Tuskegee University’s Annual Biomedical Research Symposium Focuses on Health Disparity Research
by Anissa L. Riley
TUSKEGEE, Ala. (September 17, 2010) - Nationally and internationally recognized scientists, experts, community activists, and leaders will gather at Tuskegee University on Sept. 23-24 to share information about current advances in biomedical research and outreach with a special focus on health disparities. The Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health (CVMNAH) is hosting the two-day, 11th Annual Biomedical Research Symposium at the University’ Kellogg Conference Center and Veterinary Medical School complex. This year’s theme is “Translational Approaches in Health Disparity Research -II.”
The Biomedical Research Symposium is an annual event of the College that brings together faculty, staff and students from Tuskegee University, neighboring universities, members of the local community, and from the Black Belt Counties of Alabama where health disparities predominate.
It is organized by the Office of Research and Advanced Studies and the Biomedical Research Symposium Organizing Committee under the directorship of Dr. Tsegaye Habtemariam, Dean of the CVMNAH, and Dr. Cesar D. Fermin, Associate Dean of Research and Advanced Studies.
“The symposium organizers and coordinators’ choices for speakers take into consideration the benefit that invited experts will add to the growth of biomedical and behavioral research at Tuskegee University,“ Fermin said. “The range of presenters are skilled in the basic to clinical sciences in both animals and humans and this is in support of the CVMNAH’s ‘one-medicine-one-health’ approach that guides its overall strategic direction.“
During the symposium, Thursday’s program highlights the contributions from extramural experts. Friday’s program features intramural and local experts in the morning and a community engagement (translational) program in the afternoon.
This year’s invited speakers are from leading academic centers in the United States. They include: Benson T. Akingbemi, DVM, Ph.D., from Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine; Don A. Franco, DVM, from Global Health Advocacy; David Suarez, DVM, Ph.D., from the USDA Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory; Gilbert Morris, Ph.D., from Tulane University Health Sciences; James Roth, DVM, Ph.D., from the Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine; James Hildreth, Ph.D., MD, from Meharry’s Medical Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research; Upender Manne, Ph.D., from the University of Alabama at Birmingham; Ya-Xiong Tao, PhD, from Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine; and filmmaker Baayan Bakari, Director of Mentor Training and Programs at The Mentoring Center in Oakland, Calif.
Bakari recently directed an independent film entitled, Equinox: Boys are Born Men are Made, which received the Opening Night Film Honor by the Oakland International Film Festival and was shown nationally and internationally. He is the keynote speaker for the Friday community engagement forum – “A Social Action Conversation and Public Health Mandate.“ Other Friday forum speakers include Tuskegee native Norma Jackson, poet and writer Ayanna Molina, Tuskegee University history professor Dr. Clyde Robertson, and three Tuskegee University students - Royal Banks, Jessica Leonard, and Lindsey Lumsford.
“The Friday afternoon program, beginning at 1 p.m, is the link between science and people. It provides the translational component that funding agencies expect,“ said, Mujah Shakir, Biomedical Research Symposium Organizing Committee member and Community Engagement Forum organizer.
“The forum on Friday will focus on issues that impact all of us, but especially young people, ranging from issues pertaining to STDs, violence, obesity, the rites of passage for girls, the impact of media images and other social forces, to manhood training,” said Shakir, who is a professor of occupational therapy in the Department of Allied Health at Tuskegee University. “All of the speakers will address ways in which we can contribute to turning negative trends around. This event will speak directly to the hearts and minds of the audience.”
For more information on this year’s symposium, contact Tammie Hughley, 334-724-4540. A program outline and other symposium information can be obtained at: http://www.healthdisparity.tuskegee.edu/11thSymposium/symp11th.htm. To learn more about the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health, visit www.onemedicine.tuskegee.edu.