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Health Research Symposium to Highlight the Value of Research, Clinical Trials

February 06, 2023

Contact: Thonnia Lee, Tuskegee University Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing

Dr. Stephen Sodeke

TUSKEGEE, Alabama -- Members of the extended Tuskegee community are invited to discuss the importance of engagement in research to better shape healthcare for residents of all ages. The All of Us Research Program, in partnership with Macon County community members, will host a Health Research Symposium at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church.  Community-centered gathering and conversations will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9 and the community-researcher partnership symposium is from 10 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10.

During the symposium, there will be three panel discussion sessions focused on The Historical Context of Research: the need to heal and establish trust; From Yesterday to Today: Lessons learned from the past and practices in place, and Looking Toward Tomorrow: Opportunities to collaborate between researchers and the community. Dr. Karriem Watson, chief engagement officer of All of Us, and Dr. Stephen Olufemi Sodeke, resident bioethicist and professor of Bioethics at the Center for Biomedical Research at Tuskegee, will host the sessions. The panels, which will include other representatives from health and research fields, will address the history of research and clinical trials and identify areas that can improve collaborative opportunities between researchers and community members in Macon County.

“Stepping up to be counted because we count is burdensome and takes courage, but that is the kind of action that would ensure representation, and participation in the All of Us,” said Dr. Sodeke. “It supports efforts to increase the diversity of data critical to precision prevention, precision drug development, precision nutrition, and effective individualized treatments for equitable and better health outcomes for all of us.”

Special guests will include Lillie Head, president of the Voices of Our Fathers Legacy Foundation; Veronica Robinson of HELA100: The Henrietta Lacks Initiative; Christopher Williams with Quality of Life Health Services; Dr. Deneah Maxwell-Stafford of Rhema Health and Wellness; Dr. Clayton Yates, a Tuskegee professor of biology and director of the university’s multidisciplinary Center for Biomedical Research; Community Advocate Dr. Luceria Dunn and others.

The All of Us Research Program aims to collect, store securely, and study in a respectful manner, data and bio-specimens from 1 million or more, diverse individuals in the United States. Their mission is to accelerate health research and medical breakthroughs, enabling individualized prevention, treatment, and care for all of us.


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