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Department of Biochemistry

Welcome Message from The Head of Department- Biochemistry


Welcome and thank you for visiting the website of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Calabar- Nigeria’s premier tourism destination. The Department has deep committed to effective teaching and research at the highest standards in all areas of Biochemistry including the classical and contemporary aspects the Department of Biochemistry aims to endow students with the capability and confidence to take their places in the leadership ranks in the field of Biochemistry and indeed, life sciences. We strongly encourage you to go through our various web pages from where you will find out more information about our academic programs, research, staffing, courses and curriculum, and other activities.

The Department offers high-quality academic programs that lead to the award of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Biochemistry. We have a very diverse staff and students population, who are very satisfied with the range and quality of courses that we offer. The Department is well staffed with a cream of highly qualified and experienced academic, administrative and technical staff, who have a deep commitment and passion for teaching, mentoring, and research, thereby encouraging students to learn, acquire knowledge and skills, and consequently, develop enriching experience in both theoretical and practical aspects of Biochemistry research and applications. Our team of administrative and technical staff is very exceptional in coordinating laboratory courses and practicals and supporting the academic programs in the Department. The University has provided an inclusive, innovative, and intellectually stimulating environment for thriving academic work.

We are proud of the huge accomplishments of our great Alumni that are dominated by fulfilled and happy members, who are occupying excellent job positions in hospitals, universities, research institutes, industries, ministries, and industrialists. Their fulfillment and achievements have inspired all staff members to do their best to sustain our proud academic tradition of excellence in teaching and research. We are grateful to them for their contributions to the development and enrichment of our academic programs. 

We strongly appreciate this visit. If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, and feedback, kindly send them to us through any of our contact channels. We look forward to meeting you or your representative soon.

Thank you and best wishes.

Prof. Esien David-Oku

Head of Department

Mission / Vision / Philosophy / Objective


To produce high quality graduates and scholars in focal areas of learning with theoretical,practical and entepreneurial skills for the world of work in conducive environment through quality research and teaching.


To be a centre of excellence producing globally competitive graduates and contributing significantly to development through research.



The Department of Biochemistry is committed to effective teaching, instruction and research of the highest possible standards in many areas of Biochemistry to endow students with the capability and confidence required to take their places in the leadership ranks in the field of Biochemistry and indeed, Life Sciences.


Students will come away from the Department of Biochemistry with the knowledge and sensitivity to make a difference in the scientific scenes in Nigeria, to deal with problems whose solutions have lingered, and to contribute to their own well-being and have a sense of achievement.


The Department is a highly charged forum where ideas are disseminated, points of view exchanged, opinions defended and challenged in and out of the classroom, on and off the campus. The department is poised to produce graduates, who can be self-reliant and of high demand in today’s competitive labour market.



At inception the initial objectives of the Department were clearly outlined. The Department thus offered courses of instruction to majors, students of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Biological Sciences, Agricultural Sciences and Basic Medical Sciences at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels. Research on pure and applied Biochemistry forms an integral part of the academic activities. Through these training programmes, the Department is meant to contribute its rightful share in relieving the shortage of the medical and allied medical personnel, competent teachers and research/industry workers in Biochemistry.  



1.    To provide a comprehensive training in theoretical and practical biochemistry to students who having acquired the qualification can work as Graduate Assistant in Universities and other tertiary Institutions, or serve as biochemists in research institutes, industrial establishments or in-service laboratories of hospitals and companies.

2.    To provide a foundational training in theoretical and practical biochemistry that will make the students having acquired the qualifications, eligible for post-graduate studies leading to the award of M.Sc., M.Phil. or Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry and related fields.

3.  To provide sound education in the science of biochemistry to enable students acquire the techniques required by industries and other production sectors of the economy, including breweries, pharmaceutical industries, food industries, petrochemical industries, agricultural and research institutes.

4.  To provide the students with necessary background that will enable them to discover new and relevant techniques in biochemistry and related disciplines. 

5.  To provide the students with necessary theoretical and practical background and tools needed for self-reliance and survival.


The University of Calabar started originally as a campus of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1973/74 session with 154 students.  In October 1976 it was accorded the status of a full-fledged University with three Faculties namely, Arts, Science, and Social Sciences. Two years later (1978/79 session) Medical School now, College of Medical Sciences, was established. The first provost was Professor A. O. Williams. The College office and Basic Medical Sciences Department were in a temporary building at the northeastern end of the campus. The development of Basic Medical Sciences was rapid and recognition was granted by the Nigerian Medical Council before the first group of medical students were due to sit for the part 1 (Basic Medical Science) examination in 1980.

The Biochemistry Department was one of the departments in the College of Medical Sciences that started functioning in the Medical School building in October 1978. Regular classes commenced on November 15, 1978, with the first batch of 39 MBBCH students. The course of instruction consisted of lectures, practical classes, and tutorials.  The Department started with four academic staff members including Professor GYN Iyer, an expatriate from India as the Head of the Department on 7th February 1979. Until then, Professor O. U. Eka was Acting Head and the founding Professor in the Department.  The other two academic staff members were Dr. A. A. Akintonwa (Reader) and Dr. E. T. Ifon (Lecturer). The pioneer technologists of the department were Messrs. W.H. Blankwon (an expatriate from Ghana) appointed Principal Technologist and Mr. C. I. O. Abam, Technologist II.  Others were Mr. E. B. Umana who joined as Technologist II from Ahmadu Bello University, and Mr. P. O. Bassey – Technologist II.

The B.Sc. Biochemistry program started in 1980 with an enrolment of two students viz: Messrs U. F. Udo, and U. F. Ota.  Following the take-off of the B.Sc. program, the post-graduate course leading to M.Sc., M. Phil, and Ph.D. programs in Biochemistry were instituted later in 1980.  The Department of Biochemistry thus became the leading Department and the first in the College of Medical Sciences to commence the post-graduate programs.

The first Ph.D. student L. E. Ilouno graduated in 1983.

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Department of Biochemistry
University of Calabar
Cross River State

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