Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Faculty

Dr. Oluwatoyin Ajibola Asojo Dr. Oluwatoyin Ajibola Asojo Chair, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Turner Hall223

Phone: 757-727-5396
Expertise: Biochemistry, drug discovery, Biophysics, education, vaccines

Dr. Oluwatoyin Asojo
Associate Professor, and Chair Chemistry and Biochemistry

Location:Turner Hall 223

PhD, 1999 University of Houston Texas
BSc with Honors, 1993 Trent University, Peterborough ON Canada

Professional Positions Held  
2018 – present         Associate Professor, Hampton University, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Hampton, VA

2018 – 2019             Adjunct Associate Professor, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

2012 – 2017             Associate Professor, Baylor College of Medicine, National School of Tropical Medicine, Houston, TX

2005 – 2012             Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Pathology and Microbiology Department, Omaha, NE

2003 – 2005            Research Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Eppley Research Institute, Omaha, NE

2001 – 2003             Research Fellow, National Cancer Institute, Frederick Cancer Research Center,Frederick, MD

2000 – 2001             Staff Scientist, Tibotec-Virco, Rockville, MD

Curricular Activities / Chemistry Courses taught:
Intermediate biochemistry, biophysical chemistry, introductory physical science, and general chemistry

Research Interests and Expertise:
Chemistry of life processes: deciphering the mechanisms and structural basis of immune and suppression evasion by infectious agents or host cells. Developing improved methods for the recombinant expression, purification, solubilization and crystallization of proteins. In silicoanalysis of protein structure / function to guide functional studies of novel proteins,X-ray crystallography, biochemical, biophysical and functional analysis of macromolecules

Links to my Research

Open Researcher and Contributor ID(ORCID)

My Google Scholar Profile

Selected Publications

1. Asojo OA*, Darwiche R, Gebremedhin S, Smant G, Lozano-Torres JL, Drurey C, Pollet J, Maizels RM, Schneiter R, Wilbers RHP. Heligmosomoides polygyrus Venom Allergen-like Protein-4 (HpVAL-4) is a sterol binding protein. Int J Parasitol. 2018 Apr;48(5):359-369. PubMed PMID: 29505764; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5893428.

2. Darwiche R, Lugo F, Drurey C, Varossieau K, Smant G, Wilbers RHP, Maizels RM, Schneiter R, Asojo OA*. Crystal structure of Brugia malayi venom allergen-like protein-1 (BmVAL-1), a vaccine candidate for lymphatic filariasis. Int J Parasitol. 2018 Apr;48(5):371-378. PubMed PMID: 29501266; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5893361. 

3. Liu Z, Kelleher A, Tabb S, Wei J, Pollet J, Hotez PJ, Bottazzi ME, Zhan B, Asojo OA*. Identification, Characterization, and Structure of Tm16 from Trichuris muris. J Parasitol Res. 2017;2017:4342789. PubMed PMID: 28884022; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5573103.

4. Asojo OA*. Structure of a two-CAP-domain protein from the human hookworm parasite Necator americanus. Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 2011 May;67(Pt 5):455-62. PubMed PMID: 21543848; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3087624.

5. Asojo OA*, Goud G, Dhar K, Loukas A, Zhan B, Deumic V, Liu S, Borgstahl GE, Hotez PJ. X-ray structure of Na-ASP-2, a pathogenesis-related-1 protein from the nematode parasite, Necator americanus, and a vaccine antigen for human hookworm infection. J Mol Biol. 2005 Feb 25;346(3):801-14. PubMed PMID: 15713464.

6. Luo Z, Kelleher AJ, Darwiche R, Hudspeth EM, Shittu OK, Krishnavajhala A, Schneiter R, Lopez JE*,Asojo OA*. Crystal Structure ofBorrelia turicatae protein, BTA121, a differentially regulated gene in the tick-mammalian transmission cycle of relapsing fever spirochetes. Sci Rep. 2017 Nov 10;7(1):15310. PubMed PMID: 29127407; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5681642.

7.  Asojo OA*, Kelleher A, Liu Z, Pollet J, Hudspeth EM, Rezende WC, Groen MJ, Seid CA, AbdeladhimM, Townsend S, de Castro W, Mendes-Sousa A, Bartholomeu DC, Fujiwara RT, Bottazzi ME, Hotez PJ, Zhan B, Oliveira F, Kamhawi S, Valenzuela JG*. Structure of SALO, a leishmaniasis vaccine candidate from the sand fly Lutzomyia longipalpis. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017 Mar;11(3):e0005374. PubMed PMID: 28278244; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5344329.

8. Kelleher A, Darwiche R, Rezende WC, Farias LP, Leite LC, Schneiter R, Asojo OA*. Schistosoma mansoni venom allergen-like protein 4 (SmVAL4) is a novel lipid-binding SCP/TAPS protein that lacks the prototypical CAP motifs. Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 2014 Aug;70(Pt 8):2186-96. PubMed PMID: 25084337; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4118828.

9. Asojo OA*, Gulnik SV, Afonina E, Yu B, Ellman JA, Haque TS, Silva AM. Novel uncomplexed and complexed structures of plasmepsin II, an aspartic protease from Plasmodium falciparum. J Mol Biol. 2003 Mar 14;327(1):173-81. PubMed PMID: 12614616.

10. Asojo O, Friedman J*, Adir N, Belakhov V, Shoham Y, Baasov T*. Crystal structures of KDOP synthase in its binary complexes with the substrate phosphoenolpyruvate and with a mechanismbased inhibitor. Biochemistry. 2001 May 29;40(21):6326-34. PubMed PMID: 11371194.

Professional Honors and Awards

  • Norton Rose Fulbright Faculty Excellence Award in the category of Teaching and Evaluation 2017
  • Carnegie African Diaspora Fellow 2016
  • Fulbright Specialist Roster Chemistry Education 2015 to 2021
  • American Chemical Society Science Coaches Program 2015 to 2017
  • Society for Science and the Public Science Advocate 2016 
  • Member US National Committee for Crystallography Jan. 2015 to Dec. 2019
  • Member IUCr Commission on Crystallographic Teaching 2017 to 2020
  • Gordon Research Conference Carl Storm Underrepresented Minority Fellowship 2015
  • CAPES-Fiocruz/CDTS Visiting Professor Fellowship Program Brazil 2013
  • American Association for Cancer Research Minority Scholar In Cancer award 2012
  • Chair focus Panel Annual McKnight Fellows Meeting & Annual Graduate School Conference, 2008, 2015
  • UneMED Creator of Licensed Technology Award 2012
  • University of Nebraska Omaha Women of Color Award in Science and Technology 2006
  • Keystone Symposia Scholarship 2005
  • Gladys Pearson Fellowship in Pediatric Cancer 2004
  • Trent International Program Full Scholarship Trent University Peterborough ON Canada 1989 to 1993
  • United World College Full Scholarship Pearson College Vancouver BC Canada 1987 to 1989

Innovation, Commercialization and Patents

  • #62/308,054, Tc24-C4, A Chagas disease vaccine antigen with improved stability and decreased aggregationfiled March 14, 2017. Inventors E. O. Dumonteil, P. J. Hotez, O.A. Asojo, E. M. Hudspeth, J.Pollet, M.E. Bottazzi 
  • #20130156777 GLIPR1 Inhibitors And Therapeutic Uses Thereof: Filed:  Sept. 7, 2012.  Issued: June 20 2013. Inventors R. A. Koski, N. Bonafe and O. A. Asojo

Professional Affiliations:

  • American Chemical Society
  • American Crystallography Association

Journal Editorial Boards:

  • Editorial Board Member Scientific Reports 2014 to present
  • Associate Editor BMC Structural Biology 2014 to present


U-RISE at Hampton University, National Institute of General Medical Sciences  


20-APR-2020 – 31-MAR-2025 

Role on Project PI on Multi PI grant PIs Ricks-Santi, Asojo, Penn-Marshall)

U-01 at Hampton University, HU-CHEM: Deploying evidence-based interventions in Chemistry at Hampton University to plug leaks in the biomedical training pipeline 

1U01GM138433 4-Sept-2020 – 31-Aug 2023

Role on Project PI

Total costs associated with the project: $1,125,000.00

NSF-HRD Washington Baltimore Hampton Roads Alliance – Louise Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (WHBR – LSAMP) 8/1/2018-7/31/2021

1809086 (Hicks, A James, Sub-award PI Haysbert)   Haysbert, PhD (Sub-award-PI)

Role: Program Faculty

Total costs associated with the project: $183,277


Production of CAP proteins and their ligands for structure function studies

HBCU-UP ACE NanoHU Pilot funds

Role on Project: PI on subcontract

Dates of Funding: 10/1/2018 to 6/30/2019

Annual Direct costs associated with project: $5,000

Structural basis of CAP proteins as prostate cancer diagnostics and therapeutics

Hampton University MMHI Pilot Project Program 2018 NIH NIMH

Role on Project: PI on subcontract

Dates of Funding: 10/1/2018 to 6/30/2020

Annual Direct costs associated with project: $100,000

Collaborative Faculty Research Investment Program (CFRIP) Award 

Asojo, Oluwatoyin (PI) 07/01/2017 – 06/30/2018 

Hookworm Metabolome and Therapeutic Development

Project SEED Summer research for high school students 

American Chemical Society 

Role on Project: Coordinator and mentor

Dates of Funding (Tibotec): 2001 

Dates of Funding (UNMC): 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 

Dates of Funding (BCM):        2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 

5R01AI105431-03, NIH

Lustigman, Sara (PI) Hotez, PJ (PI) 01/15/13-12/31/17

Development of a Novel Adjuvant for Vaccine Sparing 

Role: Collaborator and mentor of summer researchers on minority supplement.

2R44AR056908-02A1, NIH

Anthony, Karen (PI) 10/01/12-09/30/16

Therapeutic inhibition of MIF in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Role: PI on subcontract


PI Raymond Koski / N. Bonafe 2007 to 2011

Glioma Therapeutics Targeting Glioma Pathogenesis-related Protein

Role on Project: PI on subcontract 

5U01AI082081-04, NIH/NIAID 

Anthony, Karen (PI) 05/01/09-04/30/13

Broad-Spectrum Antimicrobials Targeting the D-Alanine Pathway

Role: PI on subcontract Structure based therapeutics discovery.

DOD Grant

Ken Bayles and Paul Fey (PI) 

Dates of Funding: 2010 to 2012 (Participation ended upon leaving UNMC) 

Fighting Drug Resistant Infections 

Role on Project: investigator 

K01 CA113486-05 National Cancer Institute (NCI)

ASOJO, OLUWATOYIN Ajibola (PI) 06/03/05-05/31/11

Structural Basis of Multidrug resistance in Cancer

Role: PI

R03 AI065990-01 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

ASOJO, OLUWATOYIN Ajibola (PI) 07/01/05-06/30/07

Structural Basis of Novel Hookworm Vaccines

Role: PI