UNILAG Poised to Advance Knowledge across Disciplines with New Labs, VC Says 

The Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola has restated the institution’s commitment to advancing knowledge across disciplines, as well as contributing to national development.

Ogunsola stated this at the inauguration of the university’s Molecular Biology Laboratory and the Next Generation Sequencing Platform.

She said the development is a step in the right direction, describing it as another level of sophistication.

“I must say I am particularly happy and elated. I think I will start from the beginning. Dr D. K. Olukoya who donated this building where we are ‘D.K. Olukoya Central Research and Reference Laboratories’, gave us the opportunity to do what we wanted to do.

“As a university, we recognised years ago that it was important to aggregate expensive laboratory equipment, rather than it being in various places, where it is not accessible. So, it is good to see the labs moving forward and getting more sophisticated,” the don stated. 

She however decried the issue of power supply, which she said has always been a major challenge, considering the fact that the laboratories need constant electricity supply to function optimally.

Ogunsola noted that the university has been doing its best to ensure that available equipment are well maintained and running without hitch.

“Though we may not have attained 100 per cent, but just looking at all of these equipment we have been able to get, we can say we have done well and we have to thank TETFund as well, apart from the agreements we have had internationally, which have allowed us to bring in some of these equipment. TETFund has been a major part of this and so we want to thank it specially. 

She expressed delight that the university is attaining its strategic plan to have expensive equipment in one place. “So, I am pleased with what the director of the research laboratory has done and the next step is to ensure we have the expertise of the manpower,” she said.

On the impact of the laboratories on learning outcomes and national development, the vice-chancellor noted that it is all about finding solutions to societal challenges.

According to her, it is about giving an in-depth look into human health, the entire environment and asking questions.

She added that some of the questions could not be answered by simple things.

“You have to ask questions and this entails you go to the genomic level, especially when it concerns not just micro-organisms, human beings and animals, but even environmental surfaces.

”So, what we have done is moving us closer to being at par with the rest of the world. We are beginning to move, even though we are not yet there.

“It is for us to keep building on what we have and maintaining what we already have,” the professor of Medical Microbiology said. 

The Director of the institution’s Central Research Laboratory, Prof. Wellington Oyibo said with the inauguration of the laboratories, the university has joined the league of other higher institutions that could do advanced genomic research in the health, agriculture, environment and other sectors in the country, where ordinarily they would have been taken overseas to do.

“We are proud of this feat and all of these were supported by TETFund. I am emphasising this because of what UNILAG is doing to bring value to this support and with this inauguration, we will get down to more work and also seize the opportunity to let everyone know.

“The public can come to see us here. We can do research and collaborations on genomic platform. So, it is a good one for science, in Nigeria and the international community because this kind of platform is one of those things that put countries in a competitive space, like during the COVID-19 era.

“Platforms like this are usually very important. They come in handy to tackle challenges for the masses. So, this is a unique one for UNILAG, for TETFund.

“An opportunity we have again is that our faculty members that are on ground, will have the advantage to train people across disciplines in medicine, that will require genetic explanation; why patients are not doing well and what is predisposing them to risk of having certain diseases,” Oyibo said.

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