Tuskegee University Focuses on a Holistic Approach to Eliminating Health Disparities at Biomedical Research Symposium

by Anissa L. Riley


TUSKEGEE, Ala. (September 14, 2012) - World renowned speakers, scientists, educators, and local community activists and leaders will gather at Tuskegee University Sept. 20-21 to advance biomedical research through trans-disciplinary teams and creative partnerships. Participants will learn about and share information on current advances in biomedical research with a special focus on “Eliminating Health Disparities through a Holistic Approach,” - this year’s theme.

The Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health (CVMNAH) is hosting the 13th Annual Biomedical Research Symposium at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center at Tuskegee University Sept. 20 and at the School of Veterinary Medicine Sept. 21. The annual symposium is organized by the Office of Research and Advanced Studies and the Biomedical Research Symposium Organizing Committee, under the direction of Tsegaye Habtemariam, dean of the CVMNAH, and Gopal Reddy, associate dean for Research and Advanced Studies. Cheryl Davis and Teshome Yehualaeshet are jointly serving as this year’s co-chairs.

“The Biomedical Research Symposium is an event that underscores the university’s commitment to and the importance of disciplines grounded in the biomedical sciences to come together to share views about the elimination of diseases and health issues that affect us all, but especially disproportionately affect humans in the Black Belt counties of Alabama and the surrounding areas,“ Habtemariam said. Thursday and Friday sessions highlight presentations from the views of scientists, experts, and community activists as well as encourage opportunities for changing the direction of health disparities such as HIV, cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases for the better from global, national, and local perspectives. Also, on Friday afternoon, participants will enjoy a film clip on the Tuskegee International School in Ghana, West Africa, and hear from local panelists during the community engagement program on “Health Disparities.“

“ We are very appreciative to our panelist for taking time out of their busy schedules to engage in this very important part of the symposium which involves the Tuskegee-Macon County community,“ Habtemariam said.“ Panelist include: Tuskegee Mayor Omar Neal, Tuskegee educator, Norma Jackson; Tuskegee community youth participant, April Caddell; and Tuskegee Public Health Institute director, Lloyd Webb.“

This year’s keynote speakers include: Gregory Gray, MD, from the College of Public Health at the University of Florida; Donald Smith, DVM, former dean of Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine; Jack Woodall, Ph.D., viral epidemiologist at the Center of Health, Federal University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Clinton Lewis, president, Animal Health at Pfizer, Inc.

New this year is a portion of the symposium dedicated to the “First Annual Phi Zeta Research Day.“ Under the direction of pathology faculty member Ebony Gilbreath, students will share research with the scientific community as well as translate research data to the diverse audience. Phi Zeta is an honor society dedicated to recognizing and promoting scholarship and research in matters pertaining to the welfare and diseases of animals.

For more information on this year’s symposium, contact Tammie Hughley, 334-724-4540, or biomedressymp@mytu.tuskegee.edu. Pre-registration is required. A program outline and other symposium information can be obtained at: www.healthdisparity.tuskegee.edu/13thSymposium/symp13th.htm. To learn more about the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health, visit www.onemedicine.tuskegee.edu