My name is Samuel Oliech Omolo from Muhoroni, Kenya. I am supper excited to join LFSA as the first chairman for LFSA – Africa.
My major focus is to tell the story of African LFS cancer patients using genomics, advocacy, and patient support, and to provide the most comprehensive solution to families affected. Furthermore, I strive to create Genomic profiles, clear pedigree of LFS families in Africa, and document our genetic landscape in the African population.
I am a well-trained Biotechnologist (Bachelor of Science and Master of Science at Masinde Muliro University and Kenyatta University) with focus on genetic engineering and molecular disease diagnostics.
I began my early research career at the American Center for Disease Control (CDC) with focus on Burkits Lymphoma and malaria/haemorrhagic fever virus surveillance, followed by Roche Diagnostics where I trained in cancer markers (Roche Campus, Switzerland) and HIV work (Roche Diagnostics Campus, South Africa). My work focused on implementing high throughput disease diagnostics in Africa for 4 years. I have also worked for American Mylan/Viatris Pharmaceuticals, taking care of Disease Diagnostics Division in Africa.
In 2018, I switched focus to Comparative Oncology, looking at cancer in the wild at Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), a collaborative research project between Arizona Cancer Evolution Centre (ACE), University of Utah, and University of California Santa Barbara, where I focused on mutation rates in TP53 gene within tumors in the wild (One Health).
This global collaboration raised my interest in doing a PhD within the ACE platform looking at the genomic landscape of TP53 gene in LFS families and mapping the first LFS families in Africa, raising awareness on rare types of cancer, and ensuring Africa forms part of this important global data through cutting edge genomic research.
I am looking forward to greater collaboration and capacity building, and setting up strong diagnostic platforms and cancer treatment for LFS patients during my tenure as the Chairman for LFSA – Africa. This will ensure timely diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients in Africa. To the people of my continent: LFS is not witchcraft, but a genetic disorder. We need to embrace these families and support them.