Professor Tolu Odugbemi, OON, NNOM, FAS was born at Ado-Ekiti, now in the present day Ekiti State, Nigeria on 30th January 1945. He hails from Oke-Igbo in Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo Local Government of Ondo State, Nigeria. After a brilliant primary education at Emmanuel School, Ado-Ekiti and the St. Stephens Anglican School, Ikare-Akoko, he gained admission into the prestigious Christ’s School, Ado-Ekiti between 1958 and 1964. After an impressive and eventful secondary school career, he enrolled in the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos to read Medicine during which he also registered as a Pioneer Student of Microbiology. He combined this with his studies as a Medical Student and emerged with a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in the Second Class Upper Division in 1970 and the MB,BS Degree in 1972. He completed his training in Medical Microbiology at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba and subsequently qualified as a Fellow of the West African College of Physicians (FWACP) in 1976. He is also a Foundation fellow of the National Postgraduate Medical College (FMCPath) and a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, U.K (FRCPath).
Early in his career, he obtained a Diploma in Bacteriology from the University of Toronto, Canada (1976) as well as Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D) University of Sheffield (1978) and Doctor of Medicine (M.D) degree in 1982 from the prestigious University of Lagos (UNILAG).
He was the foundation Professor and Head of the Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin 1983-1985, Professor and Head Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos for several years, Honorary Lecturer, Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Sheffield, UK, 1976-1978, Guest Researcher, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Research Laboratory, Center for Infectious Diseases, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 1981-1982. He was also a former Honorary Consultant Microbiologist, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, College Dean, School of Basic Medical Sciences, College Provost, College of Medicine of the University of Lagos (CMUL) and Member Governing Council, University of Lagos January 1997- December, 2000, President/Chairman of Governing Board of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria (2002-2003) and Member, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, 2002-2003.
Professor Odugbemi was Founder and Coordinating Editor, Nigeria Journal of Health and Biomedical Sciences. He had previously served as Editor-in-Chief of the Nigerian Quarterly Journal of Hospital Medicine and as Editorial consultant to other medical journals and member of several professional bodies. He is a Fellow of the Nigeria Academy of Science. Prof. Odugbemi was awarded the highest honour of a Distinguished Fellow of the Medical College of Nigeria (DFMC) by the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria for his outstanding contributions to the medical profession. The University of Sheffield, United Kingdom, his alma mater, also in recognition of his positive contributions to the upliftment of education, conferred on him an honorary Doctor of Science (Hon D.Sc) degree on 21st July, 2011. Prof. Odugbemi’s most recent publications are two books titled “Outline and Picture of Medicinal Plants from Nigeria” and “A textbook of Medicinal Plants from Nigeria” which provide in-depth information about medicinal plants and their usefulness in Nigeria. He has to his credit over 200 publications in national and international Journals and Articles of excellent research in Microbiology and other areas.
Prof. Odugbemi was honoured with the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) for his outstanding and distinguished academic scholarship and Officer of the Order of Niger (OON) on 6th December, 2007 and 14th February, 2008 respectively by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He is a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) (30th April 2007 – 30th January 2010) and the immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Ondo State University of Science and Technology, (OSUSTECH) Okitipupa, Nigeria (27th September 2010 – 26th September 2015).
Professor Tolu Odugbemi, a recipient of many traditional chieftaincy titles is a medical microbiologist and parasitologist of international repute and a seasoned administrator who has made many land mark contributions to medical profession and humanity through his outstanding research findings.
Professor Odugbemi is happily married to Chief (Mrs.) Titi Odugbemi and they are blessed with children and grandchildren.