Employing institution: Bowen University (Nigeria) 

Host institution: MRC Unit, The Gambia at LSHTM.

Project title: Obesity and Saliva Renal Function Biomarkers: Assessing the Nexus between Saliva Gene Variants, Novel Classification and Prognosis of Obesity-induced Kidney Injury.

Dr Imafidon is a Renal and Applied Physiologist, who completed his PhD programme at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Nigeria. He currently works at Bowen University Iwo, Nigeria, and has a vision to provide novel treatment and management strategies for renal conditions with racial and socio-economic disparities in their incidence and progression.

AREF Fellowship Research Project:

The world-wide prevalence of obesity-induced kidney injury is projected to grow by 40% across the globe in the next decade. An invasive procedure is the conventional method of diagnosing this condition, but it can cause anxiety and discomfort to patients.

Most physiological /pathological values used in clinical practices are obtained from data that are generated from predominantly white and or Caucasian participants, even though there is a significant racial and socio-economic disparity in the incidence and progression of chronic kidney diseases.

This research will assess a simple and non-invasive diagnostic medium with a potential to provide a reliable evaluation of disease status and stages in participants of African origin as well as provoking a paradigm shift towards novel treatment and management strategies.

During his fellowship, Dr Imafidon will be working under the supervision of Dr Abdul-kareem Sesay, Dr Alfred Ngwa and Dr Davis Nwakanma to acquire skills in genomic research, bioinformatics, novel biochemical assays and molecular diagnostics. This training will include mentorship and exposure to networking through international conferences, workshops and seminars.

“Developing a comprehensive and racial-specific database of physiologic values is essential for ensuring better prognosis of health conditions that have racial and socio-economic disparity in their incidence and progression.”