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October 23, 2020

Oluwadamilola Lola Fayanju, MD Leads Off Seminars in Clinical Research Initiative Focusing on Health Disparities
By Barry Coller, MD

Dr. Oluwadamilola "Lola" Fayanju, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology at Duke University delivered the first in a series of seminars on health disparities on August 3rd, entitled Beyond Us and Them: Eliminating Disparities among our Patients and the Doctors Who Treat Them. Dr. Fayanju serves as Associate Director, Disparities and Value in Healthcare, Duke Forge, and Director of the Breast Clinic at the Durham Veteran’s Administration Medical Center. Her presentation focused on the impact of race on health and her rigorous scholarship on the complex relationship between race and socioeconomic status on participation in surgical studies of breast cancer treatment. Dr. Fayanju’s publications span the fields of basic advances in breast cancer therapy, health disparities, and population health.

Her 2019 commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Hiding in Plain Sight, recounts her experience as a woman physician of color and her penetrating insights call attention to the challenges we face as a nation in addressing systemic racism. Dr. Fayanju trained in the Duke CTSA KL2 program and now is pursuing her studies under an NIH K08 grant. She has received many honors and is currently a National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Emerging Leaders in Health and Medicine (ELHM) Scholar. The next speaker in the series will be Dr. Chibuzo Enemchukwu, a graduate of the Rockefeller University Center for Clinical and Translational Science Clinical Scholars program, whose research focuses on the use of pre-exposure prophylactic therapy of HIV in vulnerable, at-risk populations