Joseph O. Nwankwo

Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Brief Biography: Joseph O. Nwankwo is a Professor of Biochemistry and current Deputy Vice-Chancellor, PAMO University of Medical Sciences. He has a background in Molecular Biochemistry as applicable to Cancer Research. He obtained his first degree in Biochemistry from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 1977. After his appointment as a Graduate Assistant at University of Sokoto in 1978, he fortunately underwent an accelerated postgraduate programme from October, 1979 to 1982, skipping the M Sc, to obtain his doctorate degree in Biochemistry from Oxford University, England in August, 1982. He has at various times taught, Nucleic Acids, Molecular Oncology, Pharmacological Biochemistry, and Genetic Engineering at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels at Sokoto University (1982 – 1985); University of Ibadan (1985 – 1996); Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (2010 – 2013), Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike (2013 – 2022) and Ebonyi State University (2013 – 2014), in Nigeria.

In between these appointments and sometimes concurrently, he has received several international research fellowships beginning with a British Council Fellowship, tenable at Oxford University (1985); an International Cancer Research Technology Transfer Fellowship tenable at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (I.A.R.C.), Lyons, France (1986); a World Health Organization (WHO) Cancer Research Fellowship tenable at the Kenneth Norris Cancer Centre, University of S. California, Los Angeles, USA (1989 – 1990), further extended by the host institution for two more years (1990 – 1992); a National Institute of Health (N.I.H., USA) Grant (NHLBI Number HL 49264: 2000 – 2002); and a N.I.H (Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award) Fellowship: 2002 – 2004; to study transcriptional regulation of the human FADS2 gene, both tenable at the Biochemistry Department, University of Iowa, Iowa State, USA. He was also a Research Scientist in Surgical Oncology, University of Wisconsin Medical School and the Comprehensive Cancer Center, Madison, Wisconsin (2005 – 2008) and Visiting Scholar: Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, (July/August, 2014). His penultimate appointment was as a pioneering Head of the Department of Medical Biochemistry (2014 – 2017), Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences at the Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State, having previously served as the Director, The Centre for Molecular Biosciences and Biotechnology at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (2010 – 2013).

He has published widely in his area of research expertise and in such international journals as: “Anticancer Research”, “European Journal of Cancer Prevention”, “Oral Oncology”, “Advances in Cancer Prevention”, etc. He is sole author of two books titled: “Potential anticancer and antiviral agents from West African phytochemicals”, UNN Press; 193 pages. ISBN: 978-978-53040-4-6 (July, 2011) and the second titled: “Potential human carcinogenic and anticancer agents from phytochemicals of West Africa. University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) Press; 213 pages. ISBN: 978-978-57170-3-7. He was a member of the American Association for Cancer Research (from 1990); American Association for the Advancement of Science (from 2002); The Nigerian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (from 1987); and The Science Association of Nigeria: Life Member (Council Member: 1984-1988). He holds a US joint patent for the phospholipid ether analog NM404, which radiolabel (I*-NM404), is a novel tumor-selective, diagnostic imaging and therapeutic agent for human cancers (United States Patent # 07632644, Celectar, December, 2009). He has been External Examiner for Ph D theses at the University of Ibadan, 2012, 2014 and the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2023, 2024. External Examiner for the 2nd MBBS professional examinations at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2023 and 2024. External Assessor for Professorial promotion, Ebonyi State University, 2011. Editorial Board member for Nigerian Journal of Biotechnology (From 2017) and Cancer Research Science & Therapies Journal (From 2019). He was a member of Nigerian Universities Commission Accreditation Panel to evaluate the biochemistry programmes in the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State and the University of Africa, Toru-Orua, Bayelsa State, Nigeria; December 5th – December 10th, 2021

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