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Andrew Nok: Nigerian professor who discovered enzyme that causes sleeping sickness



Professor Andrew Nok was a Nigerian professor who discovered an enzyme that causes sleeping sickness (trypanosoma).

He was born on February 11, 1962, and died at the age of 55 in November 21, 2017, after a brief illness.

The research breakthrough helped in forming the baseline for developing DNA-based vaccines against the disease which affects 60 million people and animals, mainly in rural parts of east, west and central Africa.

Nok was a visiting professor at Yale University while working on the development of the vaccines against trypanosoma.


Nok was born in Kaduna State, Northern Nigeria.


His parents were from Nok village in the Jaba Local Government Area of Kaduna State.


He attended the LEA Primary School in Kaduna before he proceeded to Government Secondary School, Kafanchan where he obtained the West African School Certificate in 1979, the same year he was admitted into Ahmadu Bello University where he received a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry in 1983, master’s degree in 1988 and doctorate degree in 1993.

Wife and children

He was married to Amina Nok and is a father of three children: Anita, Amanda, and Nathan Nok.


He was dean in the faculty of science at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, before he was appointed Kaduna commissioner of health and human services by Nasir El-Rufai administration, in July 2015.

Nok was later moved to the education ministry following a cabinet reshuffle.

In 2009, he was among five candidates that applied for the position of vice-chancellor of ABU. Although he reportedly came first with a score of 81 per cent, he was denied the position allegedly on religious and ethnic sentiments.

He was a fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and Lady Davis Fellows.

Before his death, Professor Nok received the Nigerian National Order of Merit Award (NNOM), in the science category in 2010.

In 2013, he won the Alexander Humboldt Prize.


The information in this article was curated from online sources. All details cannot be independently verified by NewsWireNGR or its editorial team.

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