Academic Staff Directory




Dr. Ngozi Nma Odu is a Senior Lecturer of Food Microbiology & Public Health in the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, College of Natural & Applied Sciences. She obtained her first degree in Microbiology from Paisley College of Technology, Renfrewshire, Scotland. While in Scotland, she received the Best Academic Prize for 2 consecutive years (1977 and 1978 respectively). She also holds a Masters Degree in Food Science and Management from the prestigious University of London (Queen Elizabeth College). In 1989 she obtained a Ph.D in Microbiology at the University of Port Harcourt, that made her the first Ph.D graduate in that department. She also attended a Leadership course at the prestigious John Hopkins University Baltimore, USA.  


She has had a varied working experience. She rose through the ranks in the Rivers State Ministry of Health to the post of permanent secretary, a post she held for (6½) six and half years (1999 – 2006) making her the longest serving Permanent Secretary in that Ministry. During her tenure as Permanent Secretary, her Ministry received accolades from WHO, UNICEF and FMOH for Best practices in the area of Immunization and Baby Friendly Initiative Programmes. Dr. Odu lead the rescue team of the December, 2010 ill – fated Sosoliso air crash (there were only 2 survivors). In January 2006, she was elevated to a position of a commissioner in the Rivers State Civil Service in the Ministry of Education. As a commissioner, she made some remarkable contributions to Human Capital Development. She facilitated the award of overseas undergraduate scholarships to over 400 Rivers State Students in Russia and Malaysia. In same vein, she also facilitated the award of overseas Post – graduate scholarship to over 75 Rivers State men & women in USA, UK and Europe. She commenced the process of handover of Schools to the missions, she also initiated School beautification programme in public Schools in the State.

She had served her country in various ways. She reviewed 3 chapters of the 2004 (2nd Edition) of the National Health Policy of Nigeria. She co-reviewed the 2004 – 2007 Health Sector Reform Programme of the FMOH. She also appraised the Public Private Partnership (PPP) implementation on the health sector in Akwa Ibom State in 2005. She produced the draft State Strategic Health Development Plan (SSHDP) for Bayelsa State in 2009 as a consultant to the FMOH. She has served as a consultant to SPDC, TOTAL, NLNG and UNDP.


She has supervised over 30 B.Sc. projects, 10 M.Sc. and 2 Ph.D Thesis. She is an international scholar, an award winner of the Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology “X8-2013: Tuberculosis: Understanding the Enemy” fully funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USA.


Dr. Odu is a member and fellow of many Professional bodies. She is a Fellow and member, Board of Examiners of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM, Chartered). She is a Member, Nigerian Society for Microbiology (NSM), Nigerian Environmental Society (NES), Nigeria Institute of Food Science & Technology (NIFST) and a member of the American Society of Microbiology amongst others. She is a Peer Reviewer of the Journal of Microbiology Research,Scientific & Academic Publishing; Public Health Research,Food and Public Health,andFrontiers in Science. She has attended several conferences and workshops, nationally and internationally and is a resource person for the Federal Ministry of Health. She is also Member, Governing Board, IPS, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria (2012-2014), Member, University Management Committee, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria (2012-date), Member, INRES Committee, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria (2012-date), Member, Steering Committee on Education Partnership (EPNL/UPH), 2012-2014, Member, Board of Open/Distant Learning Centre, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Fellow, Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM, Chartered), Member, Board of Examiners of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM, Chartered) and Member, Governing Council of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM, Chartered).


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Reseach area: 
  • Molecular Epidemiology of enterohaemorrhagic E. coli 0157:H7 in fresh vegetables, meat and seafood products.
  • Evaluation of phytochemicals for utilization in preservation of meat and seafood products 


Contribution to knowledge:

Research focus is on Molecular Epidemiology of enterohaemorrhagic E. coli 0157:H7 in fresh vegetables, meat and seafood products. Evaluation of phytochemicals for utilization in preservation of meat and seafood products. Presently, we studied the coagulative and disinfective potentials of pulverized seeds of Moringa oleifera, Jatropha curcas and alum on wastewater. The need to exploit biotreatment is advised because its natural, cheap and safer. In view of the emerging health implications, we studied the prevalence of the enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7, the beta lactamase enzyme-producing abilities of isolates and their antibiotic susceptibility pattern. Two hundred and forty (240) samples of fresh beef, dung, cabbage and carrots were obtained from three different areas of Rivers State viz: Rumuokoro, Rumuji and Oginigba and analysed using standard microbiological methods. With state-of-the-art technology, we molecularly identified the starter culture for Ugba fermentation and characterized the Aroma and flavor of Ugba. We studied Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs): Gastro Intestinal Helminthes among school children in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. We detected AMPC B-Lactamases in Clinical Isolates of Escherichia coli and Klebsiella Species. We studied the bacterial Contamination of some Edible Shellfish harvested from Kalarugbani Creek, Rivers State, Nigeria as well as the microbial quality of fresh orange juice vended in public places in Port Harcourt Metropolis. We assessed the microbiological quality of smoke-deried mangrove oysters (Crassostrea gasar) sold in Port Harcourt, Nigeria and the microorganisms associated with the fermentation of oil-bean seeds (Pentaclethra macrophylla). We also assessed the Effect of Different Preservatives on the Physico-chemical Quality of Soy milkStored at Different Temperatures and on the Shell-Life of Soymilk Stored at Different Temperatures.