Chukwumaobim Nwokwu Profile

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Nwokwu, Chukwumaobim (PhD, MS)

Assistant Professor, Biochemistry
Department of Chemistry & Physics

SH 0434
Medical and Environmental Biochemistry and Biochemistry of Tropical Disease Pathogens

Dr. Chukwumaobim Nwokwu (who loves to be called "Mazi", the Igbo version of "Monsieur"), completed his Ph.D. studies in Molecular Science and Nanotechnology at Louisiana Tech University, where he concurrently completed a Master’s degree in Engineering and Technology Management. Prior to that, he was awarded the Government of Sri Lanka Presidential Scholarship for Foreign Scholars which was tenable at the Institute of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IBMBB), University of Colombo, where he obtained his M.S. degree in Molecular Life Sciences with a distinction. His Bachelor’s degree is in Biochemistry (First Class Honors).

Chuma, as he is generally known by colleagues, brings to FGCU a combined 12-year research and college-level teaching experience. He has broad interdisciplinary training in the fields of applied genomics, cancer therapeutics, advances in exosome and extracellular RNA (exRNA) technology, neuroscience, redox biology, toxicology, nanomedicine, biomedical engineering, and device design. The crux of his early-days research was on toxicity testing of traditionally recognized medicinal plants that dot Nigeria’s landscape, and then later, the therapeutic potentials of some natural compounds in cancer therapy and the investigation of biocompatible nano-vehicles to achieve optimal payload delivery and improve their anti-proliferative activity. He has also collaborated and jointly published journal papers with internationally acclaimed nutritional and medical biochemists and toxicologists on the in vivo toxicological profiling of medicinal plants in rodent models.

Dr. Nwokwu's Ph.D. work was focused on the development of a technology for purification and genetic analyses of exosomes and short regulatory RNAs. He was also involved in studies of DNA repair changes and mitochondrial alteration caused by oxidative stress. He was the leading researcher involved in the design, development, and testing of a microprobe with a nano-assembled core for isolating pure and intact exosomes from biological fluids. His conceptual model studies were crucial in establishing and validating these new extracellular vesicles sampling strategy compatible with downstream analysis of exosomal protein and miRNA. The high performance and efficiency of this new technology have been presented by Dr. Nwokwu at multiple national and regional scientific conferences.

Based on his scholarly distinction and visible contribution to the advancement of the scientific enterprise, Mazi Chuma has been inducted as a member of several distinguished national and international professional associations and societies in the field of biomedical science and research, all of which thrive on the outstanding achievements of its members. He is a member of Sigma XI - The Scientific Research Honor Society; Louisiana Academy of Sciences (LAS); American Society for Exosomes and Microvesicles (ASEMV); Society for Redox Biology and Medicine (SfRBM); Society for Free Radical Research International (SFRR-I); Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES); Nigerian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (NSBMB).

He currently teaches Biochemistry and General Chemistry at Florida Gulf Coast University. Given Dr. Nwokwu’s interdisciplinary knowledge in the areas of biochemistry, molecular biology, and nanotechnology, combined with his excellent work ethic, he is working on establishing interdisciplinary collaborations with aligning research groups to offer broader exposure to his students within the College of Arts & Sciences and the Water School.

Besides his academic and research work, Mazi Chuma is involved in leadership, community service, and extracurricular activities (freelance writing, advocacy, sports, and games).

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