Professor Olobayo Olufunsho KUNLE is a graduate of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he obtained a B. Pharm. (Hons) degree in 1984. He was an Intern Pharmacist for one year at ABUTH, Zaria. After his National Service at University of Nigeria, Nsukka, he returned to the Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharm. Microbiology of his alma mater as an Assistant Lecturer in 1986. He lectured Unit Operations, Radio-pharmacy and Drug Dispensing for five (5) years. During this time, he studied for and obtained his M.Sc. Degree in 1989 by presenting a thesis on the use of local Nigerian starches as Pharmaceutical Raw Materials. He also served as Departmental Examination Officer. He later obtained his Ph.D from Ahmadu Bello University in 1997. His work was the first comprehensive study of the deformation characteristics of plant extracts in the production of tablets.
He later joined the services of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Abuja, as a pioneer member of staff where he set up the Department of Pharmaceutics. As a researcher he has been actively involved in the development of pharmaceutical raw materials, especially starches from local sources and the formulation of herbal medicines into standardised dosage forms. He has especially studied the effect of synthetic excipients on herbal formulations including their effect on the compaction characteristics of such preparations. He is currently the Principal Investigator in two externally funded research projects in the Institute which were obtained through competitive grant writing.
He has published 68 papers in peer reviewed scientific journals and presented a number of papers at both local and international conferences and is an authority on the development of pharmaceutical grade starch from local sources. He is the Managing Editor of the Institute’s Journal, JOPAT in addition to which he is a reviewer for a number of journals.
He coordinated the studies on NIPRISAN (NICOSAN) (a phytomedicine for the management of sickle cell disease) from laboratory studies to clinical trials. He was responsible, as Project Coordinator, for ensuring the smooth scale-up of the production of NICOSAN to commercial scale. This product was licensed to an international pharmaceutical company – Xechem Inc., USA – for production and marketing making it the most successful innovation of the Institute to date. This is the first time a medicinal product was completely developed from research to commercial stage in the country.
Professor Kunle is also involved in the assessment of the quality of drug formulations used in the country especially in the areas of assessment of their pharmaceutico-technical properties and their stability profile in the country’s specific environmental conditions. He has also conducted some studies for the Institute on the effecting of handling and storage on the stability of drug formulations.
He was the Production Manager of NIPCO Pharmaceuticals Ltd, (a drug manufacturing company owned by NIPRD) for five years.
He has received a number of national and international grants.
He is presently a Professor and the Acting Director General of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Abuja. He is the alternate Chair of the Institute’s Research and Development Committee. He has represented the Institute at a number of local and international meetings. In addition he was the Chairman of the Institute’s Research and Development Programs Committee which has the responsibility of formulating, implementing and monitoring the Institute’s research and development activities between 2002 and 2010. He has acted for the Director General several times in the past 15 years.
He was an adjunct Professor of Pharmaceutical Technology in the Department of Pharmacy of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye. He has been External Examiner and carried out assessments for promotions to the Professorial cadre for a number of Universities.
He was a member of the Ministerial Committee to review the draft Guidelines for drug distribution in Nigeria. This committee was established by the Minister of Health to review the work of an earlier committee set up to design and guide the establishment of an effective drug distribution system to replace the present chaotic drug distribution system in the country. Before this, he was a member of the committee that prepared the draft guidelines.
He has also served on a number of government committees in the health sector including the Presidential Committee on the Pharmaceutical Sector, Committee on Drafting and Monitoring Committees of the Health Sector Reforms, Committee to develop a Pharmacovigilance policy for Nigeria. He is a member of the Committee for the production of the Nigerian Pharmacopoiea which has just published the first edition of the Nigerian Herbal Pharmacopoiea. He is also a member of the Committee of Experts appointed by the West African Health Community (WAHO) to produce the West African Herbal Pharmacopoiea. He was also a member of the Federal Government Committee that investigated the Trovan Clinical Trials conducted by Pfizer in Kano whose report led to landmark changes in clinical trial regulation internationally.
He is a Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) which is the umbrella body for the over 10,000 Pharmacists in Nigeria. He was Chairman of the Abuja branch of the Society and between 2000 – 2003, its Asst. National Secretary of the Society and is a Merit Award Winner. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the National Association of Pharmacists in Academia and Chairman of its Abuja Branch. He was a member of the FCT Drug Abuse Control Committee.
He has attended a number of workshops and training courses both within and outside the country and is a member of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS).