Join the CCPH HMSI Team in partnership with RTI International as we kick off the engagement of HBCU-based faculty, staff, and students with the National Institutes of Health All Of Us Research Program Researcher Workbench.
Debra D. Murray, Ph.D.
Debra D. Murray, Ph.D., a leader in diversity and inclusion, mentoring, and research education, is a 2021 recipient of the Norton Rose Fulbright Faculty Excellence Award in Educational Leadership. As a MPI, she recently was awarded the All of Us Evenings With Genetics Research Program from the NIH All of Us Research Program. Dr. Murray is Director of Education and Diversity Initiatives in the Human Genome Sequencing Center (HGSC), and an Assistant Professor in the Molecular and Human Genetics Department and co-Director of the Office of Community Engagement and Diversity at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM). In this role, she focuses on faculty training and increasing diversity in the medical genetics’ programs. She is a part of the Engagement, Communication, and Education (ECE) Team that provides community engagement research and activities for the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC), and is co-PI on a PCORI “Building Capacity in Hispanic Serving Institutions for PCOR/CER focused on Mental Health Impacts of COVID-19.”
Dr. Murray works with undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students to provide biomedical research training to expose them to the exciting career opportunities available in the cutting-edge high-tech-driven future of genomics. Since 2003, 27 alumni have received PhDs with 18 currently in doctoral programs. The overall program outcomes are as follows: 100% of the summer interns obtain bachelor’s degrees; 72% of post-baccalaureate students enter PhD programs; and 98% of pre-doctoral alumni are retained in PhD programs. Her research focuses on identifying components of diversity research interventions essential for the success of under-represented STEM future scientists Dr. Murray received a doctorate in Cell and Molecular Biology from Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN where she studied cytokinesis. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin, and a master’s degree in Environmental Toxicology from Prairie View A&M University.
Tankya (pronounced-Tanika) Simoneaux, is originally from New Orleans, LA and is a graduating doctoral research student in the Neuroscience Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine. She has worked in basic science research since 2015 and in translational and clinical research since 2019. Tankya has not only been a team member in multiple clinical research studies but also a participant, thus her exposure and experience in clinical research is quite robust. Her dissertation work involves an ongoing stroke clinical study in collaboration with Grady Memorial Hospital. Her lab acquires stroke patient peripheral blood with consent for sequencing and bioinformatics and machine learning techniques.
Karriem Watson, D.H.Sc., M.S., M.P.H.
Karriem Watson, D.H.Sc., M.S., M.P.H., is the chief engagement officer of the All of Us Research Program at the National Institutes of Health.In this role, he will lead the Division of Engagement and Outreach, overseeing the program’s efforts to foster relationships with participants, community partners, researchers, and providers across the United States. His focus will be on engaging people and populations who have been left out of medical research in the past and inviting them to help drive new biomedical discoveries.
Karriem comes to All of Us from his role as associate executive director of the Mile Square Health Center, a group of Federally Qualified Health Centers in Chicago affiliated with the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System. He also served as the associate director of community outreach and engagement for the University of Illinois Cancer Center and as a research assistant professor in the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) School of Public Health. Beyond his work with UIC, he has served as co-lead of the All of Us Engagement Core at the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance, cultivating positive relationships with the program’s participant ambassadors.
Karriem holds a Doctorate in Health Science (Global Health), a Master of Science in Basic Medical Research, and a Master’s in Public Health (Community Health Sciences). He has served as a principal investigator on multiple projects including those funded by the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, and the All of Us Research Program. His expertise in community-academic partnerships is also supported in his role as board chair of the Community Campus Partnerships for Health. His contributions have earned him recognition by the Chicago Urban League, American Heart Association, LUNGevity Foundation, and others.
Dr. Sula Hood
Dr. Sula Hood is a Senior Research Scientist in the Center for Communication Science at RTI International. Following the completion of her bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster, Dr. Hood completed a 1-year fellowship in the Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. She holds a doctorate in Public Health Sciences from the University of Louisville and completed her postdoctoral training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining RTI, Dr. Hood held a faculty appointment at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Dr. Hood’s professional experience includes over 15 years of leading community engaged research studies, with a focus on advancing health equity and improving outcomes among minority and underserved populations. Dr. Hood has a passion for mentoring and supporting the success of researchers and scholars from underrepresented backgrounds across their education and career trajectories. She frequently provides mentees with exposure to scientific research, assists them in expanding their professional networks, and provides support and advice for their career planning. Dr. Hood serves as a co-lead for the All of Us Researcher Academy, a program that is being designed to promote equitable access to and utilization of the All of Us Researcher Workbench by a diverse array of researchers to support their work. She is excited about the large impact that the All of Us Research Program will make on advancing precision medicine, and she is committed to ensuring that researchers at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are included in the community of scientists doing this important work.
Facilitator: Al Richmond