HAMPTON, Va. (March 23, 2021) — The Hampton University School of Science presents the 25th Annual School of Science Research Symposium on April 1, via Zoom. The theme for this year’s symposium is “Frontiers In Science: Inspiring Research In Challenging Times.” The theme recognizes that while in the midst of the pandemic, research continues. During the symposium, Hampton University faculty and students will present the results of their research conducted over the last academic year.
"I am pleased that the School of Science is hosting the 25th Annual Research Symposium, with the theme of Frontiers In Science: Inspiring Research In Challenging Times. It could not be more timely. Currently, three vaccines have received emergency use authorization from the FDA to combat COVID-19. Without prudent research being conducted during a public health emergency, that would not be the case,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey. “I hope that our students will come away with a true understanding and appreciation from experts who are working swiftly while not sacrificing the quality of their work even in the most trying times.”
The pandemic inspired different types of research during these challenging times. The pandemic has continuously informed research and the research, in turn, informed society about ways to deal with it. This year's research had to proceed as we transitioned from our typical in-person environment to a virtual environment because we must continue to show that research and discoveries are always at our forefront.
“This year's symposium is important because it shows that inspiring research by our keynote speakers, faculty and students, continued in the midst of the pandemic,” said Dr. Isi Ero-Tolliver, Interim Dean of the Hampton University School of Science. “Having keynote speakers from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention speaks volumes, especially when these agencies have been active in forming our thoughts and developing strategies related to the Covid-9 virus and other viruses for years. Our speakers will speak about the history and tracing of Covid-19, as well as the discovery of the vaccines and what these vaccines entail.
Highlights of the program include two keynote addresses; a break-out session; oral and poster presentations, and an awards session.
Keynote speaker Dr. Ernest L. Yufenyuy serves as the Team Lead for the HIV Diagnostics and Incidence Team in the International Laboratory Branch, Division of Global HIV and TB at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Yufenyuy received both his B.S. degree in Premed with a minor in Chemistry and M.S. degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology, with a concentration in HIV Virology, from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Yufenyuy has over 15 years of experience in infectious diseases and over 6 years of international experience in public health policy formulation and implementation with a focus on global HIV and other infectious diseases. He is responsible for providing laboratory and public health policy advice in planning, direction, and coordination in the diagnosis of HIV and the detection of recent infection to support the President’s Emergency Plan on AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) mission.
Keynote speaker Dr. Mohammed Aiyegbo is a Scientific Review Officer at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Aiyegbo received his B.A. in Biology (Cell, Molecular, and Systems) from Berea College, and completed his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from Vanderbilt University. He completed his postdoctoral training at NYU Langone Medical Center working on HIV and Zika vaccine design and drug repurposing for Ebola. Dr. Aiyegbo has managed several review panels for HIV clinical trials, HIV drug development, Influenza vaccine development, and COVID-19 related research.
“The research symposium is designed to showcase the various types of research experiences that faculty and students from different disciplines participated in and have the potential to continue to explore in the future,” said Dr. Ero-Tolliver. “This symposium provides an opportunity for interested students and faculty to develop partnerships and create research networks across the institution.”
Poster presentations will follow the keynote addresses. Individuals selected their own topics of research. They performed the research prior to the symposium and have a forum to now properly display their prepared research in their areas of interest.