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LEADERSHIP: Dr. Olotu is the new Ifakara Director of Science

Sept. 29, 2023 4:00pm
LEADERSHIP: Dr. Olotu is the new Ifakara Director of Science
Photo of Dr. Ally Olotu, the newly appointed Director of Science at Ifakara Health Institute. GRAPHIC | IFAKARA/KMC

Ifakara Health Institute has announced Dr. Ally Olotu as its new Director of Science, taking over from Dr. Fredros Okumu, who held the post since 2016 and resigned a few months ago. Before this new appointment, Dr. Olotu served in the same position in the acting capacity.

The Institute’s Chief Executive Director, Dr. Honorati Masanja, made the announcement at a staff meeting from Dar es Salaam. He won the post after a highly competitive selection process that involved applicants from outside the organization.

Just before the two immediate positions, Dr. Olotu served for many years as Head of the Interventions and Clinical Trials Department based at the Ifakara Health Institute Clinical Trials Facility in Bagamoyo, Tanzania.
Dr. Olotu is a Senior Scientist with a strong interest in infectious disease epidemiology and immunology. He holds a Senior EDCTP fellowship.

As a former fellow of the MRC African Research leadership award in 2017, Dr Olotu earned his MD degree from the University of Dar es Salaam at the Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences in 2002. He later obtained his DPhil from the University of Oxford in 2013 for his groundbreaking work on the RTS,S malaria vaccine.

Over the past 14 years, Dr Olotu's research has significantly contributed to the understanding of malaria epidemiology and naturally acquired immunity. His work has provided valuable insights into the safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy of malaria vaccine candidates in endemic populations.

Notably, Dr Olotu has led studies focused on the immune correlates of protection and duration of efficacy of the RTS,S malaria vaccine, as well as the safety and immunogenicity of irradiated whole sporozoite vaccine.
Currently, Dr Olotu is leading Phase I and III trials of second-generation, pre-erythrocytic, blood-stage, and transmission-blocking malaria vaccine candidates in Tanzania. He is also actively working to establish the capacity for human infection studies in endemic populations to support early evaluation of malaria interventions.

Dr. Olotu has also published extensively in international journals. His complete list of published work can be accessed here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Olotu%27%20Ally.

>> Read Dr. Olotu’s full profile here.