It is with the very heaviest of hearts that we share the sad news that our colleague and friend, Dr Oghenekome Gbinigie (Kome), died on Saturday 28 January 2024 after a short illness.
Kome was the gentlest, kindest, most enthusiastic, and committed colleague one could ever have wished for. She made a massive contribution, particularly to applied clinical research into improving management of infections in primary care. She was particularly concerned about antimicrobial resistance and was exploring imaginative and feasible alternatives to treating acute urinary tract infections. She made a massive contribution to the development, design, and implementation of the PRINCIPLE and PANORAMIC trials of treatments for COVID-19 in the community.
Kome came from a medical family and attended King Edward VI School in Birmingham where she excelled academically, winning awards. She graduated in medicine from Cambridge University in 2010 and worked in hospitals including in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, her father's discipline, before specialising in general practice. She gained many diplomas during her training, and she spent GP placements in the local Gosford Hill Medical Centre and the Summertown Medical Centre.
She became a Clinical Research Fellow, which fitted well with her love of research and did her DPhil in common infections. During this programme, she designed and delivered a feasibility trial of cranberry extract for the treatment of acute urinary tract infection. Her studies included both qualitative research methods as well as systematic reviews and clinical trials. She led this work with great intelligence, deploying exemplary communication skills and leadership skills throughout. Kome then worked on the PRINCIPLE and PANORAMIC trials and has been in a post-doctoral position working on EU funded platform trials and observational studies of acute respiratory infections called ECRAID-Prime and ECRAID-Base. She had led successful grant applications form the NIHR and won a Doctoral Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust. Like all academics, Kome had disappointments as well as her triumphs. To echo Kipling’s words, she treated these two imposters just the same; she rapidly dusted herself off, and was soon looking for opportunities to improve and resubmit.
Kome was a well loved and active member of the Trinity College middle common room, and she served the college through conducting admission interviews and had presented to the Bathurst Society of Trinity College. She also taught communication skills to undergraduates and fulfilled other teaching roles. She definitely touched many lives.
Her contribution and her many achievements are only one aspect of the person we knew and loved. She was thoughtful, listened well and contributed acute observations. Her sense of scientific rigour would not allow her to turn away from tough questions. She had a wonderful sense of humour and although academic interactions were always serious and rigorous, we always enjoyed the process and had many laughs together.
Kome loved, and was absolutely dedicated to, clinical research and contributed so much during her all-too-short life to applied clinical science. We have lost one of the gentlest, kindest, and brightest friends and colleagues. We hold Kome and her family in our hearts and minds. We will miss her forever.
An online Remembrance Book has been set-up for those who wish to share memories, reflections and messages.