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Titilayo Omotade, PhD

Yale Ciencia Intiative Project Specialist

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Titilayo Omotade, PhD


I’m first-generation Nigerian-American and originally from the DC area. I attended Virginia Tech University and during that time studied both Biology and African-American History, and then graduated with a dual degree in both. Outside of class, I spent most of time working with schools or government programs (i.e. Upward Bound, Department of the Army) that led initiatives to increase the representation of minority and low-income students in STEM. I found purpose and passion in these roles, and found the most joy in fighting for the next generation of scientists of color. After graduating from Virginia Tech, I was awarded a research fellowship position at the Department of Defense and spent two years investigating methods to combat the potential weaponization of Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax. Outside of the lab, I continued to pursue any mentoring opportunities that would allow me to work with URM students, and support them along their academic journey. At the end of my post-bacc. tenure I matriculated into the BBS program at Yale School of Medicine (in 2014) and joined the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis, and pursued my PhD studies in the laboratory of Dr. Craig Roy. As a graduate researcher, I explored how bacterial pathogen, Legionella pneumophila, avoids detection and degradation by an ancient innate immune pathway – the autophagy system. Alongside my PhD work, I spent four years creating and developing a new DEI model for the BBS program called the Yale BBS Diversity and Inclusion Collective (YBDIC). Our goal was to implement a progressive and ambitious model to improve both diversity and inclusion in BBS, with a strong emphasis on inclusion. As a team, we successfully secured both funding and institutional support from Yale School of Medicine and are poised to drastically shift the DEI landscape within BBS. Now as a recent graduate, I’m excited to work for YCI and primarily focus on a passion I’ve held my whole life – fighting for racial equity in STEM.

Education & Training

  • PhD
    Yale University, Microbial Pathogenesis (2020)

Departments & Organizations