Newborn Medicine Program Welcomes New Faculty Member Onome Oghifobibi, MD, MSc

June 12, 2021

Dr. Onome OghifobibiThe UPMC Newborn Medicine Program is pleased to welcome new faculty member Onome Oghifobibi, MD, MSc. Dr. Oghifobibi is currently finishing his neonatal-perinatal fellowship at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and will begin his tenure as an assistant professor of pediatrics with the Division of Newborn Medicine on July 1.

Training Overview

Dr. Oghifobibi earned his medical degree from the College of Medicine at the University of Benin in Edo State, Nigeria. He was awarded the honors of Best Graduating Student in Pediatrics and Pathology from the University. He then earned a Master of Science Health Management from Oxford Brookes University in Oxford, United Kingdom, and a Distinction Award for his academic work. 

Dr. Oghifobibi subsequently spent a year of training as a Senior House Officer in the Department of Pediatric General Surgery at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

Dr. Oghifobibi also trained as a research fellow at the University College London. His research involved translational studies assessing neuroprotective agents and therapies in conjunction with therapeutic hypothermia on a model of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. While at University College London, Dr. Oghifobibi also was a specialty registrar in the neonatal intensive care unit caring for premature infants and those with complex medical and surgical needs. 

In 2015, Dr. Oghifobibi arrived at UPMC Children’s and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine to complete his pediatric residency in the Accelerated Research Program, followed by a neonatal-perinatal fellowship, and postdoctoral associate as a Burroughs Wellcome Foundation Scholar in the Physician Scientist Incubator Program at the University of Pittsburgh.

“Growing up in the oil-rich South-South geopolitical zone of my home country, I observed that a large proportion of the population, a majority of whom lived in rural areas, were shackled by poverty, disease, and ignorance. Despite the fact that this resource-endowed region contributes substantially to the nation’s wealth, it also significantly contributed to the nation’s rising maternal, perinatal, infant, and under-five mortality rates, not to mention the plummeting life expectancy of men and women. These experiences influenced my decision to study medicine, to reach out to these individuals and the nation as a whole, and to contribute to the fight against ignorance and disease,” says Dr. Oghifobibi.

Clinical and Research Priorities

As an attending neonatologist, Dr. Oghifobibi will spend the majority of his clinical time in the NICU at UPMC Children’s, but also will see patients in the NICU at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital. He has a specific interest in treating neonatal patients who have neurological conditions and brain injuries.

Dr. Oghifobibi’s research priorities at UPMC Children’s will focus primarily on clinical research and translational studies. To further support his work in these areas, Dr. Oghifobibi will complete a Master’s degree in Clinical Research at the University of Pittsburgh during his first two years as a faculty member in the Division. His initial investigatory focus will be developing and implementing policies to help reduce infant mortality in Allegheny county and beyond by collaborating with health care, governmental, and community resources to tackle challenges related to health care disparities and access to quality health care and improving perinatal and neonatal outcomes.

“These issues within the broader world of health care, and specifically in our local Pittsburgh region, are long-standing and complex, but we must not consider them intractable. Maternal-fetal outcomes in minority populations are tragically compromised in many ways with a variety of causes. We must find creative, durable, and multidisciplinary means to correct these issues. I am looking forward to the collaborative work that will be possible at UPMC, the University of Pittsburgh, and with our network of community partners,” says Dr. Oghifobibi.