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A fellow’s mission: Strengthen sickle cell research in Africa


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(Photo Credit: NIH)

A fellow’s mission: Strengthen sickle cell research in Africa

A conversation with Dr. Kolapo Oyebola

It is not lost on Kolapo Oyebola, Ph.D., that half the sickle cell disease cases worldwide can be found in his native Nigeria. This tragic fact, said the National Institutes of Health (NIH) postdoctoral fellow, has long been top of mind—and he is bent on doing something about it.

Something big.

He wants to help “bring sickle cell disease research back to Africa.” 

Oyebola is one of ten African scientists in the inaugural class of the new African Postdoctoral Training Initiative (APTI), a fellowship program designed to build research capacity in African countries and develop ongoing scientific partnerships. The program is a collaboration between the NIH, the African Academy of Sciences, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Its goal is to train fellows in high-priority global health research areas such as infectious diseases, maternal and child health, and skill development for clinical and translational research while building bridges and lasting connections between the partner organizations and African scientists and institutions.

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