NAS presents NAS Gold Medal Prize

On Wednesday, 26th of January, 2022, the Nigerian Academy of Science awarded the 2021 NAS GOLD MEDAL PRIZE for Life Sciences to ‘African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases’ (ACEGID), Redeemers University, Ede, Nigeria

ACEGID is a diverse team of talented and dedicated scientists, who have contributed immensely to new knowledge in the field of infectious disease genomics, through high quality translational research, publications, and capacity building. The research output from ACEGID has significantly shifted the paradigm especially in the use of genomics in our understanding of pathogens transmission dynamics and evolution, and applications to outbreak response.

The President of the Nigerian Academy of Science, Professor Ekanem Braide FAS presented the prize to ACEGID lead researcher, Dr. Onikepe Abiola Folarin, who also delivered a lecture.

The NAS Science Prize Committee Chair, Dr. Sonny Kuku FAS, who spoke about the NAS Gold Medal Prize explained that the NAS Gold Medal Prize was instituted by the Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) in 2016. He said the prize is awarded to deserving Nigerian scientists who have made significant achievements in science of national relevance and global resonance. The award is made annually, alternating between the Life and the Physical Sciences, and consists of a medal, a certificate and a purse.

Professor Akinyinka Omigbodun FAS, who is the Jury Chair (Life Sciences), spoke about the winning project for the 2021 NAS Gold Medal Prize. He explained that ACEGID has conducted some of the most innovative translational research and capacity building programmes to guide Nigeria and Africa’s response to COVID-19. He said they performed the first genome sequence of the SARS-CoV2 in Africa at an unprecedented speed, and have been using their genomic sequencing platforms to generate data that is guiding response to the COVID-19 pandemic in a unique way.