Tribute: Professor Joseph Ugbodaga Igietseme by Tony Anyia

Professor Joseph U Igietseme

Professor Igietseme was born at Agenebode, Edo State, Nigeria. He attended Saint Peter’s College, Agenebode and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (B.Sc Biochemistry, 1980). After his National Youth Service (NYSC), he worked as a Medical Representative at R.T. Briscoe Pharmaceuticals from 1981 to 1983. He then proceeded to the United States to obtain a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) at Georgetown University, Washington, DC USA in 1987. 

Following his postdoctoral fellowship training at the University of Miami School of Medicine, (1987-1989), he was appointed as faculty member in 1989 at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), Little Rock and attained the rank of Full Professor of Immunology, Biochemistry and Microbiology at Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta (2002). He was appointed as the Chief of the Molecular Pathogenesis Laboratory at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], Atlanta GA in 2002. 

Dr. Igietseme was very conscious of the need to maintain the biologic bonds with Nigeria and Africa, supporting diaspora community empowerment and advocacy for the progress of Nigeria and Africa in education, research and development. He was a member and leader of several Nigerian and African diaspora organizations, including NIDO, ISADUS, AWC, Etsako Club ’81 Americas, USAGBE, to name a few. 

Dr. Igietseme was an inspiration for young Nigerians and Africans in the Diaspora and elsewhere. In recognition of his relentless community service and leadership for community development, Dr. Igietseme received the Outstanding Georgia Citizenship award from the Secretary of State GA USA in 2001. He is survived by his  3 children – Gabriel, Nene and Jojackson and wife, Grace. 

ADIEU PROFESSOR JOSEPH IGIETSEME. YOU WILL BE DEARLY MISSED!!!