Dr. Alash'le Abimiku, originally from Nigeria is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore; and a the Director of office of Laboratory diagnostics and research at the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria. Following her postdoctoral training at Dr. Gallo's laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology at the National Institutes of health, her international focus has been pivotal in her career development as an independent retrovirologist and immunologist researcher and the establishment of a significant laboratory infrastructure and science in Nigeria with long term collaborations between Institutions in Nigeria and the USA. Dr. Abimiku first demonstrated the unique nature of the HIV strain prevalent in Nigeria in 1993 as subtype G and provided the first reliable HIV research laboratory in central Nigeria (Plateau State Human Virology Research Center (PLASVIREC) in Jos) to support her research focus on the role of subtypes in disease pathogenesis using mother to child model to investigate the transmitting subtype/s and studying effects of co-infections with TB and Lassa on HIV pathogenesis. Dr. Abimiku's more recent grant funding allows Nigeria to epidemiologically characterize different cohorts and build capacity of government officials and Nigerian researchers in preparation for the future conduct of HIV vaccine clinical trials. Dr. Abimiku has trained a cadre of pre and post doctoral Nigerian students who are engaged in advanced research through the University of Maryland Institute of Human Virology NIH Fogarty funded AIDS International Training and Research Program Grant. She is internationally recognized for her leadership in HIV research and in her role as a member of the WHO Vaccine advisory committee and as a board member of the African AIDS vaccine partnership program and the African society of Laboratory medicine. Using her long term connection to WHO, she serves as the Institute's Global Virus Network liaison to WHO.
Dr. Abimiku played a critical role in the success of the Division and IHV-Nigeria (IHV-N) in PEPFAR, strengthening laboratory capacity and quality. With the current PEPFAR II and emphasis on country ownership, Dr. Abimiku has strategically focused on operational research, taking advantage of the infrastructure, patient pool, different disease models established under PEPFAR I, and her position as Director of laboratory diagnostics and research at IHV-N. First, Dr. Abimku's research focus on molecular characteristics of HIV isolates from Nigeria has advanced in the context of antiretroviral scale up and emerging resistant isolates in collaboration with other collaborators at IHVN. Second, having established a containerized BL3 laboratory and molecular TB diagnostic capabilities at the National TB reference laboratory, Dr. Abimiku has expanded her research to opportunities involving TB. She currently mentors 2 postdoctoral in this area under NIH Fogarty research training grant and has expanded her collaboration on TB to the NIH IeDIA network. Third, Dr. Abimiku continues to study the effect of Lassa virus on HIV infection and has extended her research to genomic research under her NIH funded Human Hereditary and Health in Africa (H3Africa) consortium. Fourth, Dr. Abimiku's progressive build up on her HVTN minority supplement has culminated in a 4 year funded Canadian HIV research vaccine grant to build capacity for HIV vaccine research and trials in Nigeria and another to study innate protective factors against HIV using the mother to infant transmission model.
- Abimiku, A.G., Stern, T.L., Zwandor, A., Markham, P.D., Calef, C., Kyari, S., Saxinger, W.C., Gallo, R.C., Robert-Guroff, M., and Reitz, M.S.: Subgroup G HIV type 1 isolates from Nigeria. AIDS Res. Hum. Retroviruses 10: 1581-1583, 1994.
- Abimiku, A.G., Franchini, G., Aldrich, K., Myagkikh, M., Markham, P., Gard, E., Gallo, R.C., and Robert-Guroff, M.: Humoral and cellular immune responses in rhesus macaques infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 2. AIDS Res. Hum. Retroviruses 11: 383-393, 1995.
- Abimiku, A.G., Franchini, G., Tartaglia, J., Aldrich, K., Myagkikh, M., Markham, P., Chong, P., Klein, M., Kieny, M-P, Paoletti, E., Gallo, R.C., and Robert-Guroff, M.: HIV-1 recombinant poxvirus vaccine induces cross-protection against HIV-2 challenge in rhesus macaques. Nature Medicine 1: 321-329, 1995.
- Aina, O., Dadik J., Charurat M., Amangaman, P., Gurumdi, S., Lar, N., Datong, P., Daniyam, C., Kanki, P., Abimiku, A.G., For the IHV/PSSH APIN study teams. Reference Values of CD4 T-lymphocytes in adult Nigerians. Clinical and Laboratory Diagnostic 12(4): 525-530, 2005.
- Maru, S., Datong, P., Selleng, D., Mang, E., Inyang, B., Ajene, A., Guyit, R., Charurat, M., Abimiku, A. Social determinants of mixed feeding behavior among HIV-infected mothers in Jos, Nigeria. Accepted for publication. AIDS Care 21: 1114-1123, 2008.
- Charurat M, Datong P, Matawal B, Ajene A, Blattner WA, Abimiku A. Timing and determinants of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Nigeria. Int J Gynecol Obstet 106: 8-13, 2009.
- Abimiku A, Villalba-Diebold, P., Dadik, J., Okolo, F., Mang, E., Charurat, M. Risk factors associated with low CD4+ lymphocyte count among HIV-positive pregnant women in Nigeria. Int J Gynecol Obstet 106: 227-231 2009 doi:10.1016/j.ijgo.2009.03.057 (Epub)
- Abimiku, A.G. Building Laboratory Infrastructure to Support Scale-Up of HIV/AIDS treatment, care and prevention. In country experience. Am J Clin Pathol 131:875-886, 2009.
- Charurat M, Oyegunle M, Benjamin R, Habib A, Eze E, Ele P, Ibanga I, Ajayi S, Eng M, Mondal P, Gebi U, Iwu E, Etiebet MA, Abimiku A, Dakum P, Farley J, Blattner W. Patient retention and adherence to antiretrovirals in a large antiretroviral therapy program in Nigeria: a longitudinal analysis for risk factors. PLoS One 5(5): e10584, 2010.
- Abimiku AG, Croxton T, Akintunde E, Okelade B, Jugu J, Peters S, Dakum P, Blattner W, Constantine N. Experiences in establishing a PEPFAR-supported laboratory quality system in Nigeria. Am J Clin Pathol 134(4): 541-9, 2010.
- Ndembi N, Ngansop C, Moudourou S, Tagny CT, Abimiku A, Mbanya DS, Kaptue LN. Can oral fluid testing be used to replace blood-based HIV rapid testing to scale up access to diagnosis and treatment in Cameroon? J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 56(4): e115-7, 2011.
- Parsons LM, Somoskövi A, Gutierrez C, Lee E, Paramasivan CN, Abimiku A, Spector S, Roscigno G, Nkengasong J. Laboratory diagnosis of tuberculosis in resource-poor countries: challenges and opportunities. Clin Microbiol Rev 24(2): 314-50, 2011.
- Man Charurat, Modupe Oyegunle, Renata Benjamin, Abdulrazaq Habib, Emeka Eze, Prince Ele, Iquo Ibanga, Samuel Ajayi, Maria Eng, Prosanta Mondal, Usman Gebi, Emilia Iwu, Mary-Ann Etiebet, Alash'le Abimiku, Patrick Dakum, John Farley, and William Blattner. Patient Retention and Adherence to Antiretrovirals in a Large Antiretroviral Therapy Program in Nigeria: A Longitudinal Analysis for Risk Factors. PLoS One. 2010; 5(5): e10584. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010584; PMCID: PMC2868044
- Walter III Royal; Alash'le Abimiku; Abimbola Akomolafe; Jean K Carr; Man E Charurat; Marianna Cherner; Ronald Ellis; John Farley; Igor Grant; Abdulrazaq G Habib; Joyce Johnson; Ibrahim Mamadu; J Allen McCutchen; Akinwande Oluyemisi; William A Blattner. Clinical features and preliminary studies of virological correlates of neurocognitive impairment among HIV-infected individuals in Nigeria. Journal of Neurovirology 2012; 18(3): 191-9.
- Etiebet, Mary-Ann A.; Shepherd, James; Nowak, Rebecca G.; Charurat, Man; Chang, Harry; Ajayi, Samuel; Elegba, Olufunmilayo; Ndembi, Nicaise; Abimiku, Alashle; Carr, Jean K.; Eyzaguirre, Lindsay M.; Blattner, William A. Tenofovir based regimens associated with less drug resistance in HIV-1 infected Nigerians failing first-line antiretroviral therapy. AIDS Oct. 2012 doi: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e32835b0f59
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