ASH Clinical News ACN_4.5_FULL_ISSUE_DIGITAL - Page 12

Pulling Back the Curtain: Olatoyosi Odenike, MD voice mattered – from the high school students who worked in her lab to her colleagues and peers. I learned much about generosity and hu- mility, and about the importance of having a life outside of work. Having downtime to re-energize your work is essential. Have you taken her advice about finding that work-life balance? I have tried, and I don’t think I would be able to do any of the things I do without the support of my incredible husband, Muyideen. He’s a computer engineer and my loudest cheerleader. He’s always excited about my accomplishments, whatever they may be. We are blessed to have a 13-year-old son, Fuad, who is inquisitive and constantly challenges us in various ways with questions about the world today and how the world could be. When you have time away from work, what do you and your family enjoy doing? I love to cook anything and everything. One of my favorite cuisines is Nigerian food, but with a twist. I like to put my own spin on other people’s recipes. My “signature dish” is shrimp fried rice, a Nigerian-Asian fusion recipe that has flavors of sesame oil, ginger, and rodo (also known as habanero peppers, which are a staple of Nigerian cuisine). I also make a mean jollof rice, a classic Nigerian dish. I wish I had more time to cook. I enjoy my time in the kitchen because it’s a great stress relief. And, I’m grateful that my husband and son will eat anything I make. It brings me pure joy. My son, though, likes to critique my dishes. He’ll actually rate it! He’ll always eat it, but he’ll give me feedback, “Mom, I give you an 8.5 out of 10 for that.” I cannot wait until he starts turning out his own recipes and my husband and I can sit back and relax! We also love to goof around. At the end of a long workday, it’s nice to go home, let my hair down (literally and figuratively) and be silly with them. They’re both techy computer nerds, so they have me outnumbered there, but my son and I share a passion for reading. What do you enjoy reading? Do you read the same things as your son? He’s more into graphic novels and Manga; his dream is to visit Japan someday. I will read just about anything – I love reading science fiction, delving into novels that celebrate ideas of social justice, flipping through mindless entertainment magazines, [and] reading the newspaper. … I recently read Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, which is set during the Biafran War in the late 1960s. I love her books and how she interprets historic scenarios through the eyes of her fictional characters. I also enjoyed The Girl With all the Gifts by M.R. Carey, a dystopian horror novel (which I usually shy away from), but with a science-fiction twist, which is what drew me to it. Growing up, I was the kid who would lock herself in a room and not be able to put a book down. I just wish I had more time to read for pleasure. My idea of heaven is hanging out and reading books with my family. If you could have dinner with anyone from history who would it be? I was trying to think of someone from medical history who I greatly admire, and, fortunately, I have had the pleasure of having dinners and conversations with her many times: Dr. Rowley. So, if I could choose someone who I never had the honor of meeting, I would say Nelson Mandela. I’ve always been intrigued by his life and perseverance. It is so impressive that a human being could endure all he endured and still emerge fully committed to his or her ideals. Even after his imprisonment, he continued to push boundaries to bring his ideas to fruition. If I could, I would ask him, “How did you keep it together? Why didn’t you ever give up?” Obviously, he worked on a grand scale, but I think we can learn much from historical figures like Mr. Mandela to take back to our own small corners of the world. We have to do the things that give us joy and hold on to our dreams. ● Keep up with accelerating advances in IMMUNOTHERAPIES ASH Summit on Emerging Immunotherapies for Hematologic Diseases July 12 – 13, 2018 • Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC This first-of-its-kind ASH summit brings together stakeholders from all disciplines – researchers, clinicians, regulators, industry scientists, and patient advocates — to examine pre-clinical and clinical factors influencing the effective development, regulation, and implementation of immunotherapies for both malignant and non-malignant hematologic diseases. Learn more at