1932

Abstract

The saying “It takes a village to raise a child” has never been truer than in my case. This autobiographical article documents my growing up and working on three different continents and my influencers along the way. Born in a village in Nigeria, West Africa, I spent the first 12 years of life with my grandmother living in a mud house and attending a village primary school. I walked barefoot to school every day, learned to read, and wrote on a chalk slate. At the age of 13, I moved to my second “village,” London, England. In secondary school my love of science began to blossom. I attained a double major in chemistry and human biology from the University of Hertfordshire and a PhD in biophysics from the University of London, with a research project aimed at designing anticancer agents. I was mentored by Terence Jenkins and Stephen Neidle. For my postdoctoral training, I crossed the ocean again, to the United States, my third “village.” In Michael Rossmann's group at Purdue University, my love for viruses was ignited. My independent career in structural virology began at Warwick University, England, working on pathogenic single-stranded DNA packaging viruses. In 2020, I am a full professor at the University of Florida. Most of my research is focused on the adeno-associated viruses, gene delivery vectors. My list of mentors has grown and includes Nick Muzyczka. Here, the mentee has become the mentor, and along the way, we attained a number of firsts in the field of structural virology and contributed to the field at the national and international stages.

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2021-09-29
2024-06-15
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