Inter-College Lecture Series by Prof. R. Kingsford-Adaboh

Professor Robert Kingsford-Adaboh

The College of Basic and Applied Sciences took its turn on the platform of the Inter-College lecture Series on Thursday 2nd March 2017.  

Professor Robert Kingsford-Adaboh, Acting Dean of the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences and Associate Professor of the Department of Chemistry delivered the lecture on the topic, “From Folkloric to Pharmacological agents: the role of X-ray Crystallography”.

Professor Boateng Onwona-Agyeman, Dean, School of Engineering Sciences welcomed the audience and noted that the Inter-College lectures which have come to  replace the Inter-faculty lecture series was an opportunity for faculty members to discuss their research findings with the University community and the general public.  He was hopeful the discussion would allow the audience to ask questions and make meaningful contributions to the presentations.

The Provost of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, Professor. Daniel K. Asiedu, who chaired the lecture, introduced the lecture and thanked him for accepting to deliver the first lecture from the College.  Professor Robert Kingsford-Adaboh, in his presentation indicated that from time immemorial, natural products had been the backbone of traditional system of healing throughout the globe, and have also been an integral part of history and culture.  He noted that many blockbuster drugs have been derived directly or indirectly from plants.  Prof. Kingsford-Adaboh intimated that even at the dawn of the 21st century, 11% of the 252 drugs considered as basic and essential by the World Health Organization (WHO), were exclusively of flowering plant origin.

He suggested the use of plants for drugs or chemical as it has a long history of chemical use, it is affordable and the first option of choice for many in developing countries.

Several processes, he said, are involved in the structure elucidation of drugs from plant sources, relying on several techniques include: IR, NMR, MS, XRD and SC-XRD.

Speaking on the role of X-ray crystallography, he said, is to determine structure of crystals and mentioned that in 1945, during World War II, Dorothy C. Hodgkin, formerly of the University’s Chemistry Department used X-ray crystallography to determine the structure of penicillin, Vitamin B12 in 1945 for curing anaemia and Insulin for lifeline for diabetes.  He mentioned that Professor Daniel Adzei Bekoe, a Professor of Chemistry, and a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana,  also discovered the crystal Structure of i-Erythritol and its relationships to some derived D and 1 and racemic substances.

Professor Robert Kingsford-Addaboh, lamented that not much attention has been paid to the development of coumarins as antifungals.  He, therefore, recommended that the role of X-ray crystallographic method as a scientific tool in search for new drug candidates and “Lead” compounds for the synthesis of drugs to tackle the numerous radical mediated diseases, which he said, should not be underestimated.


The audience at the lecture

Faculty members and the audience who actively participated in the lecture series, made useful contributions to the discussions that followed and posed relevant questions to the lecturer.

Rev. Professor Patrick Ferdinand Ayeh-Kumi, Provost of the College of Health Sciences who delivered the closing remarks, thanked Professor Robert Kingsford-Addaboh for his insightful lecture.