Iruka N Okeke

Born in: United Kingdom
Primary research category: Microbiology
Research location / employer: Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Fellowship dates: 2005-2009

Academic Career

  • Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. 2014–present
  • Editor-in-Chief, African Journal of Laboratory Medicine, 2017–present
  • Assistant, Associate then Full Professor, Haverford College, PA, USA. 2002–2015
  • Lecturer, University of Bradford, UK (2000–2002)
  • Post-doctoral Fellow. University of Maryland, USA (1996–1998)


  • Ph.D, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
  • Sc., Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
  • B. Pharmacy, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Fellowship Research

Dr. Iruka Okeke’s research is focused on diarrhoeal pathogens, bacterial drug resistance, and laboratory practice in Africa. Her team studies the molecular epidemiology and pathogenesis of diarrhea-causing enteric bacteria, including enteroaggregative Escherichia coli, other diarrheagenic E. coli and Salmonella. The Okeke lab is also engaged in collaborative research to elucidate the genetic basis for antimicrobial resistance in enteric organisms from West Africa.

Major Contributions

  • Use of bacterial genetics to study the molecular epidemiology, colonization, pathogenesis and antimicrobial resistance of enteric bacteria, particularly Escherichia coli.
  • Informs the diarrheal disease epidemiology, antimicrobial use and development, as well as vaccine development, and is therefore integral to pharmaceutical microbiology.

Major Awards

  • UK Medical Research Council / Department for International Development African Research Leaders Award, 2014
  • Pharmacy Ambassador in the Diaspora Award. Faculty of Pharmacy, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, 2014
  • Fellowship, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin), 2010-11
  • Mellon 23 Life Cycle of the Student Scholar Award for early curricular initiatives that serve to build the foundations of student scholarship, 2009

Collaborative Projects with other Branco Weiss Fellows

Chinyere Okoro
Thomas Pfeiffer