Meet Trinitee Oliver Fall 2022 Campus Ambassador

Trinitee Oliver is a Biology major with a Journalism minor at Howard University. She is passionate about biomedical research, eradicating health disparities, and enhancing scientific communication. When she is not in a lab, she can be found gardening, practicing yoga, or writing to inform about health and science.

I have always found biomedical science intriguing. In high school, I had a summer internship with Kaiser Permanente where I shadowed a rheumatologist. One of his patients said her broken skin was the worst complication of her car accident. When she left the office, he explained the pathology of systemic sclerosis (or scleroderma) and how she, as a black woman, is in the majority of his most complex patients. This ignited my interest in exploring treatment for autoimmune diseases.

Before the Karsh STEM Scholars Program introduced me to the possibility of a research career, I thought I wanted to be a pediatrician. Many diseases affect children differently and therefore, we need specialists who are also adolescent health advocates. Now that I am an aspiring researcher, these goals have not changed. There is limited research about the effects of some illnesses and medicines in children. Furthermore, gender, ethnic, and income statuses create health disparities that impact children and their parents access to adequate health services. My passion to learn how to address these issues drove me to apply for Biomedical Science PhD programs this fall. I am excited to further my knowledge to help underserved groups. Along the way, I will explore if there is a reason to personalize treatments to the underlying biological mechanisms related to age, gender, and/or ethnicity.

I am currently a senior Biology major with Chemistry and Journalism minors at Howard University. I aspire to become both a biomedical scientist and health communicator to address global health disparities. This past summer, I was selected for a NIMHD-funded Minority Health Research Training Program awarded by the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Although I was unable to travel on-site or globally as the program designed, I conducted an HIV research project locally in DC with the Ghosh Lab at George Washington University. My continuous research is with the Heier Lab in the Center for Genetic Medicine Research at Children’s National Hospital where I explore drug pathways and efficacy for genetic muscular diseases in children. Outside of the lab, I am also the Director of Acquisition Editors for Ukweli (Howard University’s Undergraduate Research Journal), a LEAF Youth Program Educator at Common Good City Farm, a freelancer with the Washington Parent Magazine, and a writer for my own blog. My overall goals are to improve communities with my passion for science, communication, and mentorship. This is what drew me to become a campus ambassador for Beyond the PhD.

In this program, I hope to learn more about career opportunities that combine all of my interests and share this information with others. I am genuinely excited to work with the team as they seem to be very inspirational individuals. My journey is just beginning and I cannot wait to share what I learn throughout the semester!

This article was written by Trinity Oliver.

Published by Britt Knight PhD, Director

I received my PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Connecticut. My doctoral research focused on basic mechanisms in peripheral inflammatory pain biology. After, I completed about two years of postdoctoral research understanding how biomaterials can be used to deliver analgesics for treating musculoskeletal pain I transitioned to the Program Coordinator position for the United States Association for the Study of Pain (USASP). I am also the regional Director of CT Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.

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