b.1 March 1929 d.19 November 2004
DPhil Oxon(1959) MRCP(1976) FRCP(1999) MD Cantab
Alex Boyo was one of the founding fathers of clinical pathology in Nigeria, his areas of specialisation included malaria, sickle cell disease, enzymology, immunology, molecular biology and mechanisms of disease. He was born in Sapele, Nigeria, the son of Chief Edmund Edun Boyo, a senator, and Comfort Salamatu Boyo. He first attended the Government School in Sapele and later King's College, Lagos. After completing his secondary education at Dulwich College, London, he went up to King's College, Cambridge, where he read natural sciences. He then went to Oxford, to the Radcliffe Infirmary, for his clinical studies, and he subsequently became a graduate student at New College, obtaining his DPhil from the University of Oxford in 1959.
After his return to Nigeria he held various appointments, including the head of the Federal Malaria Research Institute and consultant malariologist to the Federal Government of Nigeria. In 1967 he was appointed professor and head of the department of pathology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, a position he held until his voluntary retirement in 1981. His role in the expansion and modernization of the hospital laboratories in the department of pathology was noteworthy. He also established the National Blood Transfusion and Sickle Cell Disease Programmes in Nigeria.
Recognising the importance of education, he developed the junior fellowship programme in co-operation with King's College, Cambridge, enabling top medical students from the Lagos College of Medicine to study for a limited period in Cambridge. He also fostered the strong relationship between the University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, New York, and the Lagos College of Medicine, whereby students took an extra year of study at Rochester to obtain the B.Med.Sci. in pathology. He also served on the National Universities Commission and on the National Council for Science and Technology in Nigeria.
Outside Nigeria, he was a visiting lecturer at the department of pathobiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, and held visiting professorships at the universities of Chicago and Texas at Houston. He was elected a fellow of King's College, Cambridge, in 1971 for a year and also served as a member of several WHO expert panels and as a consultant of the expert advisory panel on human genetics.
Loved by his friends and colleagues, admired by his students, no one who had an encounter with him would easily forget his charming personality, prodigious intellect and unmatchable witticisms. Generous and caring in a legendary fashion, Alex Boyo was a loving husband to his wife Monika and a great father to his five children. He touched many lives and helped many people, irrespective of ethnic origin, gender or background. He was a source of inspiration to his students and took great pride and joy in their successes.
Sonny F Kuku
Matthias I Okoye
(Volume XII, page web)
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