Folakemi Odedina, Ph.D., a professor of pharmacotherapy and translational research in the University of Florida College of Pharmacy, has been chosen by the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program to travel to Nigeria to study prostate cancer in West African men.
Odedina will work with Dupe Ademola-Popoola, MBBS, a senior lecturer and urologist at the University of Ilorin, on a research project titled “The Prostate Cancer Transatlantic Consortium Prostate Cancer Study.” The research study is a global project that focuses on understanding the genetic, environmental and behavioral etiology of prostate cancer in West African men in Nigeria, Cameroon, England and the United States. Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and North America, with black men having the highest prostate cancer incidence rates. Working with more than 20 institutions and over 100 investigators in these countries, the UF project will create a familial cohort of West African black men who will be followed annually. A minimum of 2,000 West Africans and West African immigrant men, including their male relatives, will be recruited for this study.
The UF project is one of 43 initiatives that will pair African Diaspora scholars with one of 35 higher education institutions and collaborators in Africa to work on curriculum co-development, research, graduate teaching, training and mentoring activities in the coming months. The visiting fellows will work with their hosts on a range of projects that include research in banking and finance; developing curriculum in therapeutics and environmental toxicology; mentoring faculty in computer science; and teaching and mentoring graduate students in media and communications and in a new interdisciplinary public health program. To deepen the ties among the faculty members and between their home and host institutions, the program is providing support to several program alumni to enable them to build on successful collaborative projects they conducted in previous years.
The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program, now in its fourth year, is designed to reverse Africa’s brain drain, build capacity at the host institutions and develop long-term, mutually beneficial collaborations between universities in Africa and the United States and Canada. It is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and managed by the Institute of International Education in collaboration with United States International University-Africa in Nairobi, Kenya. A total of 282 African Diaspora Fellowships have been awarded for scholars to travel to Africa since the program’s inception in 2013.
Fellowships match host universities with African-born scholars, either individually or in small groups, and cover the expenses for project visits of between 14 and 90 days, including transportation, a daily stipend and the cost of obtaining visas and health insurance.