Dr Funmi Olopade, a champion of health equity.
During Black History Month, we shine a spotlight on Dr. Funmi Olopade for three compelling reasons:
Celebrating STEM Excellence: Dr. Olopade stands as a shining example of excellence in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Her journey from Nigeria to the United States is an inspiring tale of determination and dedication.
Breast Cancer Advocacy: Dr. Olopade’s contributions to STEM are particularly noteworthy in the realm of breast cancer research, which coincides with our charity’s focus this October. Her groundbreaking work in this area has had a profound impact on countless lives.
Global Impact: Dr. Olopade’s unwavering commitment to science and medicine has positively influenced women worldwide, significantly enhancing their quality of life. This aligns seamlessly with Supafoot’s core mission: to enhance the quality of life for our patients.
Dr. Olopade’s Journey:
Born in Nigeria as the daughter of a pastor and one of six siblings, Dr. Olopade embarked on a career in medicine in her home country. Her path eventually led her to the United States, where she found inspiration in the vibrant landscape of Chicago. It was here that she discovered her calling in cancer research.
A Legacy of Achievement:
Over the years, Dr. Olopade has garnered numerous prestigious accolades in the realm of science, including the MacArthur Fellowship, often referred to as the ‘genius grant.’ Her remarkable achievements have solidified her status as one of the world’s most accomplished cancer research scientists. For an astounding 33 years, she has run her own externally funded laboratory, a testament to her dedication and expertise.
CancerIQ and Global Impact:
Dr. Olopade’s influence extends far beyond her lab. She founded CancerIQ, a groundbreaking software that has been adopted worldwide. This innovative tool empowers millions of women, especially those in high-risk genetic groups, including African and African American populations, to undergo cancer risk assessments conducted by their healthcare providers. This proactive approach allows for regular screening and the implementation of targeted prevention strategies, ultimately sparing patients from developing cancer in the first place.
“Prevention is Better than Cure”:
Dr. Olopade’s guiding principle throughout her remarkable career has been that “prevention is better than cure.” She has developed highly effective risk prediction models that are now used on a global scale. Her tireless efforts to prevent cancer have had a profound impact on medical practice and have saved countless lives.
In her own words, “Instead of waiting for patients to be diagnosed with cancer, I am increasingly passionate about trying to prevent it.” Her work has reshaped medical practices, with healthcare professionals now offering risk assessments and interventions, proving lifesaving for many high-risk individuals.
A Gift to Others:
Perhaps the most inspiring aspect of Dr. Olopade’s journey is her unwavering commitment to benefit others. Her exceptional talents, combined with her tenacity and the opportunities she embraced throughout her life, have not only advanced science but also improved the well-being of countless individuals. Dr. Olopade’s story serves as a profound source of inspiration, emphasizing the power of using one’s gifts for the greater good.
Dr. Funmi Olopade – Thank you for being an inspiration to us all.