Courtesy African Digital Well being Library
David Olufemi Olaleye, who handed away in July, made an influence on many lives. He was a superb trainer and mentor – like a father to many. A defender of the oppressed and a forthright individual, who stood for the reality.
He was a researcher par excellence, extremely educated, clever and humble. He supervised my grasp’s undertaking in 1993 and I used to be his first PhD pupil. I labored intently with him for nearly 30 years and it’s been troublesome to just accept that he’s no extra.
Olaleye was born on 21 July 1954 in Ogbomoso, southwest Nigeria. He obtained his Physician of Veterinary Medication in 1981, Grasp’s in Veterinary Science (Diagnostic Pathology) in 1983 and PhD in Virology in 1991, all from the College of Ibadan. He joined the college instantly after the obligatory one yr nationwide service in 1982 as Resident Veterinary Officer (Pathology). His journey as a virologist began when he was appointed lecturer within the Division of Virology, School of Medication of the identical college in 1986. He rose by means of the ranks and have become Professor of Virology in 1995. He was appointed Guide Virologist, College School Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria on 11 March 1992 and held this place as specialist adviser till his loss of life.
He was additionally an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern College, Chicago, Illinois, USA. He was a founding member of the African Discussion board for Analysis and Training in Well being, a fellow of the African Academy of Science and a member of the America Science Honors Society (Sigma Xi).
With 27 years as a professor, he was one of many longest serving professors within the college. He contributed an awesome deal on this capability. He held a lot of our establishment’s historical past and reminiscences. He served at completely different durations as head of division and dean. He was additionally on many committees of the college.
Olaleye’s curiosity within the profession growth of younger folks was excellent. He had a ardour for mentoring. I met him in 1993 once I got here to Virology for my grasp’s programme. That first encounter is properly documented in my inaugural lecture of 27 June 2019. It instilled in me the spirit and perspective of exhausting work, dedication and dedication, and the sense of being ever prepared. He was the enormous who offered the shoulders for me and lots of others to face on.
He mentored many who’re on the peak of their careers at the moment. We’re from numerous specialities, in several components of the globe. In appreciation of his dedication, dedication and sacrifices made in the direction of our profession growth, we celebrated him on his sixtieth birthday in 2014. I’m completely happy that he heard all the sort issues we mentioned about him.
He was an awesome researcher. His analysis centered on analysis, characterisation and molecular epidemiology of assorted virus-related illnesses in Nigeria. He had collaborators from completely different components of the world and was principal investigator, co-principal investigator and investigator of many analysis grants. He attracted one of many highest variety of grants – by way of quantity and greenback worth – to the College of Ibadan. He revealed over 200 papers in respected worldwide journals.
One of many main breakthroughs of his analysis was the primary isolation and characterisation of the 2nd HIV recombinant kind (CRF02) throughout his Fogarty Worldwide Analysis Fellowship programme on the College of Southern California, Los Angeles, from September 1990 to September 1992. This virus pressure, which he named IbNg (for Ibadan, Nigeria), has been proven to be the predominant pressure circulating in West Africa and an excellent candidate for vaccine growth within the area.
Forthright and selfless
Olaleye was trustworthy, peace-loving and opposed injustice. Not solely to him, however to anybody in any respect, even these he didn’t know. He was hardworking and he appreciated exhausting work. He wouldn’t commerce advantage for sentiments or tribalism.
He was a forthright individual, outspoken and truthful. He revered everybody, no matter age and gender. He was humility personified.
Olaleye was a system individual and a patriotic Nigerian who would all the time think about the system above his private curiosity. He was on the forefront of Oyo State’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the state governor attested to this in his tribute.
He invested in capability growth, particularly analysis capability (infrastructural and human). With grants from the Nationwide Institute for Well being within the USA, he spearheaded coaching on analysis capability growth for college and postgraduate college students in six universities in Nigeria.
Throughout his tenure as Dean of the School of Primary Medical Sciences from 2006 to 2010, he established a school convention, UniIbadan Convention of Biomedical Analysis. Certainly one of its goals was to create a platform for younger scientists within the nation to indicate case their work, study new concepts and set up networks required for profession progress.
Some 20 years in the past, nobody wished to come back to the Division of Virology. However at the moment, the story is completely different. Now folks ask, why are you not in virology? It took the efforts, exhausting work, dedication and dedication of Olaleye to provoke modifications to the division. With funds from his grants and assist from funders, the division was renovated and geared up.
He efficiently led a workforce of well-motivated educational and technical workers of the division to acquire World Well being Group Africa Area/ SLIPTA laboratory certification and the SANAS laboratory high quality accreditation (ISO 15189) in 2018.
Professor David Olufemi Olaleye served his neighborhood selflessly and meritoriously. Sustaining his legacy is our project now.
Georgina Njideka Odaibo ne travaille pas, ne conseille pas, ne possède pas de components, ne reçoit pas de fonds d'une organisation qui pourrait tirer revenue de cet article, et n'a déclaré aucune autre affiliation que son organisme de recherche.