Malachy Ifeanyi Okeke

Title: Scientist
Phone: +47 77 64 54 36

Dr Malachy Ifeanyi Okeke is a scientist at GenØk-Centre for Biosafety Tromsø, Norway. He received a First Class Honours degree in Microbiology from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and was the University of Nigeria valedictorian for the 1992 graduating class. He received his Ph.D from the University of Tromsø Norway in 2007, where he characterized recombinant viruses obtained from recombination in vitro between a poxvirus vectored vaccine and naturally occurring orthopoxviruses. Dr. Okeke did his postdoctoral work (2008-2010) in the laboratory of Prof Terje Traavik at GenØK mapping naturally occurring recombinant and non-recombinant orthopoxviruses. Presently Dr Okeke is the project coordinator of the Poxvirus Research Group at GenØk and an advisor to relevant government agencies on the biosafety of genetically modified virus vaccines and virus vectored gene therapies. His current research interests focus on the molecular/cellular basis of host restriction of poxvirus vectors, virus-virus interaction between transgenic and naturally occurring orthopoxviruses, virus-host interaction between transgenic or naturally occurring orthopoxviruses and their mammalian host or cells, and explorring the biosafety implications of these interactions with respect to the environment, human and animal health.

Peer Reviewed Publications (2000-Date):

1. Okeke, M.I.; Okoli, A.S.; Diaz, D.; Offor, C.; Oludotun, T.G.; Tryland, M.; Bøhn, T.; Moens, U. (2017) Hazard Characterization of Modified Vaccinia Virus Ankara Vector: What Are the Knowledge Gaps? Viruses, 9, 318.

2. Okeke M.I., Okoli A.S., Eze E.N., Ekwueme G.C., Okosa, E.U and Iroegbu C.U (2015). Antibacterial activity of Citrus limonium fruit juice extract. Pak J Pharm Sci, 28(5), 1567-1571. PMID: 26408878

3. Okeke, M.I., Okoli, A.S., Nilssen, O., Moens, U., Tryland, M., Bøhn, T., and Traavik, T. (2014). Molecular characterization and phylogenetics of Fennoscandian cowpox virus isolates based on the p4c and atip genes. Virology Journal. 2014 Jun 27;11(1):119. doi: 10.1186/1743-422X-11-119.

4. Iroegbu, C.U., Okeke, M.I., and Ike, A.C. (2014). Relationship between antibody titers from V4-in-cassava vaccination and protection against velogenic virus challenge in laboratory chickens. African Journal of Microbiology Research 8(6), 539-544. doi: 10.5897/AJMR2013.6436.

5. Okeke, M.I., Hansen, H., and Traavik T. (2012). A naturally occurring cowpox virus with an ectromelia virus A-type inclusion protein gene displays atypical A-type inclusions. Infection, Genetics and Evolution 12, 160-168.

6. Tryland, M., Okeke, M.I., Af Segerstad, C.H., Morner, T., Traavik, T. and Ryser-Degiorgis, M-P. (2011). Orthopoxvirus DNA in Eurasian Lynx, Sweden. Emerg Infect Dis 17, 626-632.

7. Okeke, M.I., Adekoya, A.O., Moens, U., Tryland, M., Traavik, T. and Nilssen Ø. (2009). Comparative sequence analysis of A-type inclusion (ATI) and P4c proteins of orthopoxviruses that produce typical and atypical ATI phenotypes. Virus Genes 39, 200-209.

8. Hansen, H., Okeke, M.I., Nilssen, Ø. and Traavik, T. (2009). Comparison and phylogenetic analysis of cowpox viruses isolated from cats and humans in Fennoscandia. Arch Virol 154, 1293-1302.

9. Okeke, M.I., Nilssen, Ø., Moens, U., Tryland, M. and Traavik, T. (2009). In vitro host range, multiplication and virion forms of recombinant viruses obtained from co-infection in vitro with a vaccinia-vectored influenza vaccine and a naturally occuring cowpox virus isolate. Virology Journal. 2009 May 12;6:55. doi: 10.1186/1743-422X-6-55.

10. Okeke M.I. (2007). Recombination in vitro between transgenic and wild type orthopoxviruses; characterization of parental and progeny hybrid viruses. Ph.D Thesis. University of Tromsø, Norway. ISBN:978-82-7589-188-2.

11. Okeke M.I., Nilssen Ø, and Traavik T. (2006). Modified vacinia virus Ankara (MVA) multiplies in rat IEC-6 cells and limited production of mature virions occurs in other mammalian cell lines. J Gen Virol 87, 21-27.

12. Hansen H, Okeke M.I., Nilssen Ø, and Traavik. T. 2004. Recombinant viruses obtained from co-infection in vitro with a live vaccinia-vectored influenza vaccine and a naturally occurring cowpox virus display different plaque phenotypes and loss of the transgene. Vaccine 23, 499-506.

13. Weli S. C, Okeke M.I., Tryland M, Nilssen Ø and T. Traavik. 2004. Characterization of Avipoxviruses from wild birds in Norway. Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research 68(2), 140-145.

14. Okoli A.S., Okeke M.I., Iroegbu C.U. and Ebo P.U. 2002. Antibacterial activity of Harungana madagascariensis leaf extract. Phytotherapy Research 16(2), 174-179.

15. Okeke M.I., Iroegbu C.U, Eze E.N, Okoli A.S. and Esimone C.O. 2001. Evaluation of extracts of the root of Landolphia owerrience for antibacterial activity. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 78, 119-127.

16. Okeke M.I., Iroegbu C.U., Jideofor C.O., Okoli A.S. and Esimone C.O. 2001. Antimicrobial activity of ethanol extracts of two indigenous nigerian spices. Journal of Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal plants 8(4), 39-46.

17. Okeke M.I., Iroegbu C.U. and Nwadinobi G.C. 2000. Cultural conditions affecting the production of Beta-haemolysin of Bacillus globisporus. Global Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences 6(2), 215-219.