The Governor’s STEM Scholars STEM in Academia Conference was held on Saturday, December 10th. Of the wonderful speakers was Dr. Martin Job, an assistant professor of Biomedical Sciences at Rowan University. Dr. Job spoke about his work with addiction research. During his session, Dr. Job told the Scholars that although we and our families may not struggle with addiction it is an important issue nonetheless. Through the remainder of his lecture he stressed the importance of focusing on issues that do not exclusively affect yourself, but also affect your community.
Throughout the lectures and classes from speakers a similar ideology was reiterated. When working in academia, caring for others is critical. Whether it be through an endless pursuit of ensuring that as an educator you're understandable, or through countless hours in the lab researching illnesses that affect underdeveloped communities. It is crucial to work toward developing an understanding and removing the veil of ignorance on issues plaguing these neglected communities.
The conference not only allowed for the top STEM Scholars from throughout New Jersey the chance to meet, but also provided them with the opportunity to diffuse their diverse viewpoints on one another. Having been seated with an almost entirely unknown group of people provided an excellent chance to do so. Whether it be through our disperate and different research projects participation or diving into the issues that affect young adults across the country, the occasion allowed for my intellectual growth. It enabled me to learn about so many distinct issues from so many different perspectives.
The growth experienced through sharing of knowledge from some of the brightest minds lays the cornerstone fundamental for a flourishing career in academia.
Written by Davidi Tawfiles
Davidi Tawfiles is a junior at Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School. He has conducted research at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to better understand a conditional line of ddx3x syndrome, a neurodegenerative disorder that primarily affects females. He has also conducted research at New Jersey Medical School that is focused on comparing lipoarabinomannan, a component in the cell wall M. tuberculosis, which is the bacterium responsible for causing TB, and the antibody profile against TB antigens, both of which have been highlighted for their potential as a biomarker. This research is akin to the development of a more cost and time-effective urine tuberculosis assay which can be used in underdeveloped countries where TB is widespread. Davidi is currently a research intern at NYU Grossman School of Medicine where he examines the potential for anti-infectives against neglected diseases, including malaria and human African trypanosomiasis.
Additionally, Davidi is the co-founder of Health Literacy Haven, an organization keen on improving health literacy in their community by providing them with educational programs and testing at local community centers to help change lifestyles.