidate for global HIV prophylactic vaccine for the sub region.

The Department is determined to isolate more viruses from her immediate community and to characterize them for development of vaccines, diagnostic reagents, antiviral drugs as well as for other research purposes. These studies will serve as training opportunities for both undergraduate and postgraduate students in Virology and other medical sciences. In addition, products of such research work are potential products for patents and could serve as source of revenue for the University in future.

From the aforementioned, the Department of Virology will FOCUS on the following research areas in the next 5 years:

Isolation and characterization of viruses of medical and economic importance from different parts of Nigeria. This is important for:

forecasting and prevention of outbreaks of viral infections in Nigeria.

Microbial banking of virus isolates required for development of prophylactic         vaccines, design of antiviral drugs and diagnostic reagents

Production of reagents for diagnosis of viral infections and research based on the nature and properties of the isolates.

Identification and evaluation of some natural compounds for anti-viral properties.

Contribute to public health in Nigeria through epidemiology, surveillance and outbreak response activities