The University of Toronto PhD student wins global scholarship for combating antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
His name? Chidozie Ojobor, an Igbo from SE of Nigeria.
One of Chidozie Ojobor’s most visceral memories was the death of his older sister, Ginika, who died of typhoid fever in 1999.
His drive to combat infectious diseases and, subsequently, superbugs, got the attention of MPOWER Financing, a Washington, D.C.-based company that offers loans to international students. Ojobor was named one of four winners of their Global Citizen scholarship this past spring.
He is the first Canadian university student to win the scholarship. He was picked by MPOWER staff out of 1,121 eligible applications – which they cite as a record number of applicants.
His curiosity about infectious diseases became a passion, and his master’s education led to the study of phage therapy – using viruses to treat bacteria.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, if left unchecked, would cause 10 million deaths yearly, worldwide, by 2050 [according to a CDC report].
With tailocins, Ojobor has been able to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the lab.
Chidozie Ojobor is currently a PhD candidate in the lab of Alan Davidson, a professor of molecular genetics in the Faculty of Medicine.
Chidozie studied microbiology at the university of Nigeria, Nnsuka.