Prof. Olukemi K. AMODU

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Name: Olukemi K. AMODU

Designation: Professor
Faculty: CLINICAL SCIENCES
Department:Institute of Child Health
Phone Number:08032423964

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Brief Biography:

Olukemi K. Amodu is a Professor of Genetics/Molecular Biology and Public Health at the Institute of Child Health, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She obtained Master’s and PhD (in Molecular Biology/Genetics) from the University of Ibadan. Her doctoral studies clearly demonstrated that the malaria pigment in leucocyte count is a marker of disease severity in childhood malaria. After her postdoctoral training at the Harvard University, USA, she has focused on studies in genetic diversity of human and parasite genes studies, investigating markers of virulence and of susceptibility in the Nigerian population, which have resulted in landmark findings. She has worked and collaborated with local and international experts as Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-Investigator in multicenter funded studies including Malaria Genetic Epidemiology Network (MalariaGEN) and two European Union funded Networks: Biomalpar, EvimalaR.

She has, since her employment at the University of Ibadan, worked and deployed all efforts to establish a Genetics/Molecular Biology laboratory from the scratch at the Institute of Child Health. One of her main career goals is to build capacity for development, research and application of Genetics/Molecular Sciences in infectious and non-communicable diseases of public health importance in Nigeria and integrate basic and clinical research into translational studies for better patient management. To this end, she developed the curriculum for the pioneering academic Master’s and PhD programme in Public Health Biotechnology (a unique blend of training in basic biology, genetics, epidemiology and public health) at the Institute of Child Health. These programmes have trained four sets of MSc students (a total of 80), and nine PhDs with 20 MSc students currently in training. She is also interested in Public Health impact research, bringing health services closer to the population. She was the Principal Investigator for the Bill and Melinda Gates Grand Challenge Exploration grant (2019-2021), providing innovative strategies for increasing vaccination demand for working mothers in Ibadan metropolis.

 

Resume

Not Available

Research

Current Research and Capacity Building Projects including Grants

1. Population Genetics and Diseases of Public Health Interest

Genetics of Non-Communicable Diseases
In recent times, I have been a co-investigator and Lead Genomic expert on three research studies on genetic variation in non-communicable diseases:


a. the H3 Africa Kidney Research Network (Renewal) on the genetic variations in kidney disease – funded by NIH U54 DK116913-06 [(PI: Dwomoa Adu/Akinlolu Ojo). Role: co-investigator – 2017 to date


b. H3Africa Kidney Disease Research Network (Cohort) funded by NIH U01-DK107131 (PI: Dwomoa Adu/Akinlolu Ojo) (PI), Role: co-investigator


c. the MADCaP project on prostate cancer in African men funded by NIH U01-CA184374 Timothy Rebbeck (PI), Role: co-investigator

Current Research in Diseases of Public Health Interest

The Genetics and Molecular Sciences Unit of the Institute of Child Health is currently engaged in population genetic studies of diseases of public health interest such as Malaria, Diabetes, Renal Disease, Hypertension etc. These studies are currently self-funded. They include:


1. Genetic Variability of CYP2B6 Polymorphisms (785AG, 64CT & 516GT) in Southwest Nigerian Population: Implications for Malaria Treatment

The artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) is the recommended first line treatment for Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Nigeria. However, single nucleotide polymorphism of the cytochrome P450 2B6 gene (known for the primary induction of artemisinin) can affect the enzyme function as it either enhances, decreases, or abolishes its enzymatic activities depending on the drug substrates. This study investigates the frequency of commonly observed CYP2B6 variants (516G>T {rs3745274}, 785A>G{rs2279343}, 64C>T {rs2279343}) and the association with malaria in a Yoruba population of Nigeria.


2. Association Between Variants on the VDR Gene and Chronic Kidney Disease Among a Yoruba Population in Ibadan, Nigeria.

Genome-wide association studies have identified several variants on different genes including the VDR gene, associated with CKD defining traits. This study evaluates the association between SNPs on the VDR gene rs4334089 (CviAll), rs1544410 (BsmI) and rs7975232 (Apa1) with CKD in a Yoruba population of Nigeria.

 

Innovation in Teaching – 2012 to date

Role: Principal Investigator
One of my main career goals is to build capacity for development, research, and application of Genetics/Molecular Sciences in infectious and non-communicable diseases of public health importance in Nigeria. I am engaged in building platforms for developing capacity in Biotechnology, leveraging on my core expertise in molecular genetics with a focus on bringing together clinical and biomedical scientists for translational research.
I developed the pioneering academic MSc and PhD programmes in Public Health Biotechnology (a unique blend of training in basic biology, genetics, epidemiology, and public health) at the Institute of Child Health. This is the first of such a program (studying diseases of Public Health importance from the perspectives of genetics/genomics) in Nigeria and West Africa. The programme is designed for translation of results from research into a growing list of new diagnostic tests in the patient oriented clinical laboratory. Students have opportunities to understand the biology of public health diseases and the application of results for management, development and disease control. Public Health Biotechnology is a major relevant field with significant applicability to clinical medicine in Nigeria.
The programme has trained 4 sets of MSc students (a total of 90 MSc students since 2016) and currently has 9 PhDs and 20MSc in training.

Learning Without Borders - 2019 to date.

The project was funded by the First City Monument Bank (FCMB). Role: Principal Investigator
The E-Classroom Project
Successful implementation of electronic technology has enhanced self-directed learning, with many extolling e-learning over traditional learning. Due to the limited availability of e-classrooms in low resource settings, specific instructional training for e-learning is rare. COVID19 has amplified the need to integrate educational technology into teaching and learning.
Recently, in partnership with the First City Monument Bank (FCMB), I established the first E-classroom at the Institute of Child Health, University of Ibadan, using the innovative Huawei Ideahub. The E-Classroom is designed to foster virtual and borderless learning for undergraduate and postgraduate students.
The study was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenge Exploration Grant

Completed Research

1. Innovative Childhood Immunization Strategies for Working Mothers in Ibadan – Public Health Impact Study – 2019 to 2021
The study was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenge Exploration Grant Role: Principal Investigator
The demand for childhood vaccination in Nigeria is still very low despite several enlightenment campaigns. This is partly due to the inability of many working mothers in accessing immunization services. Some working mothers also have limited or no time to attend the available immunization centres because of the time-consuming age-long practices of traditional immunization centres, which can result in loss of time, wages and in some instances source of livelihood for these mothers. The consequences of these are a significant low demand for childhood vaccination in Nigeria.
The study proposed a tripartite strategy/intervention as a panacea for timely and complete vaccinations.: (1) A market based mobile childhood immunization center (MobiClic) for mothers working in the informal sectort (2) a personalized clinic-based immunization service for mothers working in the formal sectors with limited time and (3) mobile phone immunization appointment reminder application (VaccApp) for all working mothers with smart phones.

2.Markers of Virulence in malaria

1. Study of human adhesion molecules and their role in the pathogenesis of severe malaria

Research focused on specific human adhesion molecules; ICAM-1, PECAM, E-Selectin etc, and the role they play in the pathogenesis of severe malaria using PCR/RFLP techniques and the Real-time PCR -Taqman assay. This work was funded by the MIM/TDR and was carried out at the Renal Research Laboratories, University of Manchester, and the University of Tuebingen, Germany and the University of Ibadan (2003-2006).

2. The role of parasite and host genes in the severity of malaria

a. EU-funded Biology and Pathology of Malaria Parasite (BIOMALPAR Network of Excellence (NoE)/MIM-TDR Re-entry grant 2007-2009
b. EU-funded European Virtual Institute of Malaria Research (EviMalaR) Network of Excellence 2009-2014


3. Malaria Genomic Epidemiology Network (MalariaGen)

This research gained competitive funding from the EU funded Network of Excellence BioMalPar. The main aim of this research was to study genetic diversity in human and parasite genes and investigate markers of virulence in the parasite and identify markers of susceptibility to malaria infection and protection from malaria in man. I have carried out studies on the role of parasite and host genes in the severity of malaria genetic diversity in human and parasite genes, investigated markers of virulence in the parasite, and identified markers of susceptibility to malaria infection and protection from malaria in humans.
With this project, I also became a Site Principal Investigator and Consortium Member of the Malaria Genetic Epidemiology Consortium (MalariaGen) to identify markers of virulence in malaria parasites and markers of susceptibility or protection against malaria in children using the genome wide association studies (GWAS).

4. Plasmodium falciparum diversity and the clinical severity of malaria:

Research focused on genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum and the effect on the aetiopathogenesis of cerebral malaria by genotyping the merozoite protein (msp-2) and dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) genes of Plasmodium falciparum. Research also focused on the cell biology and phenotypes of the malaria parasite and their role in the severity of clinical malaria. These studies clearly demonstrated that the malaria pigment in leucocyte count is a marker of disease severity in childhood malaria. This is one of the earliest papers that demonstrated the clinical significance of the malaria pigment, haemozoin, as being associated with clinical severity. This work was partly funded by the WHO/TDR training grant.

For my postdoctoral training, I studied genetic diversity of untranslated regions of three genes of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. My research focused on population genetics of Plasmodium falciparum-specific genes in an African population using the PCR genotyping, bioinformatics, genetic analysis, and functional genomics; also, sequencing of whole genes of interest and the genetic diversity of the malaria genes The postdoctoral training at the Harvard University, USA (2003-2005) and funded by the Ellison Medical Foundation.

 

COLLABORATORS

1. Consortia

a. MalariaGEN is an interdisciplinary network with more than 200 people (from over 21 countries) collaborating on projects that require sharing and integrating large amounts of data to study evolutionary processes that affect malaria transmission and disease. We have published 5 consortia papers together.
https://www.malariagen.net/about/people Role: Nigeria Site Principal Investigator

2. BIOMALPAR Network of Excellence: This was an EU-Funded Network of Excellence. A network and platform for collaborating with Researchers from 17 research Institutes/Universities in 7 European countries, one Indian partner and five African partners (Mali, Sudan and Uganda, Cameroon and Nigeria). I published three papers in collaboration with two other partners of the network
Role: Nigeria Site Principal Investigator

3. EviMalaR EU-Funded Network of Excellence – a network of 20 research Institutes/Universities from 7 European countries and one Indian partner and seven (7) African partners (Mali, Sudan and Uganda, Cameroon and Nigeria). I co-supervised a PhD student with one partner of the network – Prof David Roberts.
Role: Nigeria Site Principal Investigator

4. KARMA (K13 Artemisinin Resistance Multicenter Assessment) Consortium is an international consortium, supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) with 41 partners in 59 endemic countries. The consortium studied the diversity (polymorphism) of K13 gene on 14037 blood samples from patients infected with P. falciparum from 59 endemic countries (72 per cent in Africa, 19 per cent from Asia, 8 per cent from Latin America and one per cent from Oceania). Role: Nigeria Site Principal Investigator

5. The Men of African Descent and Carcinoma of the Prostate (MADCaP) Consortium with 10 partners including two US partners and seven African sites, including Nigeria, collaborate on epidemiologic studies to address the high burden of prostate cancer among the African population. The main objectives are to understand the complex multifactorial causes of prostate cancer etiology and outcomes among men of African ancestry worldwide. I am the Genetics/Molecular Biology expert for the MAPCAP consortium at the University of Ibadan.

6. H3 Africa Kidney Disease Network (H3A-KDN) consists of the three Principal Investigators and two study sites in Nigeria (5 sites including Ibadan) and Ghana. The H3A-KDN focuses on increasing the capacity for genomics research on the prevalent forms of kidney diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. My main role is the Lead Genomics Investigator at the Ibadan site

 

Publications

  

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Books
1. Amodu OK. Public Health Biotechnology (A Primer) First ed. Nigeria: ICH Publications; 2016. 189p.

Journal Articles
2. Amodu OK., Adeyemo AA, Olumese PE, and Gbadegesin RA. (1998). Intraleucocytic malaria pigment and clinical severity of malaria infection among children. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Vol 92: 54 - 56. doi: 10.1016/s0035-9203(98)90952-x.


3. Amodu OK, Adeyemo AA, Ayoola OO, Gbadegesin RA, Orimadegun AE, Akinsola AK, Olumese PE, Omotade OO (2005) Genetic diversity of the msp-1 locus and symptomatic malaria in south-west Nigeria Acta Tropica. 95(3):226-32. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2005.06.017


4. Amodu OK, Gbadegesin RA, Ralph SA, Adeyemo AA, Brenchley PE, Ayoola OO, Orimadegun AE, Akinsola AK, Olumese PE, Omotade OO (2005) Plasmodium falciparum malaria in south-west Nigerian children: Is the polymorphism of ICAM-1 and E-selectin genes contributing to the clinical severity of malaria? Acta Tropica. Vol 95:248-255 doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2005.05.011.


5. Amodu OK, Hartl DL, Roy SW (2008). Patterns of polymorphism in genomic regions flanking three highly polymorphic surface antigens in Plasmodium falciparum. Molecular Biochemical Parasitology. Vol. 159: 1-6 doi: 10.1016/j.molbiopara.2007.12.004.


6. Malaria Genomic Epidemiology Network (2008). A global network for investigating the genomic epidemiology of malaria. Malaria Genomic Epidemiology Network. Nature. 456 (7223):732-7. doi: 10.1038/nature07632


7. Amodu OK, Olaniyan SA, Adeyemo AA, Troye-Blomberg M, Olumese PE. and Omotade OO (2012). Association of the Sickle Cell Trait and the ABO Blood Group with clinical severity of malaria in southwest Nigeria Acta Tropica Vol 123:72-77. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2012.03.013


8. Malaria Genomic Epidemiology Network: (2014). Reappraisal of known malaria resistance loci in a large multi-centre study Nature Genetics 46 (11): 1197-1204. doi: 10.1038/ng.3107.


9. Olaniyan SA, Amodu OK, Yindom LM, Conway DJ, Aka P, Bakare AA, Omotade OO. (2014) Killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptors and falciparum malaria in southwest Nigeria. Human Immunology Vol 75 816–821 doi: 10.1016/j.humimm.2014.06.002.


10. H3Africa Consortium (2014). Enabling the genomic revolution in Africa. Science. 344 (6190):1346-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1251546.


11. Olaniyan SA, Amodu OK., Bakare AA, Troye-Blomberg M, Omotade OO, Rockett KA.; MalariaGEN Consortium (2016). Tumour necrosis factor alpha promoter polymorphism, TNF-238 is associated with severe clinical outcome of falciparum malaria in Ibadan southwest Nigeria. Acta Tropica. Vol 161: 62-67. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2016.05.006.


12. Ménard D, Khim N, Beghain J, Adegnika AA, Shafiul-Alam M, Amodu O, Rahim-Awab G, Barnadas C, Berry A, Boum Y, Bustos MD, Cao J, Chen JH, Collet L, Cui L, Thakur GD, Dieye A, Djallé D, Dorkenoo MA, Eboumbou-Moukoko CE, Espino FE, Fandeur T, Ferreira-da-Cruz MF, Fola AA, Fuehrer HP, Hassan AM, Herrera S, Hongvanthong B, Houzé S, Ibrahim ML, Jahirul-Karim M, Jiang L, Kano S, Ali-Khan W, Khanthavong M, Kremsner PG, Lacerda M, Leang R, Leelawong M, Li M, Lin K, Mazarati JB, Ménard S, Morlais I, Muhindo-Mavoko H, Musset L, Na-Bangchang K, Nambozi M, Niaré K, Noedl H, Ouédraogo JB, Pillai DR, Pradines B, Quang-Phuc B, Ramharter M, Randrianarivelojosia M, Sattabongkot J, Sheikh-Omar A, Silué KD, Sirima SB, Sutherland C, Syafruddin D, Tahar R, Tang LH, Touré OA, Tshibangu-wa-Tshibangu P, Vigan-Womas I, Warsame M, Wini L, Zakeri S, Kim S, Eam R, Berne L, Khean C, Chy S, Ken M, Loch K, Canier L, Duru V, Legrand E, Barale JC, Stokes B, Straimer J, Witkowski B, Fidock DA, Rogier C, Ringwald P, Ariey F, Mercereau-Puijalon O; KARMA Consortium. (2016). A Worldwide Map of Plasmodium falciparum K13-Propeller Polymorphisms. N Engl J Med. 374(25):2453-64. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1513137.


13. Udoh EE, Amodu OK (2016). Complementary feeding practices among mothers and nutritional status of infants in Akpabuyo Area, Cross River State Nigeria. SpringerPlus. 5(1):2073. doi: 10.1186/s40064-016-3751-7


14. Ademolue TW, Amodu OK, Awandare GA (2017). Sickle cell trait is associated with controlled levels of haem and mild proinflammatory response during acute malaria infection. Clinical and Experimental immunology 188(2):283-292. doi: 10.1111/cei.12936.


15. Adeyemo AA, Amodu OK, Ekanem EE, Omotade OO (2018) Mol Genet Genomic Med. 2018;1–8. DOI: 10.1002/mgg3.419.


16. Malaria Genomic Epidemiology Network: (2019). Insights into malaria susceptibility using genome-wide data on 17,000 individuals from Africa, Asia and Oceania. Nat Communications 16;10(1):5732. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-13480-z


17. Amodu O, Shah BN, Ademola S, Tayo B, Gordeuk VR (2019) Relationship of Host Genetic Factors with Severe Malaria in Nigerian Children with Severe Malaria in Nigerian Children Blood Volume 134, Supplement 1


18. Amodu OK (2020) Public Health Biotechnology: innovative training for impacting research – a commentary for the ICH at 60 celebrations Nigeria Journal of Child and Adolescent Health Volume. 3 No.2, pg 10-11


19. Raji YR, Ajayi SO, Adeoye AM, Amodu O, Tayo BO, Salako BL (2022) Fibroblast Growth Factor 23 (FGF 23) and intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) as markers of mineral bone disease among Nigerians with non-diabetic kidney disease. African Health Sciences 22:344-51. https://dx.doi.org/10.4314/ahs.v22i1.42


20. Bamikole OJ, Ademola SA, Dibia A-C, Imoh SI, Etim J. Ajige A-L, Amodu OK (2022) Genetic variability (785A > G, 516G > T and 64C > T) in the CYP2B6 gene among individuals in Southwest Nigeria: Implications for malaria treatment. Human Gene Volume 34, December 2022, 201104 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.humgen.2022.201104

Supervision

CURRENT STUDENTS

Masters Level
I am currently supervising four MSc students

Doctoral Level
I am currently supervising five PhD students

PREVIOUS STUDENTS (Selected)

1. MSc projects supervised: I have supervised more than Forty MSc students (Five MSc Zoology (Cell Biology Genetics and over 40 MSc Public Health Biotechnology including the following


2. PhD thesis Supervised: I have supervised five PhD students

 

Grants

Not Available

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