5.1.1      Preamble

The Department of Biochemistry was established in the year 2001 when the Department of Chemical Sciences was split into two departments, namely: Biochemistry and Chemistry departments. The department has graduated many students. Many of our graduates are employed in Food, Pharmaceutical and Oil and Gas Industries while others have found employment in various banks. Some are pursuing further studies in overseas’ universities. In addition to a virile undergraduate programme, postgraduate programmes are also very active in the department. The department graduated its first Ph.D. and its 2nd set of M.Sc. in 2007. At postgraduate levels, the Department offers taught and research courses that lead to the awards of Master of Science (M.Sc) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) degrees.


5.1.2      Philosophy

The training in Biochemistry should respond to the needs of the students, the changing nature of the subject, expectations of society and the human resources’ requirements of the public and private sectors. Subject specific knowledge must be complemented with the acquisition of skills that adequately prepare the graduate not only for white-collar jobs but also self-employment. Training in Biochemistry at the Department of Biochemistry must emphasize the inculcation of communication, entrepreneurial, problem-solving, life-long learning and information technology skills so as to make the training relevant to society and industry, and engender ability of graduates to create jobs. The above considerations have development of the aims and objectives set out below.


5.1.3      Objectives of the Programme

                                The objectives are:

To provide a sound and all-round education with a view to build skilled scientists with in-depth knowledge and understanding in Biochemistry thereby producing qualified manpower that will be relevant to the development of the nation in the public and private sectors.


5.1.4      Departmental Postgraduate Programme (Full Time/Part Time)


(A)          Master of Science Programme Structure

Registration (At the beginning of each session)

Courses to be taken (First and Second Semesters)

Constitution of Supervisory Committee

Proposal Development

Pre-data Seminar and Endorsement of proposal

Commencement of field/bench work.

Post-data seminar.

Registration of thesis title.

Submission of abstract.

Submission of thesis draft.

Presentation of final thesis draft.

Open defense of thesis

Submission of corrected thesis.

Award of degree.


(B)          Doctorate Degree Programme Structure

Registration (At beginning of each session)

Courses to be taken (where necessary)

Supervisory Committee

Proposal development

Pre-data Seminar and Endorsement of Proposal

Commencement of field/bench work

Post-data Seminar

Registration of title

Submission of abstract

Submission of thesis draft

Presentation of final thesis draft

Open defense of thesis

Correction and submission of corrected thesis

Award of degree


5.1.5      Departmental Postgraduate Committee



The membership of the Departmental Postgraduate Committee shall consist of

(i)      The Head of Department and Chairman

(ii)    Departmental Postgraduate Co-ordinator

(iii)   All postgraduate lecturers and supervisors



(i)      To co-ordinate Postgraduate programmes in the department

(ii)    To collaborate with other disciplinary degree programmes

(iii)   To present candidates for admission and award of higher degrees to the College Postgraduate Committee.

(iv)  To recommend External Examiners to the College Postgraduate Committee based on the advice of the Supervisory Committee.


5.1.6      General Admission Requirements


(A)          Master of Science Programme

Prospective candidates into the Master’s degree programme must be graduates of this University or any other University recognized by Senate. He/She shall have obtained a minimum of 3.00 CGPA.


(B)          Doctorate Degree Programme

Prospective candidates into the Doctorate degree programme must have obtained a Master’s degree from this University or any other University recognized by Senate.


5.1.7      Admission Requirements


(A)          Master of Science Programme


To be eligible for admission into this programme, candidate must

(i)      Have at least five (5) credits in Mathematics, English Language, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

(ii)    Be graduates of Biochemistry of FFUNAAB or any other University recognized by Senate.


(B)          Doctor of Philosophy Degree Programme


To be admitted into this degree programme, the student must have obtained

(i)      As above in the Master’s degree programme

(ii)    A Master’s degree from FFUNAAB or any other University recognized by Senate.


5.1.8      Duration of Programme


(A)          Master of Science Programme

The duration of study for the Master’s programme in the Department shall be a minimum of four (4) Semesters and Maximum of ten (10) Semesters.


(B)          Doctor of Philosophy Programme

The minimum duration of study in the Department of Biochemistry shall be six (6) semesters.


5.1.9      Schedule of Courses


All courses shall be registered for by M.Sc. students while the necessary courses should be registered by Ph.D. students according to the established University regulation.



First Semester

Course Code

        Course Title                           



Compulsory Courses

BCH  810

General Biochemistry                   



BCH  811

Methods of Biochemical Analysis 



BCH  813

Elements of Biotechnology            



CSC 801

Use of Computer in Research



BCH  819

Environmental Biochemistry         

 and Biochemical Toxicology



Elective Courses

BCH  815




BCH  817

Plant Biochemistry                     




Second Semester

Course Code

        Course Title                           



BCH  812

Clinical Biochemistry and                  

Biochemical Pharmacology



BCH  816

Enzymology and Protein Chemistry      



BCH  818

Molecular Biology                                



BCH 898




BCH 899

A Research Project




5.1.10    General Graduation Requirements


(a)          Course Work

Each M.Sc. candidate is expected to register and pass all registered courses while the Ph.D. candidate is expected to pass all necessary registered courses.


(b)          Withdrawal

A candidate who fails to accumulate 16 credits of course work at the end of the academic session shall be expected to withdraw from the programme. A candidate who obtains 16 credits but less than 30 credits MAY be allowed to register for the failed courses in the next year, provided at least one of the core courses BCH 710 and BCH 711 has been passed.




(c)           Seminars

Before embarking on their research work, candidates shall be expected to present a formal half-hour Seminar on their work plan and the state of scientific knowledge in the chosen area of research. The research work should normally start after certification of the soundness and practicability of the project by the Department and should be guided by suggestions raised at the Seminar.


At the end of the research project, the candidate shall deliver another one-hour Seminar on the results obtained.  The departmental board of Examiners will certify the Seminar as satisfactory before a student can proceed to write up his/her thesis.


(d)          Research

A candidate for the M.Sc. or Ph.D. degree shall be expected to undertake a research project under the guidance of Supervisor(s).  Research projects are available in areas in which research work is currently being undertaken by the academic staff of the department. The research areas are:


Enzymology and Protein Chemistry

Enzymology of plant and animal food system


Lipids/Membrane Biochemistry

Plant lipid Biochemistry; Membrane biophysics


Nutrition and Food Technology

Food Analysis, Processing and Preservation

Molecular Biology

Phytomedicine/Plant Biochemistry


(e)          Thesis Presentation and Defence

The candidate must have satisfactorily completed approved guided study to be eligible for an Oral Open Defence before a panel of appropriately constituted examiners by the supervisor.


5.1.11    Demonstration by Postgraduate Students

All postgraduate students will be expected to serve as demonstrators for undergraduate practical classes as an integral part of their training. Students who do not perform this duty satisfactorily will not be signed up for presentation of their thesis.


5.1.12    Detailed Course Description


BCH 810 – General Biochemistry (4 Credits)

General information to enzymes. Regulation in metabolic pathways.  Detection of Rate Controlling enzymes.  Molecular mechanisms in the regulation of enzyme Activity. Metabolic compartmentation.


Review of carbohydrate, protein, lipid and nucleic acid metabolism in plants and animals and their regulation. Inter-relationship of metabolic pathways. Porphyrin biosynthesis and function of metaloprophyrin – protein complexes.


Generation of ATP and reducing potential in photosynthesis, photorespiration and the glycolate pathway. Nitrogen fixation. Biochemistry of tropical economic plants.  Tissue heterogeneity lntercompartmental Cuperttino in cellular processes. Compartmentation and integration of metabolic pathways.  Current topics in biochemical regulation.



BCH 811 – Methods of Biochemical Analysis

Review of basic techniques. Buffers and pH. Tissue preparations and cell culture. Principles of centrifugation. Preparation of subcellular organelles. Use of Marker enzymes.


Spectrophotometry and fluorimetry. UV and IR spectrophotometry.  Fluorescence and Phtophorescene. Chromatographic purification of proteins and amino acids. Ion exchange, molecular sieving, affinity chromatography, Partition chromatography. Chromatographic separation of Lipids (thin-layer, column, gas-liquid chromatographic techniques etc). Electrophoresis – preparative and analytical.


Special techniques – Viscometry, X-ray diffraction, Circular Dichroism (C.D) and optical rotator Dispersion (O.R.D), Magnetic Resonance Methods. Application of Radio labels in biochemistry.


Clinical Biochemistry approaches – Physiological Methods in Health and Disease. Techniques in Nutrition Studies – Analysis of mycotoxin, pesticides and Environmental contaminants. Emerging techniques in Biochemistry – recent research application of some techniques may be mounted.


BCH 812 – Clinical Biochemistry & Biochemical Pharmacology (4 Credits)

Review of different types of drugs with examples of structures. Action of drugs on living organisms. Absorption, distribution and termination of action of drugs. Dose and time responses to drugs. Individual variability. Drug toxicity and aspects of drug abuse. Molecular basis of inborn errors of metabolism, classical examples of diseases associated with carbohydrate, amino acid, lipid and nucleic acid metabolism. A detailed study of important medicinal plants in Nigeria used for the management and therapy of common ailments (malaria, sicle-cell, anaemia, common cold, hepatitis etc). Drug therapy in our environment. Centrally acting drugs. Drugs as environmental contaminants.


BCH 713 – Elements of Biotechnology (4 Credits)


Review of Microbial Biochemistry

Molecular architecture of the bacteria cell. Genetic organization and control of gene expression control at the level of transcription and translation, restriction endonuclease; hybrid DNA, recombinant DNA; genetic engineering, viruses.


Bacterial nutrition – The carbon and nitrogen sources. Growth of bacteria; Mathematical models of batch culture, product formation Models, fixed cultures, Immobilised enzynes and cells – preparation, kinetic performance, stability and application of immobilized system, Micro-organisms in the production of food, industrial chemicals, chemotherapeutic agents and enzymes. Use of micro-organisms bioassay.


Elements of Biotechnology

Definition of biotechnology, examples of applications of genetic manipulation in areas of human health, food, agriculture and horticulture, energy, raw materials, chemicals and environmental management.


BCH 715 – Nutrition (4 Credits)

Nutrient metabolism. Disorders associated with inadequate and excessive nutrient intakes. Methods in Nutritional Biochemistry including basic statistical methods. Nutrient requirements, allowances, etc. Never findings in Nutrition. New sources of food. Clinical nutrition. Ecology of nutrition. Environmental toxicants in foods. Nutritional problems in Nigeria, comparative nutrition.


BCH 716 – Enzymology and Protein Chemistry (4 Credits)

General aspects of protein structure, covalent backbone and Conformation, Physical characterization of proteins, molecular weight, density and charge: Sedimentation methods, gel permeation methods, electrophoresis.



Enumeration and determination

Chain separation

Methods for the detection of peptide and peptides separation.


                (a)          Separation methods                       (b)          Detection

                (c)           Quantification                                   (d)          Peptide mapping


End-group determination

General and special determination

Interpretation, calculation and presentation of amino-acid data

Fragmentation of polypeptide chains

Sequential degradation

Determination of the three-dimensional structure of proteins of special interest-hemoglobin, immnoglobins.


Enzymes as a class of proteins of special interest.  Application of ligand binding to enzymes, kinetic of binding sites. Review of the classification of mechanisms of bisubstrate reactions.  Bisubstrate enzyme kinetics. Theories of enzyme catalysis. Control of enzyme activity including consent of half-of site reactivity.


BCH 717 – Plant Biochemistry (4 Credits)

Cell and subcell, Ribosomes, the Nucleus, cell membranes, Microbodies, the Chloroplasts, plant microtubules, vacuoles. The Primary cell wall. Lignin, cutin and suberin, surface waxes.  Carbohydrate metabolism. The relationship between gluconeogenesis and carbohydrate oxidation in higher plants.  Sucrose metabolism, structure, synthesis and enzymatic degration of starch, insulin, manna and other reserve polysaccharides.  Sites of synthesis of polysaccharides. Recent advances in the chemistry and biochemistry of plant lipids. Special aspects of metabolism of proteins and nucleic acids in plants. Absorption, section and translocation. Cell wall biogenesis. Mineral metabolism, sulphare reduction, Nitrate Metabolism, phytochromes, biosynthesis and action of plant hormones. Growth and differentiation in plants. Senescence. Terpenes and terpenoids; porphyrins, alkaloids, flavonoids, battalions And tannic, chemataxonomy. Biochemical aspects of plant-parasite relationships, Current perspectives in research on phytoalexins.


Regulation of plant metabolism. Photosynthesis – the path of carbon and the path of energy. Nitrogen fixation, Selected aspects of the biochemistry of economic plants growth in Nigeria.


BCH 718 – Molecular Biology (4 Credits)

Genetic organization and control of gene expression in prokaryotes (Jacob-Monod hypothesis). Control at the level of transcription and translation, the operator, the remoter, the attenuator, polycristonic messenger, economy of gene control. Chromosome replication models. Genetic maps of eukaryotic cells, biochemistry of cell division, hybrid DNA, recombinant DNA, genetic engineering, transformation, conjugation. Biochemistry of viruses, lysogen and lysis, transduction, oncogenic viruses and cells. Mutagensis and carcinoernesis. Sequence analysis of DNA, Gene variation and polymorphism. Molecular evaluation. The future-star gazing.


BCH 719 – Biochemical Toxicology and Environmental Biochemistry (4 Credits)

Biochemical pollutants in air, land and sea.  Alergens their detection, bioassay and effects. Pesticides and their residues. Biochemical interconversions of pesticides and their importance in agriculture and human health. Analysis of cell damage and cell death. A detailed survey of toxicology of drugs; chemicals and insecticides. Mode of action of toxins. Structure – activity relationships of these compounds. Carcinogenesis. Environmental and Industrial Toxicology.


5.1.13    Staff List




Degrees/Universities where obtained


Ademuyiwa, O


B.Sc.; M.Sc. (Ife); Ph.D. (Munich)

Biochemical Toxicology/Pharmacology

*Balogun, E.A.


B.Sc., M..Sc. (Ibadan), Ph.D. (Ilorin)


*Adebawo, O


B.Sc. (Benin), PGD, M.Sc. Ph.D. (Ibadan)

Food Biotechnology

Akinloye, O.A.


B.Sc.; M.Sc. (Ife); Ph.D. (Abeokuta)

Protein Chemistry/Enzymology

Ugbaja, R.N.

Lecturer I

B.Sc. (Ekpoma); M.Sc. (Lagos); Ph.D. (Abeokuta)

Lipid Biochemistry/Neuroscience

*Associate Lecturer