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MICROBIOLOGY

History of the Department

Microbiology as a programme started under Biological Sciences in 1997/1998 academic session. Microbiology remained under Biological Sciences until 2004/2005 when it became an autonomous Department. The first graduates of Microbiology passed out in 2001/2002. They were six in number. Thereafter the graduands continued to increase in number. The Department had full accreditation in 2007.

Mission

The mission of the Department is to provide a broad exposure to the theory and practice of Microbiology, provide excellence in the areas of research and training, and educatestudents in various applications of Microbiology to achieve the vision of the Department and the University.

The Department is also committed to the training of her students to become professionally competent and confident graduates with exquisite dexterity for the betterment of Nigeria.

Vision

Microbiology is a broad discipline that involves the study of the biology of bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoa. Microbiology impacts upon a wide range of areas including, human and animal health, the environment, food technology and safety, as well as the biotechnology industry.

The course has diverse focal points

  • the pathogenic potential of the organisms that cause disease in man in terms of their ecology, biochemistry, physiology and genetics
  • the use of microbes in industrial applications for the production of foods and natural products, such as vitamins, as well as their rapidly expanding role in biotechnology and genetic engineering studies
  • the areas of biotechnology, bioenergy, agriculture and food production, microbes are continually exploited for the benefit of man. Microbiologists are needed to do the research required for the future battle against diseases worldwide and to exploit microbes in the production of food.
  • Microbiology at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike is concerned with the study of microorganisms, their diversity, structure, molecular biology, and how they interact with humans, other living organisms and the environment in both harmful and beneficial ways. As an applied biological science, Microbiology deals with many important practical problems in medicine, agriculture, biodegradation, bioenergy production and food industries. Microbiology is at the hearth of biotechnology industries. Students pursuing a programme in Microbiology will have opportunity to take course work related to these important areas.

    The Department is dedicated to the University’s vision which aims to provide knowledge through which food and security will be assured. Hence the motto: ‘Knowledge, Food and Security’

    Philosophy of the Department

    The philosophy of the Department has been designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the concept of microorganisms in relationship to mankind and the environment.

    >The importance of microorganisms in the industrial, health and environmental sectors is highlighted by the programme and in conjunction with the relevant training in ancillary courses/programmes, the Department produces quality graduates with broad-based knowledge in Microbiology, graduates that can be self-employed or take up employment and compete successfully with their peers locally and internationally.

    Objective of the Department

  • To produce graduates who would be well equipped for employment in Medical, Veterinary and Agricultural laboratories, in the food and beverage industries as process managers or as quality control personnel, in pharmaceutical industries, as medical representatives, in government institutions such as quality controllers in water corporations, food and drug administration or standard organization. The programme would give the students a level of knowledge and proficiency on the bench required for work in any standard laboratory or institution in the world.
  • To help students develop skills and be well equipped to teach in schools or lecture and/or research in universities and research institutes.
  • To provide manpower that would contribute positively to the different life endeavours where microbiologists are in demand.
  • To produce graduates of Microbiology with the competence and dexterity in any of the following areas for self-development as :
  • Food Microbiologist
  • Medical Microbiologist
  • Environmental Microbiologist
  • Industrial Microbiologist
  • Virologist
  • Mycologist
  • Consultant microbiologist
  • Prepare students of Microbiology for the postgraduate studies covering the different disciplines in Microbiology.
  • Produce graduates who will be scientifically equipped and be able to translate scientific knowledge into technology that can address the needs of the society in different areas such as health sector, environment, Biotechnology, food industry and agriculture etcetera.
  • Scope

    To achieve the above objectives, students are exposed to core and requiredcourses in the main areas of medical, industrial, food and environmental Microbiology. Students are also exposed to ancillary courses in Chemistry, Physics, Biochemistry, Botany, Zoology, Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Sciences to enable them get enough background knowledge in basic science and information technology to have a rational approach to the chosen field of study. Furthermore, students are exposed to General Courses and Entrepreneurship studies both of which broaden the knowledge of the students, thus enabling them to be effective and responsive in the global society. The industrial training programme done in the third year affords the students practical experience in the field. This helps to prepare the student for a career in applied Microbiology.