Instrumental Access 2018
University of Ibadan: Department of Veterinary Pharmacology & Toxicology
Meet the Department
Founded in 1948, the University of Ibadan (UI) is Nigeria’s oldest and most prestigious public university.
The Department of Veterinary Pharmacology & Toxicology is one of the newest additions to UI, having been split off from another part of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in 2017. Charged with continuing with veterinary pharmacology and expanding into veterinary toxicology, the faculty is small but growing rapidly. The department offers multiple graduate degree programs as well as foundational teaching for undergraduate veterinary students.
The department aims to help regulate traditional medicine and improve patient care through scientific verification of medicinal plants. They are also seeking ways to make administration of traditional medicine safer, including identifying contraindications and determining proper dosage.
"I see myself strategically located as a pharmacologist to get the much-needed drugs developed from our indigenous medicinal plants that have worked locally for centuries."Dr. Olayinka Oridupa, Senior Lecturer, University of Ibadan
In Pursuit of New Drugs to Fight Hypertension: Dr. Olayinka Oridupa
Many Nigerians depend on traditional healers and remedies to treat illness in people and animals. Some have no other options. Others simply prefer the medicinal plants that have been used for centuries over modern alternatives.
Olayinka Oridupa, DVM, PhD, a senior lecturer at the University of Ibadan, aims to make traditional medicine safer and more effective while also using it as a source of inspiration for drug discovery.
Dr. Oridupa is especially interested in medicinal plants effective against diseases associated with inflammation such as diabetes, hypertension, and cancer.
"The fact that I can make cures or treatment for diseases that are becoming a menace to my people is a driving force for me," she explains.
One of Dr. Oridupa's current research projects focuses on anti-hypertensive properties of two plants that are used worldwide: soursop, a tropical fruit of Central American origin, and tumeric, a plant related to ginger whose rhizomes produce the bright yellow spice that gives characteristic flavor and color to Indian and other cuisines.
Preliminary results suggest that extracts from both plants may reduce oxidative damage from hypertension in rats.
The next step will be to purify the extracts and isolate the compounds responsible for the observed effects—a process that will require an HPLC and other equipment that Dr. Oridupa is hoping to receive through Instrumental Access.
An HPLC will also be pivotal to another of Dr. Oridupa's research projects: monitoring for traces of antibiotics and other drugs in food products derived from animals.
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