NIGERIA SHINES AGAIN: Dr. Onyeama Ogbuagu, Nigerian, behind The Pfizer Vaccine

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A Nigerian, Dr. Onyeama Ogbuagu, an Associate Professor of Medicine, in the clinician-educator track and Director of the HIV Clinical Trials program of the Yale AIDS Program, Section of Infectious Diseases of the Yale School of Medicine is behind the Pfizer Trial Talks distribution of Covid Vaccine.

Dr. Onyeama is one of the twin sons of Prof. Chibuzo Ogbuagu, Former Vice Chancellor of Abia State University and Abia Secretary to the State Government SSG. His parents had the twins in New Haven CT when they went for their doctoral programs at Yale. The Ogbuagus returned to Nigeria where Onyeama studied medicine and then returned to the US.

According to Onyeama, his clinical responsibilities at Yale include educating and training medical students, residents and infectious diseases fellows in various capacities in inpatient and outpatient settings and through structured course work and other teaching sessions.

Dr. Onyeama’s responsibilities as a faculty of the HIV training track of the Yale-Internal Medicine primary care program, and his over 6 years as a faculty of the Human Resources for Health program in Rwanda, gave him extensive experience with curriculum development, structuring of residency training programs, and mentoring residents and faculty.

In Rwanda specifically, Dr. Onyeama has mentored medical residents and junior faculty in quality improvement and clinical research projects that are locally relevant and addressing important infectious diseases-related problems (particularly HIV/AIDS and antimicrobial resistance).

Furthermore, he has facilitated meaningful educational and research collaborations between faculty and trainees across institutions. As the program director of World Bank and HRSA-funded efforts supporting the Liberia College of Physicians and surgeons (LCPS)–run Internal medicine residency training program, he has overseen the selection and deployment of faculty to Liberia, and he was responsible for educational programs and activities aimed at strengthening the residency training program.

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Dr. Onyeama’s expertise and collective experiences to date have positioned him to design and run successful projects around capacity building in low-resource settings including developing and implementing innovative and robust medical training and research programs for faculty, fellows, residents and students.

For 5 years now, Onyeama has been the Director of the Yale AIDS Program, HIV clinical trials program, and a principal investigator on numerous pharmacokinetic, phase 2 and 3 safety and efficacy trials of novel antiviral compounds (HIV).

More recently, given the alarming rate of new infections among men who have sex with men (MSM), Onyeama has focused on HIV prevention trials including being a co-principal investigator on a Yale CIRA funded project, which has supported the formation of a cohort of men who have sex with men, who are at high risk for HIV and are engaged in HIV PrEP services in order to study the impact of substance use on retention in care and adherence to PrEP. He is also a lead investigator on the international DISCOVER trial evaluating TAF/FTC vs TDF/FTC for HIV prevention among MSM and transgender women.

In response to the COVID pandemic, Dr. Onyeama is Yale principal investigator on multiple investigational therapeutic  and preventative clinical trials for COVID-19 including remdesivir (now FDA approved), leronlimab and remdesivir and tocilizumab combination therapy as well as the Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine trial.

Dr. Onyeama was given Gerald H. Friedland Award for Outstanding International Research in 2019 and Connecticut Infectious Diseases Society (2019)

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About Wale Fasade 8 Articles
FCT Abuja Bureau Chief 9News Nigeria

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