National Cancer InstituteU.S. National Institutes of
Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities logo

Grantee Spotlight: Adeyinka Laiyemo

Adeyinka Laiyemo, M.D., M.P.H. Adeyinka O. Laiyemo, M.D., M.P.H.

Assistant Professor, Division of Gastroenterology
Department of Medicine, Howard University College of Medicine

Howard University Cancer Center
2041 Georgia Ave, NW, Suite 5C02
Washington, DC 20060

phone: 202-865-6620
fax: 202-865-4449

Adeyinka O. Laiyemo, M.D., M.P.H., a CRCHD grantee was awarded the "Minority Scholar in Cancer Research Award" at the 102nd American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Meeting this spring in Orlando, Florida.

Dr. Laiyemo was presented the award for doing, as he says, what he loves best—"teaching young health professionals and scientists and treating patients with health disparities."

Dr. Laiyemo is currently an assistant professor in the Division of Gastroenterology at the Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C. The region served by the College of Medicine (District of Columbia and Maryland) has one of the highest cancer death rates in the country for more than 50 years, with minority residents being disproportionally affected.

To address this problem, Howard University Cancer Center (HUCC) and the Sydney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center (SKCCC) at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore established a Comprehensive U54 Partnership in 2001 focusing on African Americans. The HUCC/SKCCC partnership is conducting studies to advance the science in prostate, gastrointestinal, and breast cancers. Dr. Laiyemo, a physician-scientist was recruited by the partnership to expand studies conducted in gastrointestinal cancer in African Americans. He is also involved in increasing opportunities for research, training, and career development of African Americans students.

"My long-range goal is to be a well-funded, independent researcher and a well-known, clinical researcher in cancer prevention, who will train minorities in research and increase the participation of minorities in biomedical research as investigators and patients," says Dr. Laiyemo.

His ties to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) go back to 2005, when he was a cancer prevention fellow. He participated in NCI's Alpha Tocopherol Beta Carotene (ATBC) Cancer Prevention Trial Study Group in 2006. He has been participating in the Polyp Prevention Trial (PPT) Study Group since 2006, the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO) Colon Subcommittee since 2007, and the Health Information National Trends Survey since 2008.

An expert in colorectal cancer and cancer health disparities, his work on the PLCO study yielded a publication on race and colorectal cancer disparities (J Natl Cancer Inst 2010;102:538–546 ), of which he was lead author.

In the study, 60,572 white and black patients underwent flexible sigmoidoscopy for colorectal cancer. Of those examined, 23.9% of whites and 25.5% of blacks had abnormal results. One year after their initial abnormal sigmoidoscopies, 72.4% of whites and 62.6% of blacks had colonoscopies. According to the study results, when compared to whites, blacks were less likely to undergo diagnostic evaluation to exclude colon cancer.

"We have observed a lower follow-up among blacks when compared to whites, but little difference in the yield of colorectal neoplasia. Health care utilization may be playing more of a role in colorectal cancer racial disparity than biology," concluded Dr. Laiyemo.

Dr Laiyemo was born in the city of Ijebu-Ode in Southwestern Nigeria. "From the time I was a small boy through college I was called "doctor," he said. "Naturally, I started thinking I will be a doctor and started getting interested in medicine."

In 1990, he graduated with an M.B.B.S. (the equivalent to an M.D) from the University of Lagos in Nigeria. From 1990–1996, he was a General Medical Officer at two Nigerian hospitals. In1998, he began his medical internship at Howard University. In 2006, Laiyemo graduated with an M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he majored in epidemiology and biostatistics.

He is now licensed to practice medicine in the District of Columbia and the states of Maryland and Virginia. Since 2002, he has been board certified in internal medicine from the American Board of Internal Medicine and in gastroenterology since 2007.

Dr. Laiyemo continues to give back to his profession. He is a member of the Howard University Advisory Committee on Graduate Medical Education, American Association for Cancer Research, American College of Physicians, American College of Gastroenterology, and Alpha Omega Medical Honor Society. And he is a special volunteer in NCI's Biometry Research Group in the Division of Cancer Prevention.

Updated: 07/08/11