Dr. Davidson Sylvester Hector Willoughby Nicol CMG (pen name Abioseh Nicol)

Dr. Nicol was a physician, researcher, writer, diplomat, and poet. Born in Sierra Leone, he and his family would later leave there, and he received his primary education in Nigeria. He received his BA (1947) in Natural Science with first honours and PhD (1958) in Biochemistry from Christ’s College, University of Cambridge (CC). This achievement made him the first person Black African to graduate with first honours, as well as the first Black African elected as a Fellow at a Cambridge College (1957). He received his MD from the Queen Mary University of London Medical School (QM), holding both a PhD and MD before the age of 30.

He was a Lecturer at the University of Ibadan (UI) Medical School. Later he performed groundbreaking research on the structure of insulin. He was the first person to map out the breakdown of insulin in the body and this research would go on to revolutionize the treatment of insulin-resistance and diabetes. He was the first native principal of the Fourah Bay College (FBC). He also served on the Public Service Commission in Freetown, and as the Chairman and then Vice-Chancellor of Sierra Leone University (USL). He then served in several government positions as a representative of Sierra Leone in the United Nations (UN), High-Commissioner of the UK, and Under-Secretary-General of the UN. While serving in these roles he expressed his artistic talents and released several poems such as “Africa, A Subjective View”, “ Two African Tales”, “The Truly Married Woman”, and Other Stories, “ Creative Women”.  After a rich and fulfilling career, he retired at 67 and passed away at the age of 70.


  1. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Davidson-Nicol
  2. https://archivesearch.lib.cam.ac.uk/repositories/9/resources/1742
  3. https://www.christs.cam.ac.uk/dr-davidson-nicol
  4. https://www.douglasyaney.com/dnc-biography.htm
  5. https://alchetron.com/Davidson-Nicol
  6. https://www.ascleiden.nl/content/library-weekly/davidson-nicol
  7. https://www.chuarchivestories.uk/stories/davidson-nicol