I Returned To Nigeria From The US To Promote Scientific Research
Prof Isa Hussaini Marte attended a community secondary school where they had no science teachers until form 4. Later in form 4, their school was merged with Yerwa Government School Maiduguri where he learned all the sciences in one year. Indeed, he saw a laboratory for the first time in form 5. Professor Marte went on to obtain his undergraduate degree in Pharmacy at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, MSc at Chelsea College London and PhD degree at King’s College London, UK. This was followed by a Postdoc in the Lab of Professor T. Y Shen (1987-1989) and a second Postdoc in the lab of Professor S. L. Gonias (1989-1990) both at the University of Virginia.
Prof Marte established his own lab at the university of Virginia in the United States and published widely on brain tumour invasive growth, rising to a tenured Associate Professor and Principal Investigator in the Departments of Pathology and Neuroscience. While there he obtained 4 independent research grants (RO1) funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) worth $5 million and was a regular reviewer of grant applications for the NIH and American Cancer Society. He is a recipient of many awards and his achievements has been recognised with Fellowships by many science academies, such as the African Academy of Sciences and Nigerian Academy of Science.
In 2010 Prof Marte left the USA and returned to his hometown in Nigeria where he established a cancer research team focusing on the use of medicinal plants to find cure/treatment for cancer. He returned at the peak of the Boko Haram crisis in Borno State, when many people were instead migrating to other places. He is a mentor to many young and senior scientists.
Young scientists must have a passion for science and research and have mentors to advice and nurture them. After obtaining PhD, scientists should have further exposure as postdoctoral fellows and learn how to write fundable proposals and quality manuscripts. Science and Research are a continuum and do not stop after obtaining PhD or becoming a Professor.