The Nigerian Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) in Yaba, Lagos has been a major player in generating knowledge about malaria for national and international policy makers. Just a few days ago, one of its distinguished researchers Dr. P.U. Agomo (BSc Hons, MSc, PhD, AIMLS) retired after 32 years of service. He had attained the post of DirectorÂ of ResearchÂ (BiochemistryÂ and Nutrition) at NIMR. Below is the citation provided by NIMR on the occasion of his send-off party, 13 August 2012.
Dr Philip Agomo was born in August, 1947. He graduated from Greenwich University, London,Â UK withÂ a BSc (Hons)Â inÂ BiochemistryÂ (1973),Â MSc in Applied Immunology from Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, England, UK (1977) and PhD from University of London, UK (1980).
Dr Agomo joined NIMR in 1980 as a research Fellow II and rose through the ranks of leadership to become the Director of Research (Biochemistry and Nutrition)Â in 2008 and acting Director General of NIMRÂ fromÂ July 2008 to May, 2010. Dr Agomo has also served the World health Organization (WHO) as an adviser on Antimalarial drug packaging for home management of malaria, appropriateness of childhood fever treatment in Africa, Health Sector Reform for Capacity StrengtheningÂ and Malaria control in Africa and implementationÂ of community based management of Acute respiratoryÂ infectionÂ (ARI)Â in Africa.
At the regional level, Dr. Agomo served West African Health Organization (WAHO) as an adviser on Health Research System Strengthening in the West African region. He also served as the Chairman of the Monitoring and evaluation sub-Committee of the National Malaria Control Committee (transformedÂ to NMCP in 2005) from 2001 to date.
Dr Agomo has also participated in many malaria control programmes at international,Â regional, national and state levels as a Principal Investigator winning manyÂ academic awards and research grants. Notable among these is the placement of NIMR as a training sub-recipient in the implementationÂ of global fund round 4 phase 2 (2008)Â and round 8 (2010),Â funded with about N150m Naira.
Dr. Agomo is well recognized not only for scholastic, administrativeÂ and leadership qualities but also as a mentor of students and junior research scientists at NIMR, in Nigerian universities and outside the country. He has produced more than 10 PhD holders as a co-supervisorÂ in Malaria research (Pharmacokinetics,Â Drug Resistance and Immunology),Â NutritionalÂ BiochemistryÂ and Toxicology.Â Dr. Agomo has to his credit over 80 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals. He is happily married and blessed with two children. He is also a grandfather.Â
Below are a few of Dr Agomo’s malaria-related publications that span his 30-year career:
- Prevalence of malaria in pregnant women in Lagos, South-West Nigeria. Agomo CO, Oyibo WA, Anorlu RI, Agomo PU. Korean J Parasitol. 2009 Jun;47(2):179-83. Epub 2009 May 27.
- Efficacy, safety and tolerability of artesunate-mefloquine in the treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in four geographic zones of Nigeria. Agomo PU, Meremikwu MM, Watila IM, Omalu IJ, Odey FA, Oguche S, Ezeiru VI, Aina OO. Malar J. 2008 Sep 9;7:172.
- Treatment of childhood fevers and other illnesses in three rural Nigerian communities. Salako LA, Brieger WR, Afolabi BM, Umeh RE, Agomo PU, Asa S, Adeneye AK, Nwankwo BO, Akinlade CO. J Trop Pediatr. 2001 Aug;47(4):230-8.
- Analysis of human antibodies to erythrocyte binding antigen 175 of Plasmodium falciparum. Okenu DM, Riley EM, Bickle QD, Agomo PU, Barbosa A, Daugherty JR, Lanar DE, Conway DJ. Infect Immun. 2000 Oct;68(10):5559-66.
- Effect of chlorpheniramine on the pharmacokinetics of and response to chloroquine of Nigerian children with falciparum malaria. Okonkwo CA, Coker HA, Agomo PU, Ogunbanwo JA, Mafe AG, Agomo CO, Afolabi BM. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1999 May-Jun;93(3):306-11.
- “Antimalarial” medicinal plants and their impact on cell populations in various organs of mice. Agomo PU, Idigo JC, Afolabi BM. Afr J Med Med Sci. 1992 Dec;21(2):39-46.
- Cell-mediated immunity in the liver of mice vaccinated against malaria. Playfair JH, De Souza JB, Dockrell HM, Agomo PU, Taverne J. Nature. 1979 Dec 13;282(5740):731-4.
- Development and suppression of a population of late-adhering macrophages in mouse malaria. Lelchuk R, Taverne J, Agomo PU, Playfair JH. Parasite Immunol. 1979 Spring;1(1):61-78.