Tuskegee doctoral graduate awarded fellowship at National Institutes of Health


TUSKEGEE, Ala. (May 17, 2011) — Dayla M.Lateef, a May 2011 graduate of Tuskegee University’s Integrative Biosciences Ph.D. program, was recently appointed a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health, the world’s premier biomedical research organization. Lateef will be working in the laboratory of Dr. Marc Reitman, chief for Diabetes, Endocrine and Obesity, National Institute for Digestive Diseases and Kidney. Lateef, who also received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Tuskegee, entered the IBS program in fall of 2007.

According to provost Luther Williams, Lateef competed with a large pool of recent biomedical Ph.D., Ph.D./MD and MD degree recipients drawn from the nation’s finest institutions.

“This speaks volumes about her (Lateef’s) abilities, scholarly achievements to date, and the prospect for her becoming one of the nation’s leading biomedical scientists,” said Williams, who served as director of the IBS program since its inception in 2006 until recently. “Moreover, as the first such Tuskegee University Ph.D. graduate to be so appointed, she provides critically important evidence of the university’s productive capacity and has set a very high bar for future graduates of the IBS program, in particular.”

Lateef conducted her thesis research under the supervision of Ayman Sayegh, Gastroenterology Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Sciences in the School of Veterinary Medicine. Her substantive scholarly endeavors have resulted in a published peer-reviewed manuscript and two others currently under review for publication.

The graduate program is operated under the co- leadership and sponsorship of deans Walter Hill (College of Agricultural, Environmental and Natural Sciences) and Tsegaye Habtemariam (College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health).

Williams said the connection between Tuskegee and NIH will be further advantaged by the fact that two 2011 summa cum laude graduates — Amber Grace (chemistry) and Robin C. Garrison (biology) — have been selected as participants in the NIH Summer Research Internship program, a program in which Lateef participated in the summer of 2009.

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