History of the Department
Michael Okpara University of Agriculture formerly Federal University of Agriculture was established in 1993. Following the creation of Universities of Agriculture in 1991 Ediet No 48 of the Federal Government of Nigeria. The B.Sc. Biochemistry started in the Department of Chemical Sciences in November, 1998 Regular classes started on 15th January 1999 with the first batch of ten students. Course instruction started with two full time academic staff members, Prof. O.C. Ohaeri then a Senior Lecturer and Mr Pipi a graduate assistant Prof.. E. I. Akubugwo was then on visiting capacity.
In 2001 Prof.. Ifeoma Irene Ijeh a Senior lecturer and Prof. P.N. Okafor a Senior Lecturer joined the Department as full time academic staff. Also in the same year Mr. J. Okwo and Mr. E.C. Nwaiwu both senior Technologist were employed. Mrs. C.C. Onwukwe and Mr. Uchenna Ariwa were employed as Senior Lab assistant and Lab Attendant respectively. Professor O.U. Njoku of UNN did a sabbatical with the Department in the 2003/2004 session.
The Department was upgraded to the status of an independent Department in 2004 following which it had an NUC accreditation visitation in June 2005 and was granted interim accreditation status. In 2007, NUC accreditation team granted the department full accreditation.
The Department has actively participated in all the activities of the Nigerian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. It successfully hosted the 4th Annual Zonal Symposium of the Society held on 8th June 2006. The symposium was attended by over 50 lecturers and 200 students from across the south East Zone.
The Department has since grown from an initial Academic Staff strength of Nine to Twenty Five, all are full-time staff. The Department has 5 Professors. All are on full time appointment, One Associate professor, 4 Senior Lecturers, 3 Lecturers II, 8 Assistant Lecturers and 4 Graduate Assistants. The Department had been headed by several eminent lecturers, Prof. Yusuf Ndukaku Omeh as the current head of the department.
Objective of the Department
From the start, the objectives of the Department were clearly outlined as part of the general philosophy of the University. The Department has thus offered courses of instruction to students of Agriculture/Chemistry, Biological Sciences and basic Veterinary Medicine at the undergraduate levels.
The Department aims at producing graduate Biochemists that are equipped in modern aspects of the discipline and aware of the needs of Nigeria and Africa in general in their area of specialty.
The Degree programme lays emphasis on such locally important topics as;
And the curriculum of the Department has been planned to respond to the needs of industries without dramatic changes in course contents.
Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) Programme
Such trained students in Biochemistry can thereafter work as;
The teaching of Biochemistry is spread through the second, third and fourth years of programme. Through these training programmes, the department contributes its rightful share in relieving the shortages of Agriculture, Veterinary and Paramedical Personnel competent teachers and research workers in Biochemistry.