Prof Oyewale Tomori: Multiple-Award-Winning Professor of Virology

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Professor Oyewale Tomori is a multiple-award-winning specialist in human, zoonotic and veterinary viruses including the poliomyelitis virus and immediate-past president of the Nigerian Academy of Science and former Vice-Chancellor of Redeemer’s University, Nigeria.

He is a Fellow of the Academy of Science of Nigeria, a Fellow of the College of Veterinary Surgeons of Nigeria, and a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists of the United Kingdom.

Professor Oyewale Tomori
Professor Oyewale Tomori

Professor Tomori received his DVM from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and his Ph.D. in Virology from the University of Ibadan.

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He became the Head of the Department of Virology at the University of Ibadan in 1984, leading research efforts that investigated viral infections, such as Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, Lassa Fever, Yellow Fever, and Marburg in various African countries. In 1994, he was appointed as the Regional Virologist for the WHO Africa Region.

During the ten year tenure with the WHO, he set up the African Regional Polio Laboratory Network, comprising of 16 laboratories, providing diagnostic support to the global polio eradication initiative. The Network was a forerunner of other regional diagnostic laboratory networks for measles, yellow fever, and other viral hemorrhagic fevers.

Professor Oyewale Tomori serves on several advisory bodies including the Board of the BioVaccines Limited in Nigeria, WHO Africa Regional Polio Certification Committee, WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Polio Certification Committee, WHO Advisory Committee on Variola Virus Research, WHO Polio Research Committee, WHO Group of Experts on Yellow Fever Disease and the International Steering Committee of the International Consortium on Anti-Virals, ICAV, Canada.

Professor Tomori’s research interests include a wide range of human viruses, and zoonotic and veterinary viruses including the Yellow fever virus, the Lassa fever virus, the poliomyelitis virus, the measles virus, the Ebola virus and a hitherto unknown virus, the Orungo virus, which he elucidated the properties of and registered with the International Committee of Virus Taxonomy.

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This discovery is considered an outstanding contribution to the discipline of virology. Professor Oyewale Tomori is recognized as one of Africa’s frontline Lassa fever researchers.

He received in 2002, the Nigerian National Order of Merit, (NNOM), the country’s highest award for academic and intellectual attainment and national development.

He was recognized, in 1981, by the American CDC, with the United States’ Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Service Certificate for contribution to Lassa Fever Research, and in 1990 he was awarded the Nigeria National Ministry of Science and Technology Merit Award for excellence in medical research.

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