Philosophy, Objectives and Scope of Programme
The Department of Biochemistry aims at producing graduate biochemists who are not only equipped with knowledge in all the modern aspects of the discipline, but are also aware of the particular needs of Nigeria in particular and African in general in the area of their specialty. Thus the degree programme lays much stress on such locally important topics as nutrition and food science; the biochemistry of the soil and of locally significant micro-organisms; basis of chemotherapy, including African traditional medicine; human biochemical genetics particularly with respect to the West African sub-region; Lipids and lipoproteins and environmental Biochemistry in particular, the emphasis on meeting the needs of the environment is reflected in the inclusion of a Research Project on a local biochemical topic as one of the compulsory courses in the final year of every Biochemistry students.
For the Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry, the courses offered extend over a period of three years for direct entry students, and four years for students who gain admission through the entrance examination.
Direct entry candidates are required to have obtained the General Certificate of Education at Advanced Level or the Higher School Certificate at Principal Level in Chemistry, Biology (Botany or Zoology) and Physics plus Credit levels in Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Mathematics and English Language in the West African School Certificate or its equivalent, at the point of entry.
Entrance Examination candidates must possess passes at credit levels in Biology, Chemistry Physics, Mathematics and English Language in the West African School Certificate or its equivalent at the point of entry. Students from other departments who wish to take courses in Biochemistry should have attained at least credit standard in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Elementary Mathematics in the West African School Certificate or attained a similar standard at an equivalent examination. Transfer students from other departments must possess the departmental basic qualification at the point of first admission in their respective departments.
There is an acute shortage of biochemists at present to study the soils, fertilizers, feedstuffs, insecticides, plant and animal hormones, plant growth-regulators, herbicides, etc., particularly with special regard to the West African sub-region. Biochemical knowledge is lacking with regard to plant and animal nutrition and disease, the biochemical aspects of the germination, growth ripening and spoilage of fruits and crops, and several other such topics which are vitally important to agriculture and veterinary science in West Africa.
There is also a desperate need for trained personnel to conduct studies on tropical products of economic significance (such as hides and skin, commercially important natural fibres, timbers, gums, resins and other forest products), with particular reference to the biochemical problems connected with their production, utilization, storage, biodeterioration, etc., local industrial undertaking GSP, particularly those based on raw materials obtained from animal, plant and microbial sources (such as those industries concerned with foods beverages, cosmetics pharmaceutical, etc) are bound to need increasing numbers of biochemists in their product-development and quality-control laboratories. The opportunities outlined here are additional to the traditional areas in which Biochemists are needed including the Petrochemical Industry.
Courses in the programme are grouped into eleven stress areas as follows:
1. General Biochemistry and Bioinformatics
2. Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
3. Medical Biochemistry
4. Enzymology and Protein Biochemistry
5. Plant, Food and Nutritional Biochemistry
6. Lipid and Lipoprotein Biochemistry
7. Pharmacological Biochemistry and Toxicology
8. Immunology and Immunochemistry
9. Membrane Bioenergetics and Environmental Biochemistry
10. Biochemical Methods
11. Seminar/ Project
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