Dr. Ayodeji Emmanuel Ogunbayo

Dr Ayodeji Emmanuel Ogunbayo completed his Ph.D as an NRF grant holder’s fellow at the Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) Unit and Division of Virology, University of the Free State (UFS), under the mentorship of Prof. Martin Nyaga. He holds a BSc Degree (UNISA), a B.MedSc. Honours (UFS), M.MedSci. (UFS) degrees with specialization in Medical Microbiology and Virology.

Previously, Dr Ogunbayo worked on alternative methods for diagnosing tuberculosis in children and deciphering mutations in different genes that confers resistance to different classes of antibiotics in tuberculosis patients.

His doctoral research made an immense contribution to the applicability of metagenomics next-generation sequencing (mNGS) in deciphering the respiratory virome and in diagnosing severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) in children under five years of age. The findings from this study included a validated and robust workflow to recover respiratory RNA viruses from clinical samples. The established workflow was adapted to decipher children’s respiratory virome composition in health and disease, while simultaneously establishing the clinical diagnostic applicability of mNGS and, more importantly, the increased utility of dual-triple mNGS analysis tools in robust detection of viral pathogens in SARI. His research further established the interference and enormous impact of COVID-19 pandemic and the adopted non-pharmaceutical intervention on the transmission dynamics of other respiratory viruses. Four research articles from this study with pioneering data in Africa were published in high-impact international journals.

He is currently a post-doctoral fellow/research associate at the UFS-NGS Unit. His research interests/activities include viral metagenomics for surveillance and diagnostics in respiratory cases, paediatric infectious diseases, tuberculosis diagnostics, and viral epidemiological studies.