Dr Olawale Salami

Clinical Project Manager, Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative

Dr Olawale Salami is the Pediatric HIV clinical project manager at the Africa regional office of Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi), in Nairobi, Kenya.  DNDi is a is a collaborative, patients’ needs-driven, non-profit drug research and development (R&D) organization that is developing new treatments for neglected diseases, notably leishmaniasis, sleeping sickness (human African trypanosomiasis, HAT), Chagas disease, malaria, pediatric HIV, and specific helminth infections.

Dr Salami’s current research focuses on generating empirical evidence from needed to support the clinical development of new pediatric HIV treatment formulations. His current project, the LIVING study, is a multi-country, phase 3B clinical trial that is evaluating the effectiveness, safety and pharmacokinetics of an improved antiretroviral  formulation in a cohort of over 1000 HIV infected children across 3 countries in Eastern Africa, the largest cohort of children in the world enrolled in a clinical trial with this new formulation.

Dr Salami graduated in 2005 from the Ahmadu Bello University medical school in Nigeria, and received post graduate training in clinical infectious diseases and Public health at the St James Hospital, Trinity college, Dublin, Ireland, and the university of Pretoria, South Africa. He worked in South Sudan as a humanitarian doctor in refugee camps in the Western Equatorial State, helping to implement one of South Sudan’s first regional HIV treatment programs in displaced populations. Subsequently, he returned to Nigeria, as the founding country manager of AIDS healthcare foundation (AHF), and in this role, established AHF’s first HIV treatment program in Nigeria, enrolling over 10,000 patients in some of the most hard-to-reach areas in North central Nigeria.

In 2013, Dr Salami received the prestigious Marie-Curie Fellowship at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Over the next 3 years, he worked at the laboratory of pulmonary infection and immunity of the Centre Hopitalier Universitaire de Vaudoise (CHUV), Lausanne, Switzerland, studying the pathogenesis of lung viral infections in children, and how these are shaped by   early life immuno-developmental and environmental factors. He has several publications in peer reviewed journals, conference abstracts and a book chapter.

He has received several awards, including the European AIDS clinical society international young scholar award (2009), the EDCTP young scientist award (2010) and the Marie curie fellowship 2013.

He is a fellow of the Royal society for Public health, and the Royal society for Tropical medicine and Hygiene as well as a member of the British immunological society, the international AIDS society and the European AIDS clinical society.

Outside work, Dr Salami enjoys hiking, mountain climbing and studying African history.