Dr Kennedy Eguzozie

Postdoctoral Fellow


Full CV
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I obtained my BSc Hons degree in Chemistry from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 1994 and MSc and PhD degrees in Chemistry from the University of South Africa in 2008 and 2012 respectively.

As an applied chemistry researcher, I have also studied the intricate mechanistic functions of metals in biological systems and the roles metal ions play in reversible biomedical processes like phosphorylation and dephosphorylation as well as pyrophosphorylation and depyrophosphorylation reactions in model systems. The approach gave structural information on precursor complexes, intermediate and products which signifies solid innovative way of explaining important complex enzyme reactions. The approach has helped researchers understand better the enzymatic, pharmacological and environmental aspects of phosphate chemistry with significant findings relevant in the field of biomedical research and environmental toxicology. These reactions play a major role in the biomedical world by linking the biochemical processes of respiration and fermentation with other cellular reactions. Enzyme catalysed transfer/removal of phosphoryl/pyrophosphoryl groups to/from and acceptor is central in the cellular control mechanisms of glycogenesis, glycolysis, glucogenesis, glucogenolysis, gluconeogenesis and cholesterol metabolism.

I have also studied the decontamination of a toxic aryl organophosphate effected by complexes formed of [{CoN4(OH)(OH2}]2+ and [{Cu(bpy)(OH)(OH2)}]+ using 31P NMR and other vibrational spectroscopic analytical techniques like surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and surface enhanced infrared spectroscopy (SEIRS). Through such studies, it is possible to compare the behaviour of labile, semi labile and inert metal ions with the structural and kinetic factors promoting and inhibiting the addition/removal of a phosphate group to/from an acceptor in decontamination studies.

As a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, I have employed selective chromatographic and spectroscopic analytical techniques for the identification and detection of cyanobacterial toxins produced by toxigenic cyanobacteria bloom species in surface freshwater environments with significant findings in environmental contamination and toxicology. The approach encompasses pharmacology, environmental, biochemistry and analytical chemistry and has addressed questions in the interdisciplinary interface of Bio-Inorganic Chemistry, Molecular Biology, Analytical Chemistry, Biotechnology, Environmental Contamination and Toxicology.

My current research interest is focused on the chemical ecology of sugarcane insect pest. Many of the volatile organic compounds emitted by these insects serve as messenger molecules or semiochemicals that convey information both between different species and within species. The main goal of the current research is to detect and identify the volatiles that are involved in these chemical messages with the aim of developing new pheromone formulations that are effective in trapping these pest insects in sugarcane plantations in South Africa. The approach incorporates analytical techniques like thermal desorption, gas chromatography, electroantennography, mass spectrometry and any other relevant tools as well as bioassays characterize and confirm the pheromone compounds of Cacosceles newmannii and Eldana saccharina for potential use for the management of these insect pest in sugarcane plantations in South Africa. The similarities of pheromone from Cacosceles newmannii to other species in the Prioninae subfamily will be investigated and the putative attractants will be explored for the possibility of making a species-specific lure for these pest control in sugarcane plantations. The approach also includes the application of molecular phylogeny and other field study applicable tools in determining the relationship of Cacosceles newmannii with other Cerambycidae, especially African species.