Dr. Mayowa O. OWOLABI

 

Personal Statement : Mayowa O. OWOLABI MBBS, MSc, DMed, MWACP, FMCP

 

I trained as a Physician because of my love for mankind and I chose a career in academics because I enjoy teaching and the intellectual challenge of interacting with students and trainees which constantly pushes me to remain at the cutting edge of my chosen specialty: Neurology. I wish to make indelible impact and contributions to patient-centered and evidence-based Neurology particularly in the fields of vascular neurology, quality of life

improvement, neurorehabilitation, genomic epidemiology, preventive neurology, cognitive neurology and the mind-brain conundrum, holistic medicine and translational neuroscience.

 

On the need for collaborative translational neuroscience research in Africa I wrote a WFN-president acknowledged review on mapping Africa into prominence in Neurology and a recent review on taming the exploding scourge of stroke in Africa: stroke quadrangle to the rescue. As the PI of a multidisciplinary team funded by a special Mac-Arthur grant I pioneered research into carotid atherosclerosis in Nigeria. Furthermore, as the pioneering and current regional vice president of the World Federation for NeuroRehabilitation in East, West and Central Africa, I have experience in stroke rehabilitation and outcome measurement. Being an innovative researcher, I developed the Seed of Life Model, the Health-Related Quality of Life in Stroke Patients (HRQOLISP) questionnaire, the Stroke Levity Scale and the Stroke Recovery Cycle. I also propounded the cervical vertigo tetrad.

 

Over the past eight years, I have been involved with collaborative studies internationally (Germany, Canada, UCLA) and locally including INTERSTROKE, SIRROWS and SIRRACT, of which I was the Site PI and I participated in innovative multicenter randomized controlled trials for rehabilitation after stroke. More recently, another international collaborative study [between Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC- Overall PI :Prof Bruce Ovbiagele) and the University of Ibadan]: Tailored Hospital-Based Risk-Reduction to Impede Vascular Events after Stroke (THRIVES) funded by the NIH commenced, of which I am the Co- Principal investigator.

 

The THRIVES study is centered on developing a culturally-sensitive system-appropriate multi-pronged intervention to improve outcomes in stroke survivors. This will be based on input from all stakeholders including focus group discussions and interviews (involving patients, caregivers, health care givers and hospital administrators). Its efficacy will be tested among 400 stroke patients recently discharged from four medical care facilities in south western Nigeria via a randomized-controlled trial. The primary outcome measure will be blood pressure reduction 12 months after enrolment. Our findings on how best to prevent stroke will scaled up for implementation across other low and medium income countries.

 

However, the formulation of successful tailor-made prevention strategies for limiting the immense personal and societal burden of stroke in Sub-Saharan Africa is contingent on a better understanding of the predisposing risk factors for stroke in the region. Thus, the need for research network (a critical pillar in the stroke quadrangle) aimed at unraveling stroke risk factors cannot be overemphasized and this has given birth to another NIH-funded study: SIREN.

 

Stroke Investigative Research and Education Network (SIREN- Overall PI: Mayowa Owolabi), the first of its kind, is the largest study of stroke in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to date. SIREN will first comprehensively investigate the socio-demographic, clinical and genetic characteristics of stroke among Black stroke patients in SSA and then compare the findings to those from a cohort of African American stroke survivors (REGARDS), all the while simultaneously building sustainable capacities in phenomics, biobanking, genomics, biostatistics and bioinformatics for future high-level investigation of stroke and other vascular disease entities in Africa.

SIREN comprises three interwoven Systematic Investigation of Blacks with Stroke (SIBS) projects: SIBS-Phenomics (including a community engagement core), SIBS-Genomics and SIBS-Bioinformatics. These projects will be implemented at eight sites in two countries (Nigeria, Ghana), and will leverage prior experience and ongoing collaborations including previous participation in a global stroke epidemiological study, and involvement in two current NIH- funded studies based in Africa (NUMERIC and THRIVES). Over 2000 case-control pairs will be comprehensively and accurately phenotyped initially. We will form strong symbiotic synergies with other H3Africa projects such as AWI-Gen, the type 2 Diabetes group and the Kidney group. SIREN is poised to substantially enhance our understanding of factors that could be addressed to improve stroke outcomes, and possibly other vascular disease entities such as coronary artery disease and chronic kidney disease in Africa; while simultaneously exploring potentially modifiable genetic pathways to stroke risk that may be common to Black Africans and Black Americans.

 

From studies I have completed, over 100 publications/scientific presentations have been produced and several others are still in process. Regarding teaching experience, I am a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Clinical Sciences with about 400 students under my tutelage. Since 2002, I have willingly executed my responsibilities of teaching and examining undergraduate medical, dental and pharmacy students, including delivery of didactic lectures in neurology and internal medicine, as well as bedside teachings, seminars, tutorials, conducting of clinical teaching during ward rounds and in specialist clinics.

For the past 11 years, I have been engaged in Postgraduate teaching and examination of resident doctors in faculties of Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and Psychiatry including delivery of didactic lectures in neurology and internal medicine, as well as bedside teachings, seminars, tutorials and conduction of clinical teaching during ward rounds and in specialist clinics. Amongst several privileged achievements, I have mentored four doctoral students who have gone on to make significant contributions in their areas of expertise. I have been opportune to supervise/co-supervise many postgraduate researches and I am currently supervising five Doctoral students.

With respect to my Administrative contributions, I convene and conduct Grand Rounds in Neurology, Department of Medicine. I have served as Postgraduate Coordinator  and I am currently serving as the Sub-Dean, Faculty of Clinical Sciences (August, 2012 till date).

 

 

 

Curriculum Vitae

Publications

Research