The Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics congratulates Olaniyi Taiwo, an alumnus of its Fogarty African Bioethics Training Program (FABTP), for being honored with the award for Dissertation of the Year by the University of Liverpool.
Taiwo’s dissertation in the university’s Masters in Clinical Research program was an expansion of his work as a member of the 2007 FABTP class, concerning consent for participation in dental clinical trials in Africa; the dissertation is titled “Elements of Consent Form for Participation in Clinical Trials: Priorities of Dental Patients and Dental Care Professionals in Outpatient Dental Settings in Plateau State, Nigeria.”
Before participating in the FABTP, Taiwo earned a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and served for nine years as a Research Fellow and HIV/AIDS Program Officer with the Regional Centre for Oral Health Research and Training in Plateau State.
Motivated by the vulnerability of clinical trial participants and the communication gap he observed between them and researchers, Taiwo pursued bioethics training at the Berman Institute. He subsequently advocated for the establishment of an ethical review committee and organized in-house bioethics seminars for his colleagues; he also proved his hypothesis of poor communication in the oral health clinical trial context by conducting a study of post-consent understanding in three different trials. The study was published in BMC Medical Ethics.
Since 2001, the FABTP has supported scholars and institutions in sub-Saharan Africa in building regional research ethics capacity. In 2012, the program received a five-year continuation grant from the Fogarty International Center of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. An inaugural African bioethics consortium meeting was held at the Berman Institute in June 2013, aimed at sustaining and supporting the growing body of work by alumni like Taiwo, and those they have trained at their home institutions.