Ikeoluwapo (Kendra) Bolakale-Rufai is an MS candidate in Clinical Translational Sciences(Clinical Research Track) at the University of Arizona. She received her medical degree from the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria where she graduated as the overall best student in surgery and received numerous awards of academic excellence. She has over 3 years of experience working as a primary care physician.
Ike is currently a graduate research associate in the Cardiovascular Brain Health Research lab, department of vascular surgery being directed by Craig Weinkauf, MD, PhD, where she is actively involved in patient recruitment and testing for the NIH sponsored research project on extracranial carotid atherosclerosis contributions to cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia risk.
Her current research focuses on the associations of inflammatory and neurodegenerative markers in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias with cardio metabolic profiles including extracranial carotid atherosclerosis. She is also currently exploring noninvasive methods to evaluate microvascular disease of the foot in diabetic patient populations with the aim of devising strategies for early identification and mitigation of ulcerations and limb amputations.
Ike has keen interests in cardiovascular, cognitive health and health disparities in cardiovascular care. Her career goal is to be a physician-scientist working at the interface between medicine and research with the overall aim of translating bench-side research to evidence based clinical care and improving health outcomes especially for socio-economically disadvantaged populations.
Outside of work, she enjoys volunteering for community health programs and over the past few years, she has coordinated events for breast cancer awareness, blood donation drives, healthcare, and nutrition for over 500 street children in Ibadan Nigeria. She also enjoys Afro-fusion music and spending quality time with friends and family.