She’s changing the way breast cancer is diagnosed. Her husband is leading research on environmental and genetic factors in asthma.

Together, Doctors Sola and Fumi Olopade are improving health not only here but also across the world.

Married for 30 years, they both work at the University of Chicago. Between meetings and lab work, it can be difficult to get them in the same room.

Dr. Sola Olopade has both a local and global focus. He brings coordinated teams of doctors to places like Haiti after the earthquake through the University of Chicago’s Global Health Initiative.

“We needed orthopedic surgeons, anesthesia, emergency medicine people, at the end we needed occupational therapies, physical therapies,” Dr. Sola says.

His wife, Dr. Fumi Olopade also works on initiative, and she’s conducting groundbreaking research. She’s found that breast cancer tumors grow differently in women of African descent, hitting them earlier and harder.

“What’s affecting women on the south side it’s important for everyone in America to know about, that we need to eliminate health disparities,” Dr. Fumi says.

Born in Nigeria, the couple moved here over three decades ago as med school graduates. They completed their residency at Cook County Hospital, all while raising three successful children.

“Our children love the fact that they have two parents trying to solve the problems of the world,” Dr. Fumi says.

The Global Health Initiative was founded in 2008, and they’ve sent doctors all over the world including Brazil, Chile, China, and Nigeria