About the Founder
Alvan Azinna Ikoku is the President and Chair of The Ikoku Foundations and The Ikoku Charitable Trusts. He is also assistant professor of comparative literature and medicine at Stanford University, where he has affiliations with the centers for african studies and comparative studies in race and ethnicity as well as with the centers for biomedical ethics and global health.
Ikoku earned his MD at Harvard Medical School and his PhD in English and Comparative literature at Columbia University. Prior to his doctoral studies, he completed undergraduate work in human biology at Stanford and obtained two master's degrees, in history of medicine at the University of Oxford, and in African literature at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies.
Ikoku conducts research and teaches at the intersection of literature and medicine, with a specialized focus on African and African diasporic literature and culture, the novel and twentieth-century narrative forms, communicable and noncommunicable diseases in Africa, biomedical ethics and health humanities, and the development of tropical medicine and global health as modern medical specialties.
He has received president's teaching awards at Columbia and Harvard Universities. And his research has furthermore been funded by the Mellon Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, Columbia's Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, the Marjorie Hope Nicolson Fellowship, and the Rhodes Trust.