Martins Emeje is a distinguished Professor of Drug Delivery and Nanomedicine. A holder of Bachelor of Pharmacy with distinction from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Master of Pharmacy and PhD from the University of Nigeria, where he received the best PhD award, and was enlisted in UNN “Faces of Research”. He started his teaching career with an appointment with Olamaboro Local Government Education Authority primary school about 30 years ago and his professional research career about 20 years ago when he was hired as a Junior Research Fellow in the department of Pharmaceutical Technology and Raw Materials Development, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research & Development (NIPRD) where he rose to the rank of Research Professor within 10 years. For over 15 years, Emeje focused on creating an understanding of the molecular behavior of polymeric materials and the compaction properties of pharmaceutical powders, excipients and active pharmaceutical ingredients including the physico-mechanical properties of drug formulations using these substances. Having conducted several research projects in herbal pharmacotherapy, herbal formulation, compaction characteristics of pharmaceutical powders, and excipient characterization, his expertise focuses on the development of solid oral dose formulations for immediate- and sustained- release applications and the physical properties of polymer-polymer and polymer-drug interactions. The outcome of his research made him discover wide array of naturally occurring raw materials that could be harnessed as excipients suitable as carriers in drug delivery and the outcome further generated his interest in pharmaceutical nanotechnology and nanomedicine. In this respect, he undertook an extensive molecular solid-state characterization and application of natural polymers in nanomedicine for the targeted delivery of challenging conventional drugs and insoluble bioactive agents. He has the patent for the first starch-engineered nanodrug delivery system in Nigeria.
Prof. Emeje is a recipient of many fellowships, awards and grants all over the world including the prestigious Raman Fellowship; Research Scholar, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore and the Centre for Co-operation in Science & Technology among Developing Societies (CCSTDS); and International Scholar, Poona College of Pharmacy etc. He is a member of many national/international organizations such as the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC), American Chemical Society (ACS), American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH), Society of Ethnobiology (SoE), West African Health Research Network (WANNPRESS) etc
Emeje had specialized post-doctoral training in molecular and cell biology and nanoscience at Tezpur University and National Chemical Laboratory respectively, in India. Martins is also a graduate of project management from Walden University, USA, and had earlier obtained a professional teaching qualification from ABU Zaria, where he equally graduated as the overall best graduating student with nine (9) prices and an automatic scholarship. Prof. Emeje is cited more than 100 times yearly by colleagues across the globe and has over 150 publications including media mentions, patents, and trademarks. He is an external examiner to universities in Nigeria, Ghana and India.
Prof. Emeje’s teaching experience which started at the Local Government Education Authority Primary School, Agaliga, Kogi state has seen him teach at all the three tiers of education in Nigeria. i.e. Primary, Secondary and University. He taught Biology, Chemistry Physics and Agriculture at GSS Olowa and Okpo for full two years and on part-time basis while studying pharmacy. During internship at the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), he continued teaching by combining his internship research with teaching Physics, Chemistry and Biology to final year secondary school students at the CBN quarters in Abuja; all the students he taught at these levels made excellent results at SSCE and are now doctors, pharmacists, engineers etc and widely distributed across the globe. His teaching career at the University level started in 2009 when University of Uyo appointed him as an adjunct lecturer 1. At Uyo and as an adjunct staff for nine (9) years, he rose through the rank of adjunct lecturer I, Senior lecturer and Professor. One year before he disengaged from University of Uyo, he took up appointment as a postgraduate Professor/Supervisor at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (2017).
Prof. Emeje is currently a Professor/Faculty at the African Centre of Excellence for Mycotoxin and Food Safety, Federal University of Technology, Minna, where he teaches postgraduate (Masters and Ph.D.) courses in nanotechnology, intellectual property, and food safety. He is also a Professor/International postgraduate supervisor at De Montfort University, UK as well as a visiting professor and consultant to Gregory University, where he offered to facilitate the establishment of a cGMP drug facility. He has taught and mentored many undergraduate and postgraduate students. He has trained over 100 Pharmacist-interns, and facilitated international postgraduate scholarships for more than 10 to advanced laboratories in United States of America, United Kingdom, India and China. He has also supervised several Masters and PhD student projects. Prof. Emeje is a Professorial assessor in Nigeria, Ghana and India. He was the head of NIPRD’s spin-off during which the first indigenous phytomedicine currently marketed as NICLOVIX™ was licensed to an indigenous pharmaceutical company, May & Baker Nig. Plc.
Prof. Emeje is the principal investigator of several foreign grants including an $11.6M for the development of antimalaria, diabetes and tuberculosis drugs from Nigerian medicinal plants and the establishment of the first nanomedicine centre in Nigeria, American Cancer Society grant for the development of Oral morphine solution as well as a 2022 Royal Society grant on supramolecular investigation of medicinal plants. His work on phytomedicines has so far resulted in three major products listed by NAFDAC and available in the market. Also, his work in the application of nanotechnology in drug delivery won World Health Organization (WHO) innovation award in Addis Ababa. Emeje was one of the eight (8) finalists and the only Nigerian whose innovation for the advancement in health was selected by Emory University – facilitated consortium. He is part of an international team of scientists from 23 countries who won a European grant on developing natural products for use in combating antimicrobial resistance. Prof. Emeje’s team also won a WHO grant for developing a novel product from Nigeria’s natural resources for the management of sickle cell disease.
Emeje is a contributor in the book, Making Medicines in Africa: The Political Economy of Industrializing for Local Health.
Prof. Emeje developed NiprimunePlus™ listed by NAFDAC for the management of covid-19 symptoms just seven months following the outbreak. In April 2021, Martins was appointed by WHO as a member of the world health body’s Expert Committee for development of Target Product Profiles (TPP). Prof. Emeje is also a consultant to WHO on Quality Management Systems, and has trained for WHO over 70 SMSEs in Nigeria on how to build quality into their products and services. He won the May & Baker – sponsored professional service award for research and innovation in November 2021. He is enlisted in the World Who’s Who and the International Biographic Congress, London. He is listed among the 2000 outstanding scientists of the 21st century. Prof. Emeje a Board member of the first private medical university; Institute of Medical Sciences Africa; a medical university devoted to the postgraduate training of medical and health professionals. He is a fellow of the Institute of Corporate Administration of Nigeria.
Emeje is a past National Chairman of the Nigeria Association of Pharmacists in Academia (NAPA); the umbrella professional association of all pharmacists who undertake teaching and research in Nigerian universities and academic research institutes; at this time, he midwifed the discovery, development and launch of the first herbal cough syrup in Nigeria. He is also a past president of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology Cooperative, Thrift and Credit Society; over 2000-member association spanning about ten government agencies. During his tenure, he initiated a skills acquisition program that saw about 800 Civil Servants trained and given interest free “loans” to establish businesses. He won the academic pharmacist of the year award and Industrial Pharmacists of Nigeria’s distinguished Service Award back to back. He is a Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, and the current head of Research and Development, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Nigeria.
Currently, Prof. Emeje is applying knowledge-based science to inform health policy and decisions, with key interest in regulatory issues as well as developing pharmaceutical products with better efficacy. In the last half a decade, he has actively carried out several national studies of public health importance, including tracking antibiotic use in animals and man, use of herbal medicines in the vulnerable such as pregnant women and the pediatric population, in addition to and developing standards for food safety. Emeje had a one-year sabbatical leave with the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), where working with the DGNAFDAC, he coordinated a team of Nigerian scientists and regulators to investigate the connection between antimicrobial resistance and use of antibiotics in livestock, as well as grantsmanship culminating in winning a TETFund grant; it was the first time NAFDAC would win a TETFUND grant.
Prof. Emeje who is one of the outstanding academics and pharmaceutical development experts in Nigeria has been cited more than 2000 times. Prof. Emeje who was named the Vice-Chancellor, European University of Nigeria in 2022, admitted as a Fellow of the continental Academy in Africa, African Academy of Sciences (AAS), and in 2023 appointed as the Director General/Chief Executive of the Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA).