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Tolu Akinade

Psychiatry Resident

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Tolu Akinade


As an undergraduate at Columbia University, I majored in Biomedical Engineering. My formative experience working in the Biomaterials and Interface Tissue Engineering Lab paired with my passion to help patients motivated me to become a physician-scientist. I joined the MD/PhD program at Columbia’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed my thesis work in Dr. Kam Leong’s lab onhow dual-purpose nanomaterials that can deliver chemotherapy and bind to inflammatory damage associated molecular pattern (DAMPs) thereby mitigating the metastatic spread of breast cancer. My research was funded by an NIH F31 Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award in April 2021. As my desire to become a psychiatrist grew, I developed a novel research plan to test the influence of DAMP-scavenging nanoparticles on chemobrain side effects, particularly anxiety. My thesis work was awarded the Miriam Berkman Spotnitz Award in Oncology at Columbia’s medical school graduation in 2023. Going forward, I would like to conduct clinical research aimed at better understanding or improving treatments women’s mental and it’s incredible to have the opportunity to pursue this research at Yale.

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