Name: Titilope Adenike Fasipe (nee Ishola)
Currently Based: Houston, Texas
#MadeInNigeia: Born in Lagos but hometown is Ogbomoso, Oyo State
I've known Titi pretty much her entire life, though we are not biologically related, we are family. Titi epitomizes grace and humility. She's a genuine person that is passionate about her work and she is super smart! As I say about every woman that I've had the opportunity to showcase on this platform, she's doing some pretty amazing things!
Read more about Titi's education, career path and why she decided to go the route that she did.
Titi's Education & Career Path:
-BS Biology -- UTA, Arlington
-MD, PhD -- UTMB, Galveston
-Residency -- Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati
-Fellowship -- Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Baylor/Texas Children's Hospital, Houston
That's a lot of school! :)
(Pictured with 18th Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin)
Why did you chose to take this path?1. Childhood reasons: I love kids, so growing up I wanted to either be a teacher or a doctor. I was also influenced by my fascination with science (go STEM!) and having a nurse as a mother (I was always reading her nursing textbooks).
2. Impact of Nigeria and Sickle Cell: I suspect most people would think I chose my career because I have sickle cell disease. Well I do have sickle cell, but it's actually more complicated than that. You see, between the ages of 11 and 16, I lived in Nigeria and saw a different side of healthcare. One defined by limited resources and where bad outcomes always had more questions than answers. This really hit home when I heard my beautiful cousin passed way at the age of 17. She had sickle cell and she had been a role model to me. I wondered and still wonder: could her death have been prevented?
3. The Others: that is my countless brothers and sisters who also have sickle cell in America, Nigeria, and worldwide... The ones I have met along the way have inspired me with their stories, all different, yet with common threads.
What do you hope to accomplish?
Initially, I pursued a dual degree because I wanted to "cure" sickle cell, a genetic disease. As I went through my training, I realized there are many areas to make impact. I admire those researching cures (and obviously grateful for them), but my dreams have been adjusted. I have decided to focus on other troubling crises for sickle cell - the psycho-social burden of this chronic disease (especially with the associated racial/ethnic stigmas and disparities), the complexities of transitioning to adulthood with this disease, and of course the overwhelming global burden of sickle cell.
This means I still do research, but I focus on patient outcomes and also on the utilization of the current/future therapies.
Titi is passionate about her path and though things may get challenging or discouraging, she will never give up. Her goal is to create/revitalize/ promote sickle cell programs. Accomplishing things step by step and bit by bit... the hope is to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by sickle cell!
Advice that she would give to a Little Girl:
1. Be yourself (which is easier said than done)
2. Identify mentors/role models/sponsors at each stage of life. Some of these people will be nearby (your parents, a teacher, etc), some may be not as easy to reach but their stories can inspire you (e.g., Michelle Obama, Katherine Johnson and other ladies of Hidden Figures, and Chimamanda Adichie to name a few)
Quotes Titi tries to live by:
1. "...Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God"
2. "The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story."
-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
One of our friends has already claimed a Noble peace Prize for Titi, I join him and look forward to the day she receives it!
Has Titi's story inspired you? Leave a note in the comment box or send her an email at email@example.com