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Flora Ukoli
Title Professor
Faculty Rank
Degree MD, MPH
Institution Meharry Medical College
Department Surgery
Clusters Cancer
Community Engagement
Obesity and Metabolic Syndromes
1005 Dr. D. B. Todd, Jr. Blvd.
Meharry Medical College
Department of Surgery
City Nashville
State TN
Postal Code 37208
Telephone 615-327-5653
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Title Professor (Adjunct)
Institution Vanderbilt University
Department Medicine
Division Epidemiology

Awards and Honors icon

1970 University of Ibadan, Nigeria Academic Scholarship Award
2002 American Cancer Society, Washington DC Certificate of Appreciation
2003 Howard University Cancer Center Academic Excellence Award
2007 Men''s Health Network, Nashville, TN Community Service Recognition
2007 Meharry Medical College Distinguished Graduate Educator Award
2010 NIH Center to Reduce Health Disparities Star of Excellence Award

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  In the last three decades I have focused on the epidemiology of chronic diseases, namely hypertension and prostate cancer in populations of African descent. We studied socio-demographic, anthropometric and dietary risk factors of prostate cancer, and assessed the degree to which knowledge about prostate cancer risk and access to preventive health care impacts prostate cancer early detection in African-American populations. The important role of obesity and underutilization of preventive health services in the genesis and sustenance of health disparities in the African-American population was noted. My clinical expertise in preventive and community medicine centered around maternal and child health, focusing on primary health care delivery, family planning and breastfeeding promotion programs in Sub-Saharan Africa. It was therefore easy to understand how poverty and lack of access to medical care can lead to health disparities in an industrialized high-income setting such as exists in the United States.
Although African-Americans record the highest rate of new HIV infection, the HIV clinic at Meharry Medical College has a very high success rate with drug adherence. The rate of HIV infection in infants of HIV positive mothers is zero. We plan to develop a culturally sensitive community-based intervention based on our successful hospital-based program in partnership with a community advisory board made up of representatives of the African-American and other minority communities that we serve. We envisage an educational and supportive intervention that will reverse the current childhood HIV trend in the community and simultaneously address childhood obesity. This project calls upon my expertise in epidemiology, community health, and international research, and provides mutual learning opportunities among collaborators. We shall facilitate the development of strong partnerships across disciplines at Meharry Medical College to address HIV disparities. Lessons learned in my current community breastfeeding promotion intervention within an early childhood obesity prevention program will be very useful. These are poster presentations of our breastfeeding promotion work.

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  Research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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2010Prostate Cancer Education and Screening Pilot Program for African-Americans5R03CA138136-02
2009Prostate Cancer Education and Screening Pilot Program for African-Americans1R03CA138136-01A1

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1. Zhou YE, Buchowski MS, Liu J, Schlundt DG, Ukoli FA, Blot WJ, Hargreaves MK. Plasma Lycopene Is Associated with Pizza and Pasta Consumption in Middle-Aged and Older African American and White Adults in the Southeastern USA in a Cross-Sectional Study. PLoS One. 2016; 11(9):e0161918.
2. Sanderson M, Fowke JH, Lipworth L, Han X, Ukoli F, Coker AL, Blot WJ, Hargreaves MK. Diabetes and prostate cancer screening in black and white men. Cancer Causes Control. 2013 Oct; 24(10):1893-9.
3. Axt J, Abdallah F, Axt M, Githanga J, Hansen E, Lessan J, Li M, Musimbi J, Mwachiro M, Newton M, Ndung'u J, Njuguna F, Nzioka A, Oruko O, Patel K, Tenge R, Ukoli F, White R, O'Neill JA, Lovvorn HN. Wilms tumor survival in Kenya. J Pediatr Surg. 2013 Jun; 48(6):1254-62.
4. Ukoli FA, Patel K, Hargreaves M, Beard K, Moton PJ, Bragg R, Beech D, Davis R. A tailored prostate cancer education intervention for low-income African Americans: impact on knowledge and screening. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2013 Feb; 24(1):311-31.
5. Taioli E, Sears V, Watson A, Flores-Obando RE, Jackson MD, Ukoli FA, de Syllos Cólus IM, Fernandez P, McFarlane-Anderson N, Ostrander EA, Rodrigues IS, Stanford JL, Taylor JA, Tulloch-Reid M, Ragin CC. Polymorphisms in CYP17 and CYP3A4 and prostate cancer in men of African descent. Prostate. 2013 May; 73(6):668-76.
6. Patel K, Ukoli F, Liu J, Beech D, Beard K, Brown B, Sanderson M, Kenerson D, Cooper L, Canto M, Blot B, Hargreaves M. A community-driven intervention for prostate cancer screening in African Americans. Health Educ Behav. 2013 Feb; 40(1):11-8.
7. Murphy AB, Ukoli F, Freeman V, Bennett F, Aiken W, Tulloch T, Coard K, Angwafo F, Kittles RA. 8q24 risk alleles in West African and Caribbean men. Prostate. 2012 Sep 01; 72(12):1366-73.
8. Taioli E, Flores-Obando RE, Agalliu I, Blanchet P, Bunker CH, Ferrell RE, Jackson M, Kidd LC, Kolb S, Lavender NA, McFarlane-Anderson N, Morrison SS, Multigner L, Ostrande EA, Park JY, Patrick AL, Rebbeck TR, Romana M, Stanford JL, Ukoli F, Vancleave TT, Zeigler-Johnson CM, Mutetwa B, Ragin C. Multi-institutional prostate cancer study of genetic susceptibility in populations of African descent. Carcinogenesis. 2011 Sep; 32(9):1361-5.
9. Patel K, Kenerson D, Wang H, Brown B, Pinkerton H, Burress M, Cooper L, Canto M, Ukoli F, Hargreaves M. Factors influencing prostate cancer screening in low-income African Americans in Tennessee. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2010 Feb; 21(1 Suppl):114-26.
10. Ukoli FA, Fowke JH, Akumabor P, Oguike T, Taher KA, Murff HJ, Amaefuna ER, Kittles R, Ahaghotu C, Osime U, Beech DJ. The association of plasma fatty acids with prostate cancer risk in African Americans and Africans. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2010 Feb; 21(1 Suppl):127-47.
11. Ukoli FA, Taher K, Egbagbe E, Lomotey M, Oguike T, Akumabor P, Osime U, Beech D. Association of self-reported consumption of cooked meat, fish, seafood and eggs with prostate cancer risk among Nigerians. Infect Agent Cancer. 2009 Feb 10; 4 Suppl 1:S6.
12. Ukoli FA, Akumabor PN, Oguike TC, Dent LL, Beech D, Osime U. The association of plasma fatty acids with prostate cancer risk in Nigerians. Ethn Dis. 2009; 19(4):454-61.
13. Babashani M, Iliyasu Z, Ukoli CO. Respiratory symptoms and pulmonary function impairment among detergent plant workers in Jos, Northern Nigeria. Niger J Med. 2008 Oct-Dec; 17(4):423-7.
14. Ukoli FA, Egbagbe E, Zhao BB, Lyamu E, Young D, Oside P, Osime U, Adams-Campbell LL. Anthropometric predictors of elevated prostate specific antigen among rural and urban Nigerians: a population-based study. West Afr J Med. 2007 Jan-Mar; 26(1):7-13.
15. Fowke JH, Signorello LB, Chang SS, Matthews CE, Buchowski MS, Cookson MS, Ukoli FM, Blot WJ. Effects of obesity and height on prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and percentage of free PSA levels among African-American and Caucasian men. Cancer. 2006 Nov 15; 107(10):2361-7.
16. Fowke JH, Signorello LB, Underwood W, Ukoli FA, Blot WJ. Obesity and prostate cancer screening among African-American and Caucasian men. Prostate. 2006 Sep 15; 66(13):1371-80.
17. Odedina FT, Ogunbiyi JO, Ukoli FA. Roots of prostate cancer in African-American men. J Natl Med Assoc. 2006 Apr; 98(4):539-43.
18. Ukoli FA, Lynch BS, Adams-Campbell LL. Radical prostatectomy and quality of life among African Americans. Ethn Dis. 2006; 16(4):988-93.
19. Fowke JH, Schlundt D, Signorello LB, Ukoli FA, Blot WJ. Prostate cancer screening between low-income African-American and Caucasian men. Urol Oncol. 2005 Sep-Oct; 23(5):333-40.
20. Räikkönen K, Matthews KA, Kondwani KA, Bunker CH, Melhem NM, Ukoli FA, Asogun A, Jacob RG. Does nondipping of blood pressure at night reflect a trait of blunted cardiovascular responses to daily activities? Ann Behav Med. 2004 Apr; 27(2):131-7.
21. Panguluri RC, Long LO, Chen W, Wang S, Coulibaly A, Ukoli F, Jackson A, Weinrich S, Ahaghotu C, Isaacs W, Kittles RA. COX-2 gene promoter haplotypes and prostate cancer risk. Carcinogenesis. 2004 Jun; 25(6):961-6.
22. Ukoli F, Osime U, Akereyeni F, Okunzuwa O, Kittles R, Adams-Campbell L. Prevalence of elevated serum prostate-specific antigen in rural Nigeria. Int J Urol. 2003 Jun; 10(6):315-22.
23. Desai PP, Bunker CH, Ukoli FA, Kamboh MI. Genetic variation in the apolipoprotein D gene among African blacks and its significance in lipid metabolism. Atherosclerosis. 2002 Aug; 163(2):329-38.
24. Kittles RA, Chen W, Panguluri RK, Ahaghotu C, Jackson A, Adebamowo CA, Griffin R, Williams T, Ukoli F, Adams-Campbell L, Kwagyan J, Isaacs W, Freeman V, Dunston GM. CYP3A4-V and prostate cancer in African Americans: causal or confounding association because of population stratification? Hum Genet. 2002 Jun; 110(6):553-60.
25. Gathuru IM, Bunker CH, Ukoli FA, Egbagbe EE. Differences in rates of obstructive lung disease between Africans and African Americans. Ethn Dis. 2002; 12(4):S3-107-13.
26. Unuigbe EI, Omeife H, Edema T, Ukoli FA. Microalbuminuria and associated factors in newly diagnosed diabetics. Niger Postgrad Med J. 2001 Dec; 8(4):187-92.
27. Forrest KY, Bunker CH, Kriska AM, Ukoli FA, Huston SL, Markovic N. Physical activity and cardiovascular risk factors in a developing population. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001 Sep; 33(9):1598-604.
28. Kittles RA, Panguluri RK, Chen W, Massac A, Ahaghotu C, Jackson A, Ukoli F, Adams-Campbell L, Isaacs W, Dunston GM. Cyp17 promoter variant associated with prostate cancer aggressiveness in African Americans. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2001 Sep; 10(9):943-7.
29. Kittles RA, Young D, Weinrich S, Hudson J, Argyropoulos G, Ukoli F, Adams-Campbell L, Dunston GM. Extent of linkage disequilibrium between the androgen receptor gene CAG and GGC repeats in human populations: implications for prostate cancer risk. Hum Genet. 2001 Sep; 109(3):253-61.
30. Ness RB, Ukoli F, Hunt S, Kiely SC, McNeil MA, Richardson V, Weissbach N, Belle SH. Salary equity among male and female internists in Pennsylvania. Ann Intern Med. 2000 Jul 18; 133(2):104-10.
31. Huston SL, Bunker CH, Ukoli FA, Rautaharju PM, Kuller LH. Electrocardiographic left ventricular hypertrophy by five criteria among civil servants in Benin City, Nigeria: prevalence and correlates. Int J Cardiol. 1999 Jul 01; 70(1):1-14.
32. Nestlerode CS, Bunker CH, Sanghera DK, Aston CE, Ukoli FA, Kamboh MI. Apolipoprotein J polymorphisms and serum HDL cholesterol levels in African blacks. Hum Biol. 1999 Apr; 71(2):197-218.
33. Kamboh MI, Bunker CH, Aston CE, Nestlerode CS, McAllister AE, Ukoli FA. Genetic association of five apolipoprotein polymorphisms with serum lipoprotein-lipid levels in African blacks. Genet Epidemiol. 1999; 16(2):205-22.
34. Ali S, Bunker CH, Aston CE, Ukoli FA, Kamboh MI. Apolipoprotein A kringle 4 polymorphism and serum lipoprotein (a) concentrations in African blacks. Hum Biol. 1998 Jun; 70(3):477-90.
35. Markovic N, Bunker CH, Ukoli FA, Kuller LH. John Henryism and blood pressure among Nigerian civil servants. J Epidemiol Community Health. 1998 Mar; 52(3):186-90.
36. Theobald TM, Cauley JA, Gluer CC, Bunker CH, Ukoli FA, Genant HK. Black-white differences in hip geometry. Study of Osteoporotic Fractures Research Group. Osteoporos Int. 1998; 8(1):61-7.
37. Evans RW, Bunker CH, Ukoli FA, Kuller LH. Lipoprotein (a) distribution in a Nigerian population. Ethn Health. 1997 Mar-Jun; 2(1-2):47-58.
38. Yeh LL, Kuller LH, Bunker CH, Ukoli FA, Huston SL, Terrell DF. The role of socioeconomic status and serum fatty acids in the relationship between intake of animal foods and cardiovascular risk factors. Ann Epidemiol. 1996 Jul; 6(4):290-8.
39. Bunker CH, Ukoli FA, Okoro FI, Olomu AB, Kriska AM, Huston SL, Markovic N, Kuller LH. Correlates of serum lipids in a lean black population. Atherosclerosis. 1996 Jun; 123(1-2):215-25.
40. Markovic N, Matthews KA, Huston SL, Egbagbe E, Ukoli FA, Bunker CH. Blood pressure reactivity to stress varies by hypertensive status and sex in Nigerians. Am J Epidemiol. 1995 Nov 15; 142(10):1020-8.
41. Bunker CH, Ukoli FA, Matthews KA, Kriska AM, Huston SL, Kuller LH. Weight threshold and blood pressure in a lean black population. Hypertension. 1995 Oct; 26(4):616-23.
42. Ukoli FA, Bunker CH, Fabio A, Olomu AB, Egbagbe EE, Kuller LH. Body fat distribution and other anthropometric blood pressure correlates in a Nigerian urban elderly population. Cent Afr J Med. 1995 May; 41(5):154-61.
43. Markovic N, Olomu IN, Bunker CH, Huston SL, Ukoli FA, Kuller LH. Adequacy of a single visit for classification of hypertensive status in a Nigerian civil servant population. Int J Epidemiol. 1994 Aug; 23(4):723-9.
44. Adams-Campbell LL, Wing R, Ukoli FA, Janney CA, Nwankwo MU. Obesity, body fat distribution, and blood pressure in Nigerian and African-American men and women. J Natl Med Assoc. 1994 Jan; 86(1):60-4.
45. Adams-Campbell LL, Nwankwo MU, Ukoli FA, Janney C. Sex and ethnic differences associated with urinary sodium and potassium in African-American US white and Nigerian college students. J Hum Hypertens. 1993 Oct; 7(5):437-41.
46. Ukoli FA, Adams-Campbell LL, Ononu J, Nwankwo MU, Chanetsa F. Nutritional status of urban Nigerian school children relative to the NCHS reference population. East Afr Med J. 1993 Jul; 70(7):409-13.
47. Ojogwu LI, Ukoli FA. A follow up study of adult nephrotic syndrome in Nigerians: outcome and predictors of endstage renal failure. Afr J Med Med Sci. 1993 Jun; 22(2):43-50.
48. Adams-Campbell LL, Nwankwo MU, Ukoli FA, Biu T. The sickle gene: a marker for blood pressure? J Natl Med Assoc. 1993 May; 85(5):385-7.
49. Adams-Campbell LL, Agurs TD, Ukoli FA. Dietary assessment in Nigerian women: a pilot study. Ethn Dis. 1993; 3 Suppl:S62-6.
50. Bunker CH, Ukoli FA, Nwankwo MU, Omene JA, Currier GW, Holifield-Kennedy L, Freeman DT, Vergis EN, Yeh LL, Kuller LH. Factors associated with hypertension in Nigerian civil servants. Prev Med. 1992 Nov; 21(6):710-22.
51. Adams-Campbell LL, Ukoli FA, Silverman JA, Omene JA, Nwankwo MU, Kuller LH. Tracking of blood pressure and anthropometric measures in Nigerian children. J Hum Hypertens. 1992 Feb; 6(1):47-51.
52. Odita JC, Okolo AA, Ukoli F. Normal values for metacarpal and phalangeal lengths in Nigerian children. Skeletal Radiol. 1991; 20(6):441-5.
53. Adams-Campbell LL, Nwankwo M, Ukoli F, Omene J, Haile GT, Kuller LH. Body fat distribution patterns and blood pressure in black and white women. J Natl Med Assoc. 1990 Aug; 82(8):573-6.
54. Nwankwo MU, Adams-Campbell LL, Ukoli FA, Olomu IN, Ukoli CO, Ugwu E. Blood pressure in Nigerian college males. J Hum Hypertens. 1990 Apr; 4(2):72-3.
55. Bunker CH, Nwankwo MU, Ukoli FA, Omene JA, Currier GW, Holifield LR, Freeman DT, Vergis EN, Yeh LL, Kuller LH. Factors related to blood pressure among urban Nigerian workers. J Hum Hypertens. 1990 Apr; 4(2):82-4.
56. Nwankwo MU, Bunker CH, Ukoli FA, Omene JA, Freeman DT, Vergis EN, Yeh LL, Kuller LH. Blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease risk factors in black adults with sickle cell trait or glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency. Genet Epidemiol. 1990; 7(3):211-8.
57. Adams-Campbell LL, Nwankwo MU, Omene JA, Ukoli FA, Young MP, Haile GT, Kuller LH. Assessment of cardiovascular risk factors in Nigerian students. Arteriosclerosis. 1988 Nov-Dec; 8(6):793-6.
58. Adedeji MO, Onuora VC, Ukoli FA. Haematological parameters associated with priapism in Nigerian patients with homozygous sickle cell disease. J Trop Med Hyg. 1988 Jun; 91(3):157-9.
59. Adams-Campbell LL, Ukoli F, Young MP, Omene J, Nwankwo M, Haile GT, Kuller LH. An epidemiological assessment of blood pressure determinants in an adolescent population of Nigerians. J Hypertens. 1987 Oct; 5(5):575-80.
60. Adedeji MO, Ukoli FA. Haematological factors associated with leg ulcer in sickle cell disease. Trop Geogr Med. 1987 Oct; 39(4):354-6.
61. Adedeji MO, Ukoli FA, Omodiale P. Hyperuricaemia and foetal haemoglobin levels in homozygous sickle cell disease. Cent Afr J Med. 1987 Aug; 33(8):196-200.
62. Oyarebu KA, Ukoli FA. Family size aspiration among mothers of infants attending the under-five welfare clinic in Benin City, Nigeria. Public Health. 1987 Mar; 101(2):129-32.
63. Ukoli FA, Oyarebu KA. An evaluation of contraceptive knowledge and practice in an urban community in Benin City in Nigeria. Indian J Public Health. 1987 Jan-Mar; 31(1):33-9.
64. Alakija W, Ukoli F. Feeding habits of infants in Benin City, Nigeria. Trop Doct. 1980 Jan; 10(1):29-31.
65. Alakija W, Ukoli F. An evaluation of feeding habits of infants seen at an urban health centre in Benin City, Nigeria. Niger Med J. 1979 Jul-Aug; 9(7-8):683-5.

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