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2012 International Reunion Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient Citation



Dr. Kunle Odunsi, MD, Ph.D. FRCOG, FACOG

The winner of the 2012 Great Ife Alumni Award for Excellence in the Sciences category is Dr. Kunle Odunsi.  This award is in recognition of his extraordinary achievements in the area of Gynecologic Oncology and outstanding contributions to his chosen career of Medicine.

Abridged Profile 

Dr. Kunle Odunsi graduated from Obafemi Awolowo University (formerly University of Ife) with a B.Sc. degree in Health Sciences in 1981 and MBChB. in 1984. Dr. Odunsi completed residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN) at the Rosie Maternity and Addenbrookes Hospitals, University of Cambridge, UK. Subsequently, he undertook a PhD. in Immunogenetics at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford UK. He also completed a residency in OBGYN at the Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; and sub-specialty fellowship training in Gynecologic Oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), Buffalo, NY. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, UK and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. 

Dr. Odunsi is Chair, Department of Gynecologic Oncology, Professor of Oncology at RPCI; the M. Steven Piver Endowed Professor of Gynecologic Oncology at RPCI, and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Buffalo. 

Dr. Odunsi is also the Co-Leader of the Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy Cancer Center Program, and Director of the Center for Immunotherapy at RPCI. Dr. Odunsi maintains an active independent laboratory research program which focuses on understanding the mechanisms of immune recognition and tolerance in human ovarian cancer. He has pioneered the development of antigen specific vaccine therapy for prolonging remission rates in patients with ovarian cancer. His laboratory has identified important and dominant mechanisms of immune suppression within the ovarian tumor microenvironment; and he has developed strategies to counteract such. His recent vaccine approach can be found at:

 Dr. Odunsi has authored or co-authored more than 170 journal publications and book chapters, including publications in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, Nature Genetics, Immunity and New England Journal of Medicine. He is a member of the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) Committee on Experimental Medicine; and Chair of the Immunological Monitoring Committee of the Cancer Immunotherapy Consortium. Dr. Odunsi has served on several Scientific Review Study Sections of the National Institutes of Health. He is a reviewer for the French National Cancer Institute, Swiss Cancer League, the Italian Association for Cancer Research, and the Hong Kong Cancer Institute. He is an Associate Editor for “BMC Cancer” and a Contributing Editor for “Cancer Immunity”. Dr. Odunsi is most proud of his Christian faith and service on the Council of Evangel Assembly of God Church, Williamsville, NY. 

 Dr. Odunsi is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Best Teaching Faculty Award from the University at Buffalo, the Buffalo Medical Union Award, the Anna-Marie Kellen Clinical Investigator Award from the Cancer Research Institute and the Achievement in Health Care Award from D’Youville College, Buffalo. D’Youville College wrote “It has been said: The world does not need a new medicine; it needs doctors who know how to pray and obey God in their lives. In such hands, medicine, with all its modern resources, will bring forth fruits in abundance. Dr. Kunle Odunsi is such a physician. Dr. Odunsi is known as a compassionate physician, as the following testimony from one of his patients affirms: “From laboratory bench to patient bedside, he is the messenger of God’s grace, and delivers God’s miracles every day. His heartfelt compassion and understanding not only save lives, but reassure his patients’ families and friends throughout the healing process.” 

Dr. Odunsi is married to Ayotunde Olufunke (nee Badero), and they have three daughters Tosin, Tomi, Tolu and a son in law, Don Tolulope Akanji. 

By receiving this Award for Excellence, Dr. Kunle Odunsi is automatically inducted into the Great Ife Alumni Hall of Distinction.


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