Folakemi T. Odedina, BPharm, PhD is a Health Outcomes and Behavioral Scientist with a global research program focused on understanding and addressing cancer in Black men of African ancestry. She is Professor at University of Florida and the Founder/PI of the Prostate Cancer Transatlantic Consortium (CaPTC), an NCI Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP)-approved consortium. In addition, she is the Research Core Director for the Florida Health Equity Research Institute (HERI) and the Chair of the Research Committee for the African Organisation for Research & Training in Cancer (AORTIC). For the last 25 years, Dr. Odedina’s primary research has focused on developing behavioral frameworks and behavioral interventions focused on prostate cancer prevention, risk reduction, care and survivorship in Black men. These include the Integrative Personal Model of Prostate Cancer Disparity (PIPCaD model) and Model of Prostate Cancer Care and Survivorship (CaPCaS) for Black Men. Both models have been employed to design personalized and targeted intervention programs for Black men. Establishing a global team in 2005 under the auspice of the CaPTC (https://epi.grants.cancer.gov/captc/), she has directed over 30 research projects, including genetic-environmental determinants of cancer disparity studies. CaPTC’s research goals are to (1) explore and quantify the magnitude of prostate cancer morbidity and mortality variance among Black men; (2) explore the genetic and environmental etiology of this variance, using valid and reliable instruments and biomarkers; and (3) develop ethnically sensitive, targeted approaches that will eliminate globally the prostate cancer disparities of Black men through modifiable risk factors associated with prostate cancer. Furthermore, CaPTC facilitates and supports recruitment and retention of minorities in biomedical research and biobanking for Black men’s research globally.
In 2009, Dr. Odedina’s leadership in health disparities was recognized by the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacy and the Association of Black Health-System Pharmacists with the Inaugural (1st) Leadership Award for Health Disparities. Due to her extensive experience in prostate cancer disparity research, she was selected by the US Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs to give the inaugural Dr. Barbara Terry-Koroma Health Disparity Legacy Lecture in 2013. In addition to her research program, Dr. Odedina has focused her career on training the next generation of underrepresented minority (URM) scientists and enhancing oncology clinical trials in people of African ancestry globally for over two decades. She has mentored (and continues to mentor) numerous URM undergraduate students, post-baccalaureate students, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, research associates and Early-Stage Investigators globally. Her efforts led to the INSIGHT Into Diversity 2016 Inspiring Women in STEM Award. She has led/directed several training programs on clinical trials globally and convened the inaugural Global Congress on Oncology Clinical Trials among Blacks in 2018. She is the co-director of the African Clinical Trials Consortium, a consortium focused on supporting the establishment of Clinical Trial Units in Africa. Her global research leadership for over two decades has led to her receiving the Fulbright Research Scholar Award (2006), Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship (2017, 2018) and the Living Legend Award for innovations with health/economic impact (2017). Her outstanding contributions have also been recognized at her institution with her selection as UF Term Professor (2018-2020) and UF Research Foundation Professor (2015-2017).
Dr. Odedina has been continuously funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health since 1996. She is currently an MPI/PD of the Florida-California CaRE2 Health Equity Center, an NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD)-funded Center. She is personally and professionally committed to eliminating cancer disparities, especially in ethnically diverse Black populations globally.