On the 9th of December, 1953, a gift of God to this generation was delivered in Lagos, the capital city of the ‘Center of Excellence’ State. This bundle of joy was received into the family of Pa Deacon Samuel Oyedele Ogunniyi, a Chief Executive Officer, in the Federal Ministry (Establishment and Labour), a native of Aawe, from Ile Olode (the family of hunters) and Mrs Margaret Oyedoyin Ogunniyi nee Ogunrinka, a teacher from the Ile Balogun ruling clan in Aawe. Late Pa Ogunniyi’s life’s philosophy was full discipline, integrity, and service.
Professor Adesola Ogunniyi, an erudite scholar, a teacher of teachers, a compassionate clinician, a brilliant researcher, and a great mentor, is an eminent Professor of Medicine at the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan (COMUI) and honorary consultant neurologist to the University College Hospital, Ibadan (UCH). He holds a Fellowship of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria (NPMCN) in Internal Medicine (1985), West African College of Physicians (1991), the Royal Colleges of Physicians of Edinburgh (2004) and London (2007). He was awarded the Doctor of Medicine degree in 2020.
He received his education at the Olowogbowo Methodist School, Lagos, Fiditi Grammar School, Fiditi and Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos (January-August 1971) before proceeding to Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife for undergraduate medical education (September 1971- June 1978). Thereafter, did his residency in Internal Medicine/Neurology at the UCH. He completed a Neuroepidemiology fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA (January 1986 to April 1987).
Professor Ogunniyi was appointed Lecturer in Physiology combining that with a joint appointment in Medicine in 1987. He transferred fully to the Department of Medicine in 1988 and rose through the ranks to the grade of Professor of Medicine (Neurology) in October 1997. He served as the Head, Department of Medicine twice (2000-2003; and 2006-2009). He was the representative of the Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Ibadan on the Board of Management of UCH (2005-2007). His service roles included being Chairman of the College of Medicine Curriculum Committee (1998 to 2003), member of the University of Ibadan Senate Curriculum Committee, Chairman, College of Medicine Scholarships Committee, Director, Institute for Advanced Medical Research and Training (2011-2014), pioneer Director of Medical Education Unit, COMUI (2013-14), and pioneer Chairman of the College Research and Innovation Management Unit charged with coordinating research activities in COMUI (2014-2021). He also served as the Chairman of the Faculty of Internal Medicine of the National Postgraduate Medical College (2012-2015).
His international appointments included being a member of the Lancet Commission on Dementia (2018), Regional Adviser (West Africa) to the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (since 2005, and currently Emeritus Regional Adviser January 2023); Global Council on Brain Health, and the World Dementia Council. At various times, he served as temporary adviser to the World Health Organization during the preparatory phase of global dementia research initiatives. He was appointed to the WHO Working Group on Neurocognitive Disorders for the Revision of ICD-10 Mental and Behavioural Disorders (April 2011).
Professor Ogunniyi distinguished himself as a researcher on the epidemiology of degenerative diseases of the nervous system. He was the recipient of the 1991 Bruce S. Schoenberg Award of the American Academy of Neurology, the Mellon Award of the University of Cape Town in 2009 to mentor postgraduate students in Neurosciences. He has trained and mentored many neurologists as well as early-career researchers across many disciplines and in many universities in and outside Nigeria. He was awarded the Igbobi College Old Boys’ Association ICOBA MERIT AWARD for Academic Excellence in February 2023, and was honoured as AgeCap Fellow of the Centre of Ageing and Health (AgeCap) at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden (March 2023).
He has led many funded initiatives on dementia, medical education, and capacity building in Neurology. These include: the Indianapolis-Ibadan Dementia Research, the Identification and Intervention for Dementia in Elderly Africans, MEPI-linked award for manpower development on improving neurologic outcome measurement in interventional research, Multidisciplinary NeuroAIDS Research Training to Improve HIV Outcome in Nigeria, the University of Ibadan Medical Education Partnership Initiative for Junior Faculty, and the Risk Factors for Future Cognitive Decline and Alzheimer’s Disease in Older African Americans.
He has received numerous invitations as speaker at many local and international scientific meetings and had delivered some named lectures. He has over 320 publications in peer reviewed journals and book chapters and serves as a reviewer of several articles across many journals. He is the Editor and a member of Council of the Academy of Medicine Specialties of Nigeria and an Associate Editor of the European Journal of Neurology. He previously served as the Editor-in-Chief of the African Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences, as well as the Journal of Clinical and Applied Neurosciences. His honorific titles include fellowship of the Nigerian Academy of Science (2019), Nigerian Academy of Medicine (2021) and the Academy of Medicine Specialties of Nigeria (2021).
Prof. Adesola Ogunniyi was Director, Institute for Advanced Medical Research and Training from 2011 to 2014. He was the Pioneer Chairman of College Research and Innovation Management unit (CRIM) from 2014 to 2021. He worked assiduously to facilitate the setting up of an endurable organizational structure for CRIM. He was a stabilizing factor and was a rallying point for both young and old. He provided an enabling environment and platforms that enabled young upwardly mobile individuals to grow. He encouraged a culture of transparency, prudence and accountability. He supported CRIM financially by providing his funds as contribution to the annual research. It is on record that he did not receive any allowance for his excellent work at CRIM. He ensured money was saved in abundance for future development of CRIM.
The Provost, Professor Olayinka Omigbodun FAS, giving an award of service to Professor Adesola Ogunniyi
upon stepping down as the pioneer chairman of College Research and Innovation Management (CRIM) Unit
Professor Ogunniyi played critical leadership roles in the postgraduate Colleges and numerous professional organizations. He was the foundation president of the Nigerian Federation for Neurorehabilitation and was president of the Nigerian Society of Neurological Sciences.
Professor Adesola Ogunniyi has mentored dozens of professionals and university lecturers including Professor Mayowa Owolabi, DSc, FAS, the immediate past Dean of the Faculty of Clinical Sciences and Director of Center for Genomic and Precision Medicine, College of Medicine and Prof Rufus Akinyemi, FAMedS, the Deputy Director of the Center for Genomic and Precision Medicine among numerous others!
Adesola is a socialite, and his hobbies include travelling, listening to jazz music, and reading He is married to Dr. Jaiyeola Thomas, a Professor of Anatomic Pathology, and the marriage is blessed with 2 children: Adedamola, an Emergency Medicine Physician, and Adebola who holds a doctorate in Chemical Engineering.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Professor Adesola Ogunniyi.
Professor Mayowa Owolabi FAS