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School of Medicine Columbia

Obiamaka Obianyo Pederson

PREP Alumna and Biochemist Advancing Knowledge in Biochemistry

Obiamaka developed an early passion for science from her father, an internal and emergency medicine physician, who shared with her the transformative powers of medicine. At West Chester University of Pennsylvania, she was introduced to biochemistry and quickly learned that biochemistry is the foundation that can “elucidate how our bodies function and provide the key to unlocking the cures for diseases that plague our society”.

Following an internship at the Rohm and Haas Chemical company, Obiamaka joined the Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) at the University of South Carolina to prepare her for graduate school.  She was admitted to the Ph.D. program in Biological Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Carolina where she completed her doctorate and developed a passion for research.

She continued as a researcher at Scripps Institute and Emory University where her research resulted in a dozen peer-reviewed publications. Her research of breast cancer therapeutics culminated in a patent and while studying Alzheimer’s Disease, she developed therapeutics that are currently undergoing clinical trials. “No matter the disease, it all affects the chemistry of the body and with that knowledge, we can produce effective counter measures to alleviate problems, and generate cures.”

Obiamaka now shares her knowledge of Biochemistry with aspiring medical professionals as an instructor at Western Governors University. She exclaims that “it takes a special person with a large heart to work directly with patients” and she shares her passion to inspire others to advance the cause of eliminating disease. Obiamaka is inspired by her husband and daughter and hopes that her work today “can make for a better future for my family and society.”

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.