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

Maureen Okam Achebe, daughter of the renowned novelist Chinua Achebe, has been awarded the prestigious 2024 Faculty Development and Diversity Award by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a leading academic medical centre in Boston, Massachusetts, and a premier teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.

The hospital informed Okam Achebe of her award in a letter dated July 2, according to a post shared by her sibling, Chidi Achebe, chairman of the African Integrated Development Enterprise Public Benefit Corporation (AIDE PBC).

“The 2024 Faculty Awards designation acknowledges the exceptional achievements of BWH faculty in one or more of the four pillars of academic life: clinical care, research, education, and community service,” the letter reads.

Maureen Okam Achebe’s impressive academic journey began with her first medical degree from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. She then pursued hematology and medical oncology training at Yale School of Medicine and earned a master’s in public health from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

In her professional roles, Dr. Okam Achebe serves as 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.

Dr. Okam Achebe also co-chairs the data subcommittee of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) consortium on newborn screening for sickle cell disease (SCD) in Africa. This subcommittee aims to demonstrate the benefits of screening and early intervention for SCD, currently underway in seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Additionally, she serves as a commissioner on the Lancet Non-Communicable Disease and Injuries (NCDI) Nigeria Poverty Commission, providing expertise on sickle cell disease to help identify and prioritize policies, interventions, and integrated delivery platforms to effectively address and reduce the burden of SCD in Nigeria.

Dr. Okam Achebe is actively involved in clinical trials and translational research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and has been an investigator in the development of two of the most recently FDA-approved drugs for SCD in the US.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital will honour Maureen Okam Achebe for her accomplishments on October 28.