Department Chair and Professor
B.Sc., University of Ife, Ile-Ife, Nigeria (1985) - Botany
M.Sc., Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Nigeria (1989) - Genetics
Ph.D., University of Maryland at College Park, USA (1999). Plant Breeding and Genetics (molecular breeding)
Dr. George Ude, a tenured full Professor in the Department of Natural Sciences at Bowie State University is the recipient of the University of Maryland’s 2016 Wilson H. Elkins Professorship which honors recipients for teaching, research and service. Dr. Ude embodies the essence of the vision of Dr. Elkins for whom this professorship is named, as enshrined in his famous quote: "There is nothing more precious than a gifted mind. Our colleges and universities rise above the commonplace when they make it possible for the truly great thinkers of our time to nurture the creative spirit of our youth. This is the educational process at its finest."(Wilson H. Elkins). Dr. Ude is a great thinker whose professional career is devoted to nurturing the creative spirits of our youth.
An excellent teacher, Dr. Ude emphasizes the use of discovery-based pedagogy to facilitate student learning and augment faculty capacity to instruct student. To accomplish this, he secured extramural funding from the NSF to establish a state-of-the-art Genomics Lab to support his course in molecular biology. This enables students to have hands-on experience in the class. He regularly mentors students in his lab to pursue intensive research, some of which result in publication in peer-reviewed journals.
Dr. Ude has established collaboration with internationally regarded research entities such as the DNA Learning Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY, the NIH, and the USDA. These efforts are geared toward diversifying the experiences of students in the STEM disciplines, and provide them opportunities to learn from world class scientists. His most recent grant received from NSF has enabled him to establish a new Applied Biotechnology Course, and also provide international research opportunities to students. In the latter effort, Dr. Ude travels to Nigeria with several students to conduct DNA-Barcoding research, in partnership with Cold Spring Harbor and the Godfrey Okoye University at Enugu, Nigeria. The effort has led to the hosting of two international workshops on DNA barcoding in Nigeria and the US.
Over the past several years, Dr. Ude has conducted the very popular Biotech Summer Institute, to provide hands on experience in molecular biology to college students, high school students, and high school teachers from various parts of the country. Testimonials from participants show that the program has enhanced the teaching and learning of biology, and aided some in gaining admission to graduate programs. His annual Biotechnology Symposium offers students the opportunity to make professional presentations to the public.
Dr. Ude is the faculty coordinator of the Undergraduate Research Program at Bowie State. In 2015, Dr. Ude lead the departmental effort to host the first HBCU Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) at Bowie State, attended by about 40 professors from more than 20 HBCUs around the country. Another creative effort geared towards facilitating student learning of biology is the BioMusic project he initiated in 2010. The goal of the effort was to interest the youth in science by communicating in accessible format, by setting biological concepts and process to rap music. On the research front, Dr. Ude’s area of interest is plant genomics. He collaborates with scientists from around the world in conducting research on banana (Musa, sp.) to search for alternative model system for polyploidy studies, as well as understanding the developmental components of parthenocarpy in the species using Next Generation Sequencing techniques (http://www.rnaseqforthenextgeneration.org/profiles/george-ude.html#abstract). It is significant to note that his work always involves students. Journal publications have emerged from this work, as well as several book chapters published by major publishing houses.
Dr. Ude contributes to the service of his profession through various avenues. He is the founder of the International Society of African Biotechnologists and Bioscientists (ISABB), and organization devoted to promoting STEM on the African continent. The organization publishes four online journals to disseminate scientific knowledge for the betterment of especially Africa. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the African Journal of Biotechnology.
He has received several awards some of which are: (1) 2008 Exemplary Mentor award, for distinguished scholarly work and support of Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology (SMET) domain and the Model Institutions for Excellence Initiative MIE; (2) 2009 Bowie State University (BSU) College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Faculty Creative award for a faculty member who engages in an activity that may not result in a scholarly publication, but represents an outstanding achievement in his or her profession (BioMusic CD production); (3) 2011 and 2014 CAS Outstanding Faculty award, the highest award in the College of Arts and Sciences which honors a faculty member who has distinguished him/herself as an all-around professional, excelling in research, teaching, service and scholarly or creative activities; and the (4) 2015 Outstanding International Faculty Outreach award that honors a faculty member who engages in significant international activities or sponsors activities that enrich the international experience of students and advance the international mission of the College.
Dr. Ude is married to his lovely wife, Assumpta Onyinyechi and they are blessed with two boys (Onyedikachi and Chinonso) and one girl (Amarachi).