Cornell University: Nigerian virologist builds lasting legacy in animal health

In many ways, the life of Kehinde Adesegun Abayomi Majiyagbe, M.S. ’76, Ph.D. ’79, echoed the transformations of his native Nigeria. Coming of age around the time Nigeria became independent of Britain in 1960, and subsequently studying for his doctorate of veterinary medicine during the upheaval of civil war, Majiyagbe was endlessly adaptable and dedicated to his family, country and chosen profession.

“My dad was a humble individual. It was rare that he would boast about himself,” said his son Qudus Abayomi Adesegun Majiyagbe. “People flocked to him — they wanted to learn from him. He mentored many in virology.”

“Dr. Majiyagbe contributed to strengthening the national animal health system in Nigeria, as well as within the African region,” said Dr. Caroline Yancey, director of international programs at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. “Some of the diseases he worked to control, such as African swine fever and rinderpest, affected not only animal health, but also had significant economic and food security impacts for people in the region.”

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