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Chinua Achebe’s daughter, Maureen wins Harvard Medical School award


Maureen Okam Achebe, daughter of the legendary novelist Chinua Achebe, has been honored with the esteemed 2024 Faculty Development and Diversity Award by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a leading academic medical center affiliated with Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.
The award, which recognizes exceptional achievements in clinical care, research, education, and community service, was announced in a letter dated July 2. This accolade was shared publicly by her sibling, Chidi Achebe, chairman of the African Integrated Development Enterprise Public Benefit Corporation (AIDE PBC).

Dr. Okam Achebe’s distinguished academic and professional journey began with her first medical degree from the University of Port Harcourt in Nigeria. She furthered her education in hematology and medical oncology at Yale School of Medicine and obtained a master’s in public health from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Currently, Dr. Okam Achebe holds several key roles: she is an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, director of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Outpatient Infusion Center, clinical director of the Non-Malignant Hematology Clinic, director of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Sickle Cell Program, and instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School.

In addition to her clinical and educational roles, Dr. Okam Achebe co-chairs the data subcommittee of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) consortium on newborn screening for sickle cell disease (SCD) in Africa. This initiative aims to showcase the benefits of screening and early intervention for SCD, currently being implemented in seven sub-Saharan African countries.

She also serves as a commissioner on the Lancet Non-Communicable Disease and Injuries (NCDI) Nigeria Poverty Commission. Her expertise in sickle cell disease helps guide policies and interventions to reduce the burden of SCD in Nigeria.

Dr. Okam Achebe is actively engaged in clinical trials and translational research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and has contributed significantly to the development of two recently FDA-approved drugs for SCD in the US.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital will formally honor Maureen Okam Achebe for her remarkable contributions on October 28.

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