She was named one of America’s top doctors in the late 1990s. Dr. Elizabeth Ofili is well-known for her work in explaining the risks of heart disease in African Americans. She is remembered in medical history as a professor of medicine and a prominent cardiologist. This accomplishment did not come easily. When she arrived in the United States as a trained physician from Nigeria in the early 1980s, the system did not recognize her intellect, but she was unafraid and determined to prove herself.
Dr. Ofili received her medical studies at Ahmadu Bello University. She decided to complete her study in public health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, in order to be acknowledged in the US medical system. She received her master’s degree in public health in 1983 and continued her internal medicine residency at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she also pursued a research fellowship.
According to cf medicine, she was chosen as a cardiology fellow at Washington University Medical Center in St. Louis, Missouri, where she was assigned as an adjunct assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology. In 1994, she was named associate professor of medicine and chief section of cardiology at Moorehouse School of Medicine after receiving certification in both internal medicine and cardiovascular disorders. In 1999, she advanced to the rank of professor.
Dr. Ofili’s primary purpose as a director and key investor in the National Institutes of Health Clinical Research Center at Morehouse was to create and modernize the university’s research infrastructure. When she acquired funds for this goal from public and private grants, she focused research into cardiac illnesses among African Americans, breaking new ground in this field.
Her experience led to a new position as a researcher at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Space Medicine and Life Sciences Research Center. She studied vascular reactions in salt-sensitive and salt-resistant people, as well as the impact of microgravity on the vascular system, while at NASA.
Dr. Ofili is being honored today for her expertise in echocardiography, which uses sound waves to analyze the heart and how it functions. In 1993, she received an award from the American Society of Echocardiography and Mallinckrodt Cardiology for her work on echo studies of myocardial blood flow, and she became the first woman to serve as president of the Association of Black Cardiologists.
She is married to Dr. Chamberlain Obialo, chair of nephrology at Morehouse School of Medicine, and has four children. She also serves on the boards of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates and the Pfizer Women’s Health Initiative. Doctors Roger Bitar, Art Hagan, Art Labovitz, and Morton Kern are her mentors. Overall, her parents are her biggest supporters; they have always told her that she can achieve anything if she puts her mind to it.