As a Global Senior Scholar host for two scholars, I want to encourage toxicologists to participate in the exchange program. The next host applications are due September 15 for those who are interested in hosting the 2019 Scholars.
I hosted the second 2018 Global Senior Scholar Aina Adeogun in my laboratory at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology this past spring; you can read more about that time in her blog Nigerian Global Senior Scholar Adeogun Acknowledges Gains through SOT Involvement. During July and August, I visited her institution, the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, to complete the exchange.
Upon arriving in Nigeria, we immediately undertook a field trip to supervise new sampling sites around Oyo state. The new project is aimed at characterizing the occurrence of microplastics in resident biota and plastics as vectors for contaminants with obesogenic and endocrine-disruptive effects.
From left to right: Dean and Professor Ogundare, Professor Arukwe, Dr. Adeogun, and Head of Department and Professor Bakare
While on campus, I met with the head and staff of the Department of Zoology as well as the dean of the Faculty of Science, and thereafter, had another courtesy visit at the Office of International Program with their director.
July 27 started early at 8:00 am with a lecture and discussion session (Part I) with students at the postgraduate school. The lecture and discussion sessions were centered on “Research Techniques” and lasted for 2 hours. After lunch, I started a planned mentor meeting with three PhD students under my cosupervision. A Faculty of Science tour organized by my host Dr. Adeogun was undertaken thereafter. My day ended with office hours with individual student meetings and discussions.
Interactive session with postgraduate students
I delivered a departmental seminar July 31 entitled “Steroidogenic Acute Regulatory (StAR) Protein: Master Regulator of Physiological Responses and Molecular Target for Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals.” After the seminar, I spent time with the seminar participants in a group discussion, and later in the day had several one-on-one conversations with individual professors, researchers, and students, focusing on the establishment of a toxicology curriculum with the department. I also had an interactive session with undergraduate students.
On August 1, Part II of the lecture and discussion session was held with students at the postgraduate school. The lecture and discussion session continued featuring “Research Techniques” and lasted for 2 hours. After the lecture, I had open office hours, where I met and discussed with individual students their research projects and other matters relating to their research and looked for collaboration windows.
The next few days also started early at 8:00 am with a meeting between me, the Global Scholar, and other researchers within the department to discuss areas of research interests beyond what is ongoing on with the Scholar and the PhD students. Later in the day and the next, I had an interactive session with postgraduate students and discussed research topics of emerging scientific and societal interests such as plastic pollution.
On August 6, I delivered a seminar entitled “Do Plastic-Derived Contaminants Represent an Environmental and Human Health Issue of Significant Concerns?” to the Forum of Ibadan Toxicologists (FIBATOX). After the seminar, I spent time with the seminar participants in a group discussion, and later in the day had several one-on-one discussions with individual professors, researchers, and students. I also had a second interactive meeting with postgraduate students.
As the three-plus week visit came to a close, we (Dr. Adeogun, Prof. and Head of Department Bakare, and myself) had a meeting to discuss my inputs on their toxicology curriculum agenda. At the end, we agreed to develop a masters degree program in “Environmental Toxicology.” Furthermore, we also agreed that Dr. Adeogun will continue to coordinate with everyone to expand my availability/inclusive collaboration and drive the implementation of the planned memorandum of understanding between our universities, suggested areas of research collaboration, and for further academic/research development plans as the department envisaged during the review meeting. We are enthusiastic about the outcomes and developments from this exchange.