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FUTA scholar wins international grant for genetic engineering, biotechnology research


Umah Muhammed
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A leading researcher at the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), Dr. Folashade Olajuyigbe, has won the 2020 International Research Grant from the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Collaborative Research Programme (ICGEB-CRP) Italy.

Olajuyigbe, a prolific scholar, who won the 2017 Fulbright African Research Scholar Programme (ARSP) award for advanced research in the United States for the 2017/2018 academic year, was awarded the grant, which was keenly contested by applicants from 50 ICGEB member countries at both national and international levels.

With the grant comes her designation as the Principal Investigator for the project titled ‘Enzymatic Analysis of the Cellulolytic System of Ligninolytic Stenotraphmonas sp. and Development of Bifunctional Chimeric Enzyme for Efficient Simultaneous Delignification and Saccharification of Lignocellulose Biomass’.

The research grant application was among the three shortlisted and endorsed by ICGEB liaison office, Abuja and was evaluated at ICGEB headquarters, Italy, based on a two-tier procedure by a committee of internationally recognised experts and peer review by independent external professionals.

The ICGEB-CRP grant covers purchase of equipment, consumables, training of researchers, travel and literature to ensure successful completion of proposed project, which has potentials for important outcomes on the environment and economy.

In a congratulatory letter conveying the award, ICGEB Director General, Dr. Lawrence Banks and Head of Fellowship Programme, Barbara Argenti, said
Olajuyigbe won the grant after a comparative evaluation of all submitted projects by a committee of 12 scientists of international standing, who found her project worthy of the grant and eligible for funding over a three-year period.

“We wish to congratulate you on receiving this grant and remain confident that your research will constitute a major contribution to the broader ICGEB scientific community,” the duo wrote in the letter.

The Vice Chancellor of FUTA, Professor Joseph Fuwape, has commended Olajuyigbe, an expert in Enzyme Biotechnology and Environmental Health, Department of Biochemistry, for doing the university and Nigeria proud.

He stated that the award would boost the image of the university, the country and spur other academics to achieve greater feats in their scholastic endeavours.

Fuwape assured that with her pedigree, Olajuyigbe would deliver the research project to the admiration of the international sponsors and other stakeholders and for the benefit of humanity.

ICGEB plays a key role in biotechnology worldwide for excellence in research, training and technology transfer to industry and its operations are aligned to those of the United Nations System. It was established as a project of the United Nations Industrial Development (UNIDO) in 1983. It has since evolved into a unique intergovernmental organisation with 46 state-of-the-art laboratories in different parts of the world.

Source: Guardian Nigerian Newspaper

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