HPTN Remembers Adaora Adimora: A Champion for Science and Justice

Jan 3, 2024

Dr. Adaora A. AdimoraWe are deeply saddened to share with you that our dear colleague and friend, Dr. Adaora A. Adimora, has passed away after a long illness.

Dr.  Adimora was Sarah Graham Kenan Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). She was a leader in UNC’s Division of Infectious Diseases and Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases and co-director of the UNC Center for AIDS Research (CFAR).

Her work helped characterize the epidemiology of heterosexual HIV transmission among African Americans, highlighting the role of sexual network patterns in the spread of HIV and underscoring the importance of macroeconomic and social forces in racial disparities in the U.S. HIV epidemic. Dr. Adimora was chair of the HPTN’s Women at Risk Committee and chair of HPTN 102/PURPOSE 3, a study evaluating the safety and pharmacokinetics of long-acting lenacapavir in women in the U.S.

“Ada was loved and admired by all who knew her, and her loss leaves an unimaginable gap that cannot be filled,” said Dr. Myron Cohen, HPTN principal investigator and director of the Institute for Global Health at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Dr. Adimora was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2019, one of the highest honors in health and medicine. Her UNC peers also honored her with the 2020 Thomas Jefferson Award. The Thomas Jefferson Award recognizes one UNC faculty member each year who, through personal influence and performance of duty in teaching, writing, and scholarship, has best exemplified the ideals and objectives of Thomas Jefferson.

“Ada will be remembered as a brilliant scientist, an indefatigable champion for the forgotten, and a defender of the rights of all people,” said Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, HPTN principal investigator, director of ICAP, and professor of epidemiology and medicine at Columbia University in New York. “What a remarkable legacy that she leaves for all of us to hold dear.” 

We send our heartfelt condolences to her family and colleagues.