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Thomas Obisesan MD, MPH

January 03, 2012

Dr. Obisesan’s current research focus is on the disentanglement of the overlap of cardiovascular disease with Alzheimer’s disease risk, and finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Obisesan has received grant support from the National Institute of Health, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid, Hartford Foundation and many others. In recognition of his national repute, Dr Obisesan has received a recognition award from the Alzheimer’s Association; serves on the Board of several national, professional and community organizations; and currently serves on steering committees for many of the ongoing ground-breaking scientific work on Alzheimer’s disease.

Why is it important to have diversity in medical research?

While egalitarianism and health disparity are often cited and appropriately so for diversity in medical research, an alternative but equally strong scientific argument appears relevant. Notably, diversity in research when appropriately employed can help probe disease etiologies and natural history by identifying population-specific risk factors. Such understanding not only benefit the study population, but have broader implications for the wellness of a larger society.  

What does diversity contribute to your research?

It provokes innovative thinking and vigor to answer many unsolved scientific questions on the disproportionately higher rates of certain medical conditions in disadvantaged populations, particularly those that can not be readily explained by access to health care.

How does having a diverse background in different aspects of research enhance discovery?

The understanding of socio-cultural dynamics that are inimical to wellness are potent scientific tools if clearly identified, and properly used. Combined with varying scientific experiences, such understanding can allow one to think in ways that are out of the box, a mindset that has witnessed important breakthroughs in science in human history.

How does your research program and your institution contribute to the diversity of GHUCCTS?

In its short history, a jointly sponsored (multi-instution) CTSA has no precedent. Indeed, GHUCCTS is innovative. The collection of scientists with varying degrees of experiences and perspectives on relevant scientific fronts will not only motivate scientific discoveries beyond present boundaries, but provide momentum for the wellness of the nation.

How does having diversity in research benefit the community, both directly and indirectly?

Directly, it allows the community to identify with,and become part of cutting edge scientific discoveries and get superior medical treatment. Indirectly, it promotes departure from the fearful past, but instead propagates the sense of common purpose -- which is to conquer disease and enhance wellness in all populations. Further, it facilitate enrollment into clinical studies and help scientists to push the frontiers in order to enhance wellness at both individual and population levels.