Professor Jato Passes On.

Professor Johnson Jato: 1940-2012 The Jato family of Ndu in Donga Mantung Division regrets to announce the death of Professor Johnson Gamngong Jato in Yaoundé on June 26, 2012. Born of Pa Kinga Jato and Ma Mary Mfumfu on March 22, 1940, Professor Jato attended Cameroon Protestant College Bali where he excelled as a science student. He worked briefly in the public service in Cameroon at Bamenda treasury. He embarked on an academic journey by studying in Nigeria and the United States. He earned his BA degree in Chemistry from the University of Wooster, and did his graduate work at the University of Wisconsin where he earned the M.Sc. degree and his Ph.D degree in pharmacology, specializing in Pharmaceutics. He returned to Cameroon and began an illustrious teaching career at the University Center for Health Sciences (CUSS) in Yaoundé where he rose through the ranks as full professor. During his years at CUSS he served in different capacities; first as Assistant Director of the Institute of Medical Research and Medicinal Plants and First Vice Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Professor Jato was one of the founding Scientists of the Bioresources Development and Conservation Programme Cameroon and served as its first President. Professor Jato was also appointed Deputy Director of CUSS. He also served as the Vice Chancellor of the Bamenda University of Science and Technology, a programme he was most proud of. In addition, he was a Senior Fulbright Scholar, researcher, and consultant at the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Maryland, USA. His work on medicinal plants led him to do research on HIV and AIDS focusing on possible therapeutic properties in Cameroon pharmacopeia. Since 1996, he has served as President of ETS International Excellence. In 1982, while teaching and doing research in Cameroon he also attended further training with the World health Organization (WHO) for managers of scientific research in Nazareth, Ethiopia. In 1996 he attended the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) course on Biodiversity in San Jose, Costa Rica. He holds two patents, "United States Paten No 5,455,251 awarded October 3, 1995 on the Michellamines alkaloids with anti HIV activity and the AOPI (African patent for the production of high protein feed from cow blood awarded in 1984. His publications include A Manual for Essential Drugs for Africa. He is co-editor of National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan of Cameroon, 2002. He was a Co-principal investigator for grant from the National Cancer Institute of the United States for Feasibility on the Cultivation of the Cameroon Plant, Ancistrocladus korupensis. (1994).He has co-authored book chapters and was lead author in many of the several dozen scientific papers and publications. Professor Jato published research papers in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Journal of Pharmacological Sciences, Journal of Natural Products, Economic Botany; he coauthored essays with the African Study Monographs with Kyoto University Research Information Repository, a contributor to Biodiversity Status Strategy and Action Plan in Cameroon. Professor Jato also published in the International Nursing Review, The British Medical Journal, Science and Technology review, Journal of African Studies, Journal of medicine and Chemistry, Economic Botany, Phytochemical Analysis, Journal of Natural Products, and Natural Products Letters. He also published essays from his research on biodiversity in Cameroon. As part of his interdisciplinary studies, he did work on corruption reduction in Cameroon. Jato presented papers at international conferences and was one of the scientists featured on the Public Radio International's program "Living on Earth."

Professor Jato was a member of several academic societies including the Cameroon Academy of Sciences, American Chemical society, American Pharmaceutical Association, West African Society for Pharmacology, Sigma Xi American Society of Scientists, Union of African Associations for Pharmacology, and Rho Chi, the American Honor Society of Pharmacy. He received several honors including: Who is Who in the African Academy of Sciences 1989; Winner of the Graduate Studies Scholarship of AFGRAD, Cameroon Medal for outstanding work in Scientific Research, and a Visiting Scientist at the African American Institute.

Professor Jato was a member of the Cameroon Baptist Convention and was one of the founding leaders of Baptist work in Yaoundé where he served in numerous roles as deacon, adviser to several pastors and founding member of the Vernacular Choir of Etoug-Ebe Baptist Church. He was also a founding member and Appointed Deacon of Faith Baptist Church in Yaoundé. He was an active member of the Wimbum community in Yaoundé and a sought out leader for his wisdom and devotion to peace and peaceful resolution of conflicts.

Professor Jato will be remembered as a brilliant scientist, a remarkable teacher, researcher, and public servant. Above all he was a responsible and loving family man, husband and father, and devout Christian. He leaves behind his wife, Dr. Miriam Jato, his children Janet, Stephen, and Gladys Jato; his brother John Jato, his sister Veronica, his nephew Emmanuel Munki and his wife Yvonne Jato; his son-in-law Dr. John Briginshaw of the United States; his nephews Alfred and Emmanuel Shei Jato in the United Kingdom, and niece Florence Jato; his nephew Nyako and niece Berlinda, the Jato family at Ndu, and three grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his beloved son, Bruce Jato. Click here for a memorial page for Professor Jato Funeral arrangements are pending. For further information contact: Emmanuel Jato (Nephew): 443 799 2228, Janet Jato(Daughter): 714 968 3265, Yvonne Jato (Daughter-in-law): 443 520 2228 Gladys Jato(Daughter): 443 651 6833 Stephen Jato (Son): 504 220 7637