Esimone, who became a professor at the age of 37, and first professor of Pharmacy in the institution, emerged as the new Vice-Chancellor, having scaled through an extensive interview process, which involved thirty other professors that applied for the position.
The newly appointed Vice-Chancellor, is a professor of Pharmaceutical Microbiology & Biotechnology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, and he holds B.Pharm., M.Pharm., and PhD degrees from the University of Nigeria (1995, 1998 and 2002 respectively).
Reports garnered from the university revealed that the announcement of Prof. Esimone as the new Vice-Chancellor of UNIZIK, by the Governing Council of UNIZIK on Wednesday, brought a great relief to the university community, as there had been probable tension in the institution over who becomes the new Vice-Chancellor.
While Prof. Esimone has received his appointment letter as the new Vice – Chancellor of UNIZIK amidst jubilation, he is expected to take over from the outgoing Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Joseph Ahaneku.
According to reports on the selection process of candidates for the job, it was stated that Twenty- eight (28) professors applied for the position of the Vice- Chancellor, while the search team constituted by the Governing Council got three other professors, making it Thirty -one (31) professors, altogether.
Some of the candidates that applied for the position include: Prof. Charles Esimone, immediate past deputy vice – chancellor, Academics, UNIZIK; Prof. Godwin Onu, former rector, Federal Polytechnic Oko; Prof. Josephat Ogbuagu, former provost FCE (T); Prof. A.U Nonyelu; Prof. Emeka Ezeonu, INEC REC Imo State and former vice-chancellor of Hezekiah University; with four other professors from outside UNIZIK among others.
Some of the awards he has received include: the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship to Germany (2003-2005); Visiting Scientist to the University of Pittsburgh, USA (2007-2008); the ANDI Bright Contest Award for the Best African Innovative Researcher, South Africa (2009); Young Scientist (representing Nigeria) at the “Summer Davos” Annual Meeting of New Champions, Tianjin, China (2010) and the CV Raman Senior Fellowship, India (2013).
Prof. Esimone is a member of the Governing Council of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), the Nnamdi Azikiwe University and the Nanomedicine Society of Nigeria; and the pioneer national president of the Nanomedicine Society of Nigeria.
He has well over 180 publications to his name. He has pioneered research in the use of recombinant viral vectors as surrogates for high throughput antiviral screening studies and on the use of indigenous medicinal plants as immunomodulators, vaccine adjuvants and anti-infectives. His vector-based antiviral screening technique developed between 2003 and 2005 in Germany has significantly revolutionalised high-throughput screening for anti-HIV compounds worldwide.
The management and staff of Pharmanews wish him a successful administration.