Funlayo (Funmi) M. Apantaku-Onayemi, EdD

Senior Research Specialist in Public Health

Dr. Apantaku-Onayemi is a senior research specialist in public health in the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics of the UIC School of Public Health. For nearly three decades, she has worked on community-based research and initiatives addressing cancer control in minority populations. As the Midwest Regional Director of the National Cancer Institute’s National Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer (Grant No. CA-05012), she formed 15 coalitions in 12 states in the Midwest, many based in leading cancer control institutions.

Dr. Apantaku-Onayemi engages with community leaders, universities, public health agencies, and nonprofit health advocacy organizations to plan and implement best practices to reduce the cancer burden on vulnerable populations. She directs the Beating Breast Cancer Project, an outreach and navigation program that aims to improve early breast cancer detection and treatment among African American women.

In May 2013, she received her doctorate degree in education from Olivet Nazarene University, which also recognized her with a Dissertation of Distinction Award.

Recent and Noteworthy Publications

Apantaku-Onayemi F, Baldyga W, Amuwo S, Adefuye A, Mason T, Mitchell R, Blumenthal DS. Driving to better health: cancer and cardiovascular risk assessment among taxi cab operators in Chicago. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2012;21(2):768-780.

Gustafson DH, Hawkins R, Pingree S, McTavish F, Arora NK, Mendenhall J, Cella DF, Serlin RC, Apantaku FM, Stewart J, Salner A. Effect of computer support on younger women with breast cancer. J Gen Intern Med. 2001;16(7):435-45.

McTavish FM, Gustafson DH, Owens BH, Hawkins RP, Pingree S, Wise M, Taylor JO, Apantaku FM. CHESS (Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System): an interactive computer system for women with breast cancer piloted with an underserved population. J Ambul Care Manage. 1995;18(3):35-41.

McTavish FM, Gustafson DH, Owens BH, Wise M, Taylor JO, Apantaku FM, Berhe H, Thorson B. CHESS: An interactive computer system for women with breast cancer piloted with an under-served population. Proc Annu Symp Comput Appl Med Care. 1994:599-603.

Honors and Awards

Dissertation of Distinction, Olivet Nazarene University, 2013
Hope Cometh Community Service Award, National Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer, 2006
Pearl Award for committed and dedicated service in cancer research and education, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, 1999
Reaching People through Partnerships Award, Cancer Information Service, National Cancer Institute, 1996