Ekene Osakwe

Ekene Osakwe has over 12 years of research experience in molecular biology, and infectious disease. She obtained her PhD from the University of Bucharest, Romania, where she studied the T-cell immune response to HIV-1 virus in HIV-positive adolescents in Romania.

Ekene is also a 2016/2017 Humphrey Fellow Alumni of the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University. During her Fellowship year, she worked with CARE International and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop assessment tools for assessing sexual and reproductive health needs of internally displaced women in Northeast Nigeria. Ekene is passionate about women’s and girls’ rights and seeks to use research methods to address women’s health related issues.

After her Fellowship, she returned to Nigeria, and worked with CARE International as a Monitoring and Evaluation officer for sexual and reproductive health programs in Northeast Nigeria where she helped design programs to meet the reproductive health needs of internally displaced women. She also worked with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and helped design peace building and youth empowerment programs.

Ekene is from Nigeria and recently completed a Masters in Global Health at the Duke Global Health Institute. At Duke, she worked as a Research Assistant at the Center for Policy Impact on Global Health, where she contributed to policy analysis and research in health financing. This role aligned with her passion in ensuring equal health access to vulnerable populations. Her goal is to design health interventions that are inclusive and accessible to the most vulnerable populations, especially women and children.

Personal Blurb

I am deeply interested in social justice issues, especially issues related to women’s health rights. During COVID times I discovered the therapy of cooking. I found that making new recipes from “YouTube University” and sharing them with loved ones, helped me relieve stress and anxiety. I also love to travel, and my best travel memories are from Thailand with the spicy food and Senegal, with its beautiful beaches.

My role as a Research project manager in Dr Opara’s lab involves coordinating all project activities and ensuring that goals are met at the stipulated times. I’m also leading a project on the use of social media/podcasts in advancing health policy and will lead the launch of a podcast where pertinent global health issues will be discussed. I’m excited to be a part of this team!