Okeke Iruka

Okeke Iruka was elected as an AAS Fellow in 2018. As a fellow, Okeke Iruka contributes to the development of the Academy’s strategic direction through participation in AAS activities and governance structures. . This gears the Academys vision of transforming african lives through science.

Year elected
Medical & Health Sciences

Iruka Okeke received B. Pharm, MSc and Ph.D. degrees from Obafemi Awolowo University (formerly University of Ife), Nigeria, undertaking a year of her doctoral research at the Center for Vaccine Development, University of Maryland as a Fulbright Fellow.  After postdoctoral training at Uppsala Universitet, Sweden and the University of Maryland Medical School, Okeke held Faculty positions at the University of Bradford, UK (2000-2002) and then at Haverford College, PA, USA, where she was initially appointed Assistant Professor in 2002.  During her tenure at Haverford, she was a Branco Weiss Fellow of the Society in Science (2004-9) and a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Berlin (2010-11).  She rose to full professorship at Haverford in 2014 before moving to her current position at the University of Ibadan.    Iruka is a Professor of Pharmaceutical Microbiology at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.  She is a bacterial geneticist who researchers the molecular epidemiology, pathogenesis and drug resistance of enteric bacteria.  She also engages in Science and Technology Studies research, which is focused on microbiology laboratory practice in Africa. Iruka’s research and teaching are inseparably intertwined and many of her almost 100 research mentees are now pursuing successful careers in the sciences.  Iruka is author of over 120 scientific papers and chapters as well as the book Divining Without Seeds:  The case for strengthening laboratory medicine in Africa (Cornell).  She is co-author of the text book Genetics:  Genes, Genomes and Evolution (Oxford) and Editor-in-Chief of the African Journal of Laboratory Medicine.   Iruka currently serves on the Wellcome Trust Surveillance and Epidemiology of Drug Resistant Infections Consortium (SEDRIC) and is a drug resistance consultant to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, WHO and other organizations.  She is a member of several scientific societies and a fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science.