Program Leadership

Laura

Laura Chittenden, Country Director

Laura joined the US Army Medical Research Directorate-Africa/Nigeria in July 2017 and became the new Country Director in August 2018. She has almost 20 years of experience working in global health, spanning both the public and private sectors, and with expertise in numerous infectious and inherited diseases.

Most recently, Dr. Chittenden worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as the Zika Regional Advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean, for which she managed program grants; worked closely with foreign Ministries of Health, the Pan American Health Organization (World Health Organization for the Americas), the U.S. government interagency, and cross-USAID teams.

Serving under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), she has worked in different countries and in technical and executive capacities.  They include, India, Kenya, Dominican Republic and the United States of America.  A U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, Laura is a Six Sigma green belt and a Master of Business Administration graduate.  She also has a Doctor of Philosophy in biomedical sciences from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from Old Dominion University.

Eddie

Eddie Bloom, Director of Administration and Operations

Eddie Bloom joined WRP-N in 2014. Prior to that he worked as a Country Director in Indonesia for a U.S.-Based NGO; as a contracting officer for USAID in Afghanistan; and was embedded with the U.S. Army as a development officer managing the Afghan project portfolio.

Bloom, who is a returned U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, has also taught remedial reading and writing to foreign college students at Austin Community College and has advanced degrees in International Studies, Political Science and Psychology. Bloom is a consummate student of language and speaks fluent Afghan Dari, Bahasa Indonesia and Spanish. Stateside, Bloom held several senior management and leadership roles in Texas State Government before returning to overseas work.

He also worked as a registered lobbyist at the Texas State Legislature and served as elected president of the Lions International social service organization in Central Texas.

Michael Iroezindu MBBS, MPH, FWACP, FMCP, ATSF

Dr. Iroezindu is the Director of Research, United States Army Medical Research Directorate-Africa/Nigeria (USAMRD-A/N), in support of the Emerging Infectious Diseases Branch (EIDB) and US Military HIV Research Program (MHRP), Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. He has a broad background in Clinical Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Clinical Research, and Public Health that spans over 18 years. He is the lead of the Clinical Research Center, which conducts high-quality research to support the development of countermeasures against emerging infectious diseases of public health importance.

Dr. Iroezindu is the Nigeria Principal Investigator (PI) of the CEPI-funded Lassa fever phase 2a candidate vaccine trial and the follow-on CEPI/EDCTP-funded phase 2b trial entitled Lassa Fever Vaccine Efficacy and Prevention for West Africa (LEAP4WA). He is also the PI of the community-based study investigating the seroprevalence and risk factors of Lassa virus infection in Nigeria. Additionally, he is the protocol co-chair of the Joint West African Research Group (JWARG)’s study on “Severe Infectious Disease: Surveillance, Detection, Risks, and Consequences in West Africa.” Dr. Iroezindu also leads the DTRA-funded Monkeypox Public Outreach and Sample Collection Training Project, which has built the capacity of 120 human and animal healthcare workers across Nigeria.

Dr. Iroezindu has led multiple HIV research protocols and is currently the PI (Nigeria sites) of the PEPFAR-funded African Cohort Study (AFRICOS), which has enrolled over 3,950 people living with and without HIV across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Nigeria. He has supported the national COVID-19 response and research activities under the NMOD-US DoD Public Health Emergency Operations Center. He currently leads the USAMRD-A/N portion of the Africa CDC Consortium on COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trial (CONCVACT). Dr. Iroezindu has previously supported other emerging infectious diseases studies and outbreak responses, including Monkeypox, Dengue, Lassa, and Ebola.

He is a Fellow of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and a member of several professional societies, including the International Society for Infectious Diseases, Infectious Disease Society of America, the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, and the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. He has published over 75 peer-reviewed journal papers and book chapters. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the Nigerian Infectious Disease Society. Dr. Iroezindu has received several awards and honors, including the Ayo Iyun Prize for the best candidate in Internal Medicine (West African College of Physicians, 2008), Emeritus Prof. Nwokolo award for academic excellence (2014); ATS award of scientific merit (2015); and the Buist Pathway to Leadership Award (2020).

 

YakubuYakubu Adamu, Deputy Director of Public Health and Policy

Dr. Yakubu Adamu is a public health physician with 20 years of experience in public health practice, including approximately 15 years of experience in implementing HIV/AIDS programs at the community, sub-national and national levels. He began his clinical HIV medicine career at FHI360 as part of the team that pioneered HIV/AIDS service delivery at secondary health facilities in Nigeria, increasing access to HIV treatment to over 100 treatment facilities in 2008.

Dr. Adamu joined USAMRD-A/N/WRAIR Nigeria in 2009 to provide technical leadership to the NMOD HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment Program. During this period he has supported the development of several technical documents, among which are NMOD’s HIV/AIDS Five Year Strategic Plan, the National HIV Vaccine Plan, and the Nigerian HIV Treatment Guidelines, among others.  He has received awards from The AIDS Supports Organization, European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS), the Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research, and from the University of Witwatersrand to improve his clinical and research skills in HIV/AIDS management.

Dr. Adamu belongs to numerous professional and technical working groups including the Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria, National Postgraduate College of Public Health, National ART Task team, New Prevention Technologies TWG, and the USG 2nd 90 TWG.


Jegede Feyisayo Ebenezer, Deputy Director, Defence Reference Laboratory

Jegede Feyisayo Ebenezer, a licensed Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) currently serves as WRP-N’s Deputy Director at the Defence Reference Laboratory, Abuja. He comes with more than two decades of experience in clinical laboratory settings, project implementation, and management.

Dr. Feyisayo whose experience spans all three levels of the health care system in Nigeria started his career at the Department of Hematology and Blood Transfusion Services, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, and in 2007 he joined the Family Health International (FHI)-360 where he supervised 26 ART laboratories and 3 PCR Laboratories across seven Nigerian states.

He obtained a Ph.D. in Human Parasitology with a focus on HIV/AIDS and Malaria, Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Epidemiology and Biological Sciences from the Bayero University Kano. He is also a fellow of the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (FMLSCN) with a Hematology and Blood Transfusion Services specialty.