About the Specialized Equipment Centre (SEC)
The Specialized Equipment Centre (SEC) of Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi (FUAM) is one of the Centres of the University established to provide workstead for Laboratory instruments/equipment services and maintenance. The overarching goal of the SEC is to achieve sustainable functional laboratory equipment systems to support research and effective teaching in science, agriculture and technology (SAT). Currently, the Centre is in its building made up of the administration office section, designated lab sections and a mini conference hall for training and technical sessions.
Functions of the Specialized Equipment Centre (SEC)
The SEC is envisioned to be a place for laboratory equipment maintenance, and training for capacity building in the use, operation, and liaising with appropriate tech companies when instruments/equipment need routine maintenance or repair.
The specific functions of the SEC are to:
- Serve as a hub for specialized high-tech instruments/equipment and available to all Departments of the University.
- Organize periodic in-house training workshops for technical staff (technicians, technologists and researchers/academics on the use, operation and maintenance of specific laboratory instruments/equipment for teaching/practicals and research works.
- Organize training workshops open to external organizations, institutions or universities for capacity building of technical staff in the use, operation and maintenance of specific laboratory/field equipment for practicals and research in science, agriculture and technology disciplines.
- Participate in the procurement and installation of a laboratory equipment in the University to avoid possible short-changing of the University by contractors/suppliers and so, control cases of non-functionality or abandonment of laboratory or workshop equipment due to inadequate parts or incomplete accessories.
- Ensure functionality, refurbishment and routine maintenance and repair when needed, of laboratory equipment in academic Departments and Centres in order to facilitate teaching/practicals and research.
- Adapt instruments/equipment with necessary modifications to suit our local environment.
- Develop new instruments/equipment from conception to design, fabrication and testing for laboratory/field use in FUAM and eventual marketing after patenting.
Administration of the SEC
Director: Professor John Ogbaji IGOLI, FCSN
Professor John O. Igoli is the Director of SEC. He is a professor of natural products chemistry. He obtained his B.Sc. in Pure and Industrial Chemistry from the University of Nigeria Nsukka. He thereafter obtained a Master’s degree in organic chemistry and a Ph.D. in the same area specializing in natural products chemistry and organic spectroscopy, respectively. He was a Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland from 2008 to 2014.
Professor Igoli has over 15 years’ experience in natural products research involving chromatographic separation, spectroscopic analysis, structure elucidation and drug discovery from natural resources. He has over 105 scientific publications based on his experience in ethnobotany, bioactivity screening of extracts and compounds, organic synthesis, isolation of natural compounds using chromatographic techniques and structure elucidation of natural and synthetic compounds using spectroscopic techniques. He has been invited by many Universities in Thailand, Malaysia, Malawi, South Africa and Nigeria to speak on traditional medicine, drug discovery from natural products and the isolation and structure elucidation of natural compounds. He has organized and participated in several spectroscopic workshops on the interpretation and structure elucidation of organic compounds using 1D and 2D NMR, IR, UV and Mass spectrometry. He has obtained fellowships, research and travel grants from DAAD/OPCW, IFS, NHS GGC, RSC, CRUK, IFAH, CADFP and the Wellcome Trust.
He has mentored and supervised many PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. He was the natural product track-one researcher for a CRUK prostate cancer drug discovery project and an Instructor for a Wellcome Genome Campus training of drug discovery where he handled the natural products approaches to drug discovery.
Professor Igoli is well renowned for his expertise in extraction, chromatographic separation and structure elucidation of natural compounds. He has isolated and characterized numerous novel compounds and assayed them for antimalarial and antirypanosomal activities. He carried out the first comprehensive study on selected Nigerian plants for antitrypanosomal activity from which compounds showing activities at nanomolar concentrations were identified. He isolated a novel taccanololide from Tacca leontopetaloides which showed promising antitrypanosomal activity and a novel cyclopropane fatty acid from Monodora tenuifolia, the first from a Nigerian plant. Professor Igoli solved a 50-year-old puzzle by being the first to purify the four components of the trypanocidal drug Isometamedium or Samorin. He generated the first spectral data for these compounds and went ahead to show that the mixture was more active than the individual components.
Professor Igoli pioneered research on Nigerian propolis and carried out the first chemical characterization and profiling of samples from Nigeria isolating a novel compound named Riverinol after Rivers State Nigeria from where the sample was collected. He also reported for the first time the activity of Nigerian propolis against trypanosomiasis or sleeping sickness. He is a Fellow of Chemical Society of Nigeria
Deputy Director: Dr. Christopher Oche ECHE
The Director of SEC is being deputized by Dr. Christopher O. ECHE. He is an astute crop health expert with specialization in Plant Nematology and Genomics. Dr. Eche has a vast experience in laboratory and field research and has being involved in collaborative research, engaging with farmers and clienteles through extension activities. He served as the Project Focal Person (PFP) over a period of four years for FUAM in the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) project dubbed “Increasing Groundnut Productivity in Mali, Ghana and Nigeria” (2015 to 2018) and as the field/biometrician on the “Cassava Weed Management in Nigeria” funded by the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation between 2014 and 2016. He also consults for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Fadama III Project and USAIFA Farms, Abuja among other private farms in north-central Nigeria.
Over the years He has been involved in the optimization of protocols for determination of aflatoxin contamination in groundnut, ginger and sesame. He is well-travelled and exposed to latest technologies for optimization of field-based and screenhouse production systems as well laboratory analytical procedures.
Dr. Eche is an alumnus of a number of institutions including Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; Ghent University, Belgium; Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta; Ohio State University, Columbus, USA, Shenyang Agricultural University, China and Wageningen University, Netherlands. He is a Mandela Washington Fellow (MWF) with expertise in (i) Agro-allied Research and Teaching (ii) Analytics in Applied Bioscience and Genetics (iii) Supply and Value Chain Analysis, (iv) Systems Dynamics: Modeling and Simulation, (v) Project Management and Evaluation and (vi) Data Management and Processing.
Specialized Equipment Centre,
Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi
Phone: +234 813 099 1308
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com