Instrumental Access 2018
Lead City University: Department of Microbiology
Meet the Department
Lead City University is a government-approved private university in Nigeria with a focus on vocational and professional education. The student body is 70% female. The Department of Microbiology aims to prepare students for careers in medical microbiology, food safety, and academics. Offerings include a BSc and a new Master’s program.
Research priorities at Lead City include antimicrobial resistance, herbal medicines, and repurposing agricultural waste for use as animal feed.
"Equipment will help us achieve our goals of being a department and an institution with a strong research presence in Nigeria, Africa, and the whole world."Dr. Bukola Bamkefa, Head of the Department of Microbiology, Lead City University
Using Microbiology to Make Food More Affordable: Dr. Felicia Adesina
In a region where food insecurity is widespread, Dr. Felicia Adesina of Lead City University is working to make meat and eggs more affordable while simultaneously addressing an environmental problem.
Her research focuses on using microbiology to turn agricultural wastes into food for farmed fish and chickens.
Dr. Adesina's team is using enzymes from fungi and bacteria to break down agricultural waste products like corn cobs, straw, and poultry feathers to the point where they can be digested by non-ruminant farm animals. The result would be cheaper animal feed as well as less waste requiring disposal via other means.
Because the high cost of animal feed helps to drive up the price of meat and eggs in Nigeria, cheaper animal feed should lead to increased production, cheaper food, and better nutrition.
“Cutting the cost of production for products derived from poultry and tilapia would make them easily affordable for the ordinary man that cannot afford them now,” says Dr. Adesina. “This will go a long way in solving food security issues in Nigeria."
An additional benefit from increased production could be a surplus of dried fish suitable for export, which would boost the local economy.
Dr. Adesina’s research takes advantage of the poultry and aquaculture farm recently established at Lead City University. Progress to date includes identification of nonpathogenic microbes capable of producing the enzymes necessary to break down agricultural waste products, as well as optimizing production at the laboratory scale.
"Receiving this equipment will enable me to focus on this research and help secure the future of millions of people," she says.
Equipment from Instrumental Access will help her to further characterize the genetic and molecular properties of the candidate organisms, enzymes, and feeds in preparation for trials with live animals.
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