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FUTA PhD Student Wins Fulbright Foreign Scholarship

A Doctoral student in the Department of Biochemistry, School of Life Sciences, Federal University of Technology, Akure, FUTA, Mopelola Dele-Joshua has been named winner of the 2024 Fulbright Foreign Student Program award for research in the United States of America for 2024/2025 academic year.

Dele-Joshua whose PhD research is titled “Development of Recombinant Bifunctional Chimeric Enzyme from Bacillus subtilis CFB-09 for Efficient Simultaneous Delignification and Saccharification of Corncob” will carry out part of her PhD research at U.S. Department of Energy: Joint BioEnergy Institute in Emeryville, California, United States of America.

Dele-Joshua was a Doctoral Exchange Student at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), New Delhi, India, through the ICGEB-Collaborative Research Grant (2021-2023) won by her PhD supervisor, Prof. Folasade M. Olajuyigbe.

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Remarkably, in July 2023, Dele-Joshua won the Best Oral Presenter Award (Student category) at the 6th Biennial International Conference of Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), held at the University of Port-Harcourt, Nigeria.
Dele-Joshua’s research holds promise for advancement in bioenergy research.
The Fulbright Foreign Student Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE), aims to strengthen the capacities of African universities by providing opportunities for higher degree training of young and promising researchers in the United States.

In the mail conveying the award of Fulbright Foreign Student Program placement to Mopelola Dele-Joshua, the U.S. Department of State: U.S. Consulate General Lagos stated that “IIE is pleased to announce the placement of Mopelola Dele-Joshua, a fully funded nominee (Visiting Student Researcher), at U.S. Department of Energy: Joint BioEnergy Institute in Emeryville, CA”.

The Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Research Center dedicated to developing advanced biofuels. JBEI is a research partnership led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

Mopelola Dele-Joshua’s achievements, especially in winning the highly competitive Fulbright scholarship , serve as a testament to the successful mentorship provided by her supervisor, Professor Folasade M. Olajuyigbe, who is a multi-award-winning Professor of Biochemistry, winner of 2017 Fulbright Senior Research Scholar Award and recipient of the FUTA Vice-Chancellor Special Recognition Award in the 2023 University Excellence and Productivity Award Series.

The Vice Chancellor, Professor Adenike Olajuyigbe, has congratulated the award winner describing the achievement as a testament to the advantage of mentorship. “On behalf of FUTA I congratulate Mopelola and her mentor, Professor Olajuyigbe on this remarkable achievement. The win shows the advantage of collaboration and the gains that can accrue from excellence mentorship. It also underscores the excellence that FUTA is renowned for in the global University system,” the Vice Chancellor said.

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