Professor Abiodun Adesiyun receives Emeritus title from The UWI
At the Finance and General Purpose Committee (F&GPC) meeting on October 30, 2017, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) conferred the title of ‘Emeritus’ on Professor Abiodun Adesiyun.
The Emeritus designation generally allows a former holder of an office, upon retirement, to retain the title; in this case, of University Professor. Professor Adesiyun retired in September 2017; after building a distinguished and exemplary career as a teacher, researcher, and mentor to both undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Professor Adesiyun joined the Faculty of Medical Sciences at The UWI St Augustine Campus in October 1990 as a Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Public Health/Epidemiology, after a two-year research fellowship at the University of Bonn, Germany. He quickly rose up the ranks to Reader in 1997 and to full Professor in 1999. In the Faculty, he also served as Associate Dean for Research, Deputy Dean, Basic Health Sciences and acting Dean on several occasions, and held the position of Director, School of Veterinary Medicine from 2006-2014.
Professor Adesiyun earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Ahmadu Bello University, in Nigeria, and his Master of Public Health (MPH) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees from University of Minnesota in the US. He is the recipient of several awards including the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (Germany) in 1989-1990, The UWI Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in the area of Research in 1999, and the Dean’s Award for Research in 1999 and again in 2002. He has also won numerous research grants as principal or co-investigator from local, regional and international sources worth over US$380,000. He has supervised numerous graduate students (M.Phil. and Ph.D.) at The UWI.
Professor Adesiyun’s research covered the epidemiology of bacterial zoonoses in humans and animals; food safety, with particular reference to bacterial pathogens and foods of animal origin; Brucellosis in cattle and water buffalo and assessment of the efficacy of the Brucella abortus RB51 vaccines; and epidemiology of leptospirosis in livestock, rodents and dogs, and development of an effective vaccine for use in dogs.
He was the first researcher to report the existence of Yersinia enterocolitica in animals on the African continent and the first to report the production of enterotoxin(s) by Staphylococcus hyicus and the biological activity of cell-associated staphylococcal enterotoxins in cynomologus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis). At The UWI, he established the enteropathogens significant as aetiologic agents of livestock diarrhoea, as well as the molecular relatedness of Salmonella Enteritidis isolates across the Caribbean. He was also responsible for the characterisation of Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from livestock in Trinidad and Tobago. Professor Adesiyun extensively investigated brucellosis in water buffalo and cattle in Trinidad and determined the efficacy of the Brucella abortus RB51 vaccine in water buffalo. His research also revealed the serovars of Leptospira responsible for canine leptospirosis and he worked on developing a vaccine for use in the country.