• Alumni Spotlight- Ayed Allawazi

    Ayed Allawazi

    I am currently a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Eva Grayck, M.D. at the University of Colorado.   Our research focuses on elucidating underlying mechanisms by which extracellular antioxidant defenses protect against acute lung injury, pulmonary hypertension, and pulmonary fibrosis. My path to my current position and research areas were primarily due to being an IMSD graduate student in the Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology & Biotechnology Department. It is ubiquitously known that across Brown’s BioMed division that all departments are highly interdisciplinary and diverse. Additionally, I was highly driven to perform my graduate studies in an environment that emphasized translational science. Those two factors were significant driving forces for me to attend Brown. Upon entering graduate school, the IMSD program was a program that not only in part financially supported my stay at Brown but had a far-reaching impact across all departments regardless of representation status. My career path today is primarily due to IMSD as a program and the mentors I have gained throughout my stay at Brown.  I was recently awarded an AHA Postdoctoral Fellowship which will allow me to spend more time carving out future research areas. My advice to current graduate students would be to take part in as many modules and activities the IMSD program offers. I would also highly recommend fostering mentoring relationships that will last after graduation. I have been lucky to have diverse individual mentors who have continued to support my career. The IMSD program is not only a support mechanism, but a highly cultured and rich environment that all graduate students should take an active part in.

  • Alumni Spotlight- Hawasatu Dumbuya

    Hawasatu Dumbuya, L'Oreal

    My graduate school experience was challenging but self-rewarding.  I owe my achievements to the Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology program, Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies, and IMSD.  IMSD provided me opportunities to grow as a professional and a community of amazing, similar-minded individuals. I gained extensive experience in working in a team setting to deliver class/module instructions, and I strongly believe that these experiences helped me. improve my soft skills, such as communication, teamwork and problem solving, which are skills that I use every day in my current position.  My advisor, Dr. Elena Oancea, gave me a significant degree of intellectual freedom. Towards the end of my Ph.D., I wanted my next step to be away from the bench, to expand my background as a cell biologist, while carrying out multidisciplinary research projects in a collaborative environment. For these reasons, I sought industrial research positions. After learning about L’Oreal and their research that directly contributed to their innovation pipeline, it appealed to me. I currently lead the USA Clinical Innovation team efforts on developing novel concepts, methods and protocols for clinical evaluations of actives for photoprotection and pigmentation.  Every time, the in vitro and/or formulations labs have a new active for photoprotection or pigmentation, such as sunscreens or whitening agents, I am responsible to review the in vitro dossier of the active to understand its molecular mechanism of action, and then to lead the clinical research studies to evaluate for efficacy.

  • IMSD Program Receives Renewed Funding

    The Brown University Initiative to Maximize Student Development (IMSD) Program has received a renewal of funding for an additional five years from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health. The recent renewal of the grant allows for the expansion of the current program from 8 supported PhD students a year to 12 students per year and also extends the program beyond the Division of Biomed and the School of Public Health. New programs that are part of IMSD include Chemistry, Cognitive, Linguistics & Psychological Sciences, Computer Science, Physics, Applied Mathematics, and the School of Engineering. The program, active since 2008, currently provides research training support for PhD students from U.S. underrepresented groups to increase participation within the fields of biomedical and behavioral research, fosters partnerships with minority-serving institutions, and provides research training modules to the entire STEM graduate student community to complement and the training experience and enhance trainee success.