Courtesy African Digital Well being Library
David Olufemi Olaleye, who handed away in July, made an affect on many lives. He was a wonderful trainer and mentor – like a father to many. A defender of the oppressed and a forthright particular person, who stood for the reality.
He was a researcher par excellence, extremely educated, clever and humble. He supervised my grasp’s challenge in 1993 and I used to be his first PhD scholar. I labored intently with him for nearly 30 years and it’s been tough to simply 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 necessary one 12 months 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 via the ranks and have become Professor of Virology in 1995. He was appointed Advisor 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 excellent deal on this capability. He held a lot of our establishment’s historical past and reminiscences. He served at totally different intervals as head of division and dean. He was additionally on many committees of the college.
Olaleye’s curiosity within the profession growth of younger individuals 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 nicely documented in my inaugural lecture of 27 June 2019. It instilled in me the spirit and angle of arduous work, dedication and dedication, and the sense of being ever prepared. He was the enormous who offered the shoulders for me and plenty of others to face on.
He mentored many who’re on the peak of their careers right this moment. We’re from various specialities, in numerous elements of the globe. In appreciation of his dedication, dedication and sacrifices made in direction of our profession growth, we celebrated him on his sixtieth birthday in 2014. I’m pleased that he heard all the sort issues we mentioned about him.
He was an excellent researcher. His analysis centered on analysis, characterisation and molecular epidemiology of varied virus-related ailments in Nigeria. He had collaborators from totally different elements 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 – when it comes to quantity and greenback worth – to the College of Ibadan. He printed 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 a superb 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 arduous work. He wouldn’t commerce benefit for sentiments or tribalism.
He was a forthright particular person, outspoken and truthful. He revered everybody, regardless of age and gender. He was humility personified.
Olaleye was a system particular person and a patriotic Nigerian who would at all times take into account 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 school and postgraduate college students in six universities in Nigeria.
Throughout his tenure as Dean of the School of Fundamental Medical Sciences from 2006 to 2010, he established a school convention, UniIbadan Convention of Biomedical Analysis. One among its aims 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 needed to come back to the Division of Virology. However right this moment, the story is totally different. Now individuals ask, why are you not in virology? It took the efforts, arduous 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 staff of well-motivated tutorial 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 group selflessly and meritoriously. Sustaining his legacy is our task now.
Georgina Njideka Odaibo ne travaille pas, ne conseille pas, ne possède pas de elements, 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.