Professor Bola Osifo’s Biography as Shared by her Children

Prof. Bola Olufunke Ayodele Osifo was born in Ibadan, on January 16th, 1937, to Nathaniel and Victoria Faluyi in Ibadan. She was raised in a family that valued integrity, education, and entrepreneurship, so she developed a keen interest in academics from a young age.

As her father was an education officer, she lived in several cities- including Benin City (where she learned some Edo which will be useful for her in the future), Akure, Ado-Ekiti, and Ibadan. After attending several primary schools, she then passed the Entrance Examination into the highly competitive Queens College Lagos where she made many lifelong friends. After one year in Lagos, she was moved as part of the entire boarding house to start the then-new Queen School Ede where she graduated from in 1955. At Queens, she excelled in mathematics and was also a sprinter.

After Queens, she went to Abeokuta Grammar School to study sciences from where she obtained a scholarship to study Nutritional Biochemistry at University College Dublin. After that, she came back to Nigeria and commenced work at the University College Hospital Ibadan.

Her insatiable curiosity and thirst for knowledge propelled her to further her studies and was then awarded another scholarship to study Clinical Biochemistry at Cornell University, Ithaca NY. During her study at Cornell, she married her sweetheart the Late Prof. David Osifo (an alumnus of the University of London, Ibadan Campus and also an academic at the University of Ibadan) who was also pursuing his graduate education. She completed her MSc in 1965, while she was pregnant. She returned to Nigeria joining first the then University of Ife, and then moved to the University of Ibadan in 1968.


Fuelled by a desire to make a tangible impact in her field, she continued her academic pursuits and completed her complete her Ph. D. in Chemical Pathology at the University of Ibadan in 1975 and her MSc in Nuclear Medicine, at Oxford University in 1982.

As a faculty member at the University of Ibadan, she has made significant contributions to her field through her research and teaching. Her scholarly work has been published in over 50 renowned academic journals and has garnered international recognition for its depth and significance, so they are often cited. She was appointed Professor of Chemical Pathology in 1986. She was also appointed Consultant Chemical Pathologist in 1976. She was also previously Head of the Department of Chemical Pathology. She was also a Visiting Research Professor, at the Department of Clinical Biochemistry, University of Nancy, Nancy, France.

She has also presented her research at prestigious conferences and symposiums, further establishing her as a leading authority in her field. In addition to her academic publications, she won several international research grants including from INSERM in France, the British Council, Linus Pauling Foundation, and several pharmaceutical companies, and was often an invited speaker at several conferences around the world including Brazil, China, France, Ghana, Japan, Singapore, United States, United Kingdom, and Uganda.

After an initial professional career in Chemical Pathology, she was invited by the IAEA to start a Nuclear Medicine Training and Service Program in Nigeria. She was appointed as a consultant to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and National Coordinator for IAEA projects in 1995, which she was asked to continue after her retirement. In this role, she was able to leverage funds not just from the IAEA but also from leading local philanthropists to develop a department of Nuclear Medicine at the University of Ibadan/providing services at the University College Hospital Ibadan, where she was appointed Consultant Nuclear Medicine Expert in 2002 and Founding Head of Department of Nuclear Medicine. In collaboration with IAEA and FGN, she supported the development of nuclear medicine programs in 9 universities and the National Hospital, Abuja representing all geo-political zones across the country. Even though she handed over the project several years ago, she was until her death the Chair of the Women in Nuclear Medicine Association.

Her contributions to academia have been recognized through numerous awards and honours, including the Nigerian National Productivity Merit Award. She was a previous Senate representative of the Council of the University of Ibadan and a member of several key committees.

She held several positions in National and International associations including National Treasurer, Nigerian Association of Clinical Chemists, Previous Member, of the Oyo State Scholarship Board, 1976-79; Member, of the French Association of Medical Scientists; Member, of the International Association of Vitamin Oncology; Member, Royal College of Pathologists, London and Member, New York Academy of Science.

She was deeply invested in nurturing the next generation of scholars and leaders. She was renowned for her engaging teaching style, her dedication to students, residents, and junior academics mentorship, and her commitment to fostering a supportive learning environment. Many of her students have gone on to achieve great success in their own academic and professional careers, a testament to her influence and impact.

In addition to her academic engagement, she supported students in non-academic settings. She was the Founding Hall Warden, of Queen Idia Hall during which she was responsible for managing the construction of the hall in 1976. She was also the First Chairperson of the Committee of Hall Wardens. She was also Mistress, of Queen Idia Hall. As part of her support for student life and love of sports, she led a delegation of the University of Ibadan to the African University Games in Ivory Coast. Outside the University system, she has supported and mentored youth across various areas and disciplines.

In all her endeavours, Prof. Bola Olufunke Ayodele Osifo exemplified the values of integrity, excellence, and service, leaving an indelible mark on her students, colleagues, and community. Her strong faith in God, service to God, and love for her family were most important to her. Her legacy serves as an inspiration to all who have had the privilege of knowing her, and her contributions to her field and society will continue to resonate for generations to come.

Dr. Egbe Osifo-Dawodu and Dr. Enoma Alade

Daughters (Alumni of College of Medicine, University of Ibadan)

Prof. Bola Osifo with her husband and Children


During Professor Osifo’s University of Ibadan Valedictory lecture in 2002


Professor Osifo in 1998 while receiving the National Productivity Merit Award




IAEA and Nuclear Medicine members during Prof Umar’s 2011 visit to Nigeria


At the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA meeting with Prof Umar in Vienna 2008


Tribute from the Provost, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan

I write this tribute thankful for the gift of our very respected Professor Bola Olufunke Ayodele Osifo. Professor Bola Osifo was an amazing teacher, leader, and trailblazer.

Professor Osifo holds a special place in the hearts of many. She has affected many lives in a very strong way. I have seen for myself how dedicated she was to being really good at what she does and about caring about others.

Her two daughters, Dr. Egbe Osifo-Dawodu and Dr. Enoma Alade, are both alumni of our dear College. Both are founding partners of Anadach Group, a consulting firm specializing in healthcare in Africa. Dr. Osifo-Dawodu focuses on leveraging innovation to expand access to quality healthcare, while Dr. Alade's expertise lies in public health and health systems strengthening. Dr. Egbe Osifo-Dawodu has held various positions at the World Bank Group, working on public policy and investment transactions at the International Financial Corporation. This is the proud legacy of children well-raised to be exceptional individuals.

Professor Osifo's kindness and belief in the potential of others, especially women, were evident in her interactions. She believed in empowerment through education and was a steadfast advocate for the advancement of women in academia and other roles.

Her pivotal role in the launching of the Department of Nuclear Medicine at the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, stands as a testament to her dedication to research and academic excellence. In her keynote address during the launch of the Department of Nuclear Medicine, I remember how she acknowledged the need to train medical professionals in nuclear medicine, radiopharmacists, medical physicists, and imaging scientists, at the postgraduate level.  Prof. Osifo urged the College of Medicine to take over the responsibilities of the new department, including the employment of academic staff and support for non-academic staff. I have included the full text of that address as a tribute to her.

Professor Osifo spent her whole life helping others through education, healthcare, and social impact works. From the profile shared by her daughters, she was born into a family that cared a lot about being honest and learning, and she did well in school from a young age. She achieved many academic goals, like bagging a Ph.D. in Chemical Pathology and an MSc in Nuclear Medicine. During her career at the University of Ibadan, she did important research, taught, and helped other people learn, which made people all over the world notice and appreciate her.

Besides teaching, she was also very involved in student life and sports. This shows how much she cared about making sure people had a good environment for learning and helping others succeed. Prof. Osifo's legacy of being very good at what she did, being honest, and helping others continues to inspire everyone fortunate enough to know her, showing a life dedicated to making a real and long-lasting difference in society.

In honouring Professor Bola Olufunke Ayodele Osifo, we pay tribute to a remarkable woman, mother, teacher, and more whose life was dedicated to making a real and lasting difference in society. Her impact will be felt for generations to come. Indeed, she is an inspiration for all who strive to make the world a better place.

May the Lord comfort the family she left behind. Amen,

Professor Olayinka Omigbodun FAS

Professor of Psychiatry &

Provost, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan


Professor Bola Osifo and the Provost, Professor Olayinka Omigbodun FAS


Inauguration of the Department of Nuclear Medicine in the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan






NOVEMBER 18, 2020

Good afternoon, Mr. V.C., the Provost, and all our friends.

It is my pleasure to honour the invitation of the VC, though this new department has been approved by the University Senate in May 2019 and the V.C. himself announced this new Department in his Convocational Speech on November 17, 2019 as the first Department of Nuclear Medicine in West Africa.

This new Department has been operating as Nuclear Medicine Centre since March 27, 2006, when it was officially commissioned by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at the School of Nursing, University College Hospital, Ibadan. This Nuclear Medicine Centre was a gift from the IAEA specifically for the care of Cancer patients.

IAEA has been interested in Cancer Patients in Africa since 1995 when the Agency gave us a Tumour Marker Project for the Diagnosis of Common Cancers in Africa through blood specimens. IAEA also gave us another Project on Thyroid Disorders using blood specimens for diagnosis. This project also included the Neonatal Hypothyroidism. These Projects cover the period of 1995-2002.

Thus, after these previous Projects confirmed a high incidence of Cancer in Nigeria, the Agency then gave us this Nuclear Medicine Project which is both for diagnosis and Therapy in 2004 using Scanning Procedures.

Please, permit me to inform you that all IAEA Projects involved not only supplying of all the required Equipment but also Training of staff needed for the Project. For instance, for this Project we are celebrating, IAEA has trained 20 medical doctors for 10 Hospitals in the country to become qualified Nuclear Medical Physicians. They all have both Postgraduate Academic Degrees as well as the Fellowship of College of Nuclear Medicine Physicians of South Africa where they were trained.

Out of these 20, four were trained for University College Hospital but we have only two with us. The other two Physicians have left us. In fact, Dr. Yetunde Onimode is the first trained and qualified Nuclear Medicine Physician on the IAEA Project. IAEA has also designated our department to be the Headquarters for Nuclear Medicine in the country. This is because the 2004 Project was expanded in 2008 to cover nine other hospitals and hence Nuclear Medicine Physicians have been trained for those hospitals under the IAEA Project of 2004 which was given to me.

Hence, the IAEA made me the National Coordinator and IAEA Counterpart of the National Nuclear Medicine Project.

After all these investigations confirm the growing incidence of Cancer in Nigeria, we then realize that there is a need to have an Academic Programme to train Doctors, Radiopharmacists, Medical Physicists, and Imaging Scientists, at Post Graduate level. Hence, the IAEA approved another Project for Postgraduate Training. Please, this Postgraduate Project will be handled by Dr. Yetunde Onimode as IAEA Counterpart

Hence, we had to arrange for appointments with the VC. This we did through his close friend of over 35 years who is my Nephew - Prof. Itiola, the former Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy. He did a lot for us. It is not easy to get a very busy VC to give us so much time as our VC did. Our former Provost also contributed to the success we are marking today. He was also at the meeting. We express our thanks to him.

It is all these meetings with the VC that led to the approval of the University Senate in May 2019. During our meetings with the VC and communication with him, it was agreed that our members of staff who are paid under the Project will be absolved by the University. Unfortunately, this agreement has not been fulfilled.

Please, permit me to publicly recognize those hard working and kind CMDs who have helped us to run a successful Nuclear Medicine Centre since its inception:

  • Abiodun llesanmi who was the CMD to have the privilege of starting a new and first Nuclear Medicine Centre in the country did a lot for us to ensure that we had a place to start from. He gave us some Rooms in the Department of Radiotherapy. Prof. Ilesanmi also gave us all our members of Staff to start with. Our sincere gratitude goes to him.
  • Our kind and compassionate Philanthropist - Aare Afe Babalola gave us a big Building to house this, IAEA Project. He did not just give us a Building but put air- conditioners in all the 22 rooms. Prof. Ilesanmi gave us all our furniture.
  • Our gratitude goes to our Present CMD - Prof Abiodun Otegbayo who has been very kind to us in many ways. He has given us more Medical Doctors, Imaging Scientists, and some furniture to replace our old ones. Prof. Otegbayo also gave us more junior members of staff to cope with the increase of patients.

To us, the greatest gift our CMD gave us is a floor of one of the big old buildings in UCH which we have now restructured to get eight private wards with air-conditioners, toilets and baths for our lodine Therapy Patients. This building also contains two big offices for attending to the Patients.

Finally, I would like to remind our visitors that I have been a Retired UI Professor since January 16, 2002. This means IAEA invited me back in 2004 after my retirement to start this new Centre. I am not a member of staff of UCH but an Honourary Consultant without pay and neither am I a University of Ibadan staff.

Thank you, and I wish the College of Medicine will take over the needs of the new Department especially the non-academic staff and employment of more academic staff in the nearest future.

Prof. B. O. A. Osifo, NPOM

Director, Nuclear Medicine Centre


Provost, Professor Olayinka Omigbodun, Prof Osifo & Pioneer Head of Nuclear Medicine


















































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