Fourth Year, Neuroscience

Hometown: Warner Robins, GA

Tell us about yourself!

After participating in many STEM summer camps throughout middle and high school, I began to really develop a love for math and aspiring career in science and medicine. However, my aspirations grew with my experiences with my church Wellness Ministry. While volunteering, I learned of the many health disparities among the African American community. It was important that I knew about the disparities within my community, so that I could understand how I can contribute to eliminate them.  After growing up in the heart of Georgia (Warner Robins), I moved to Atlanta to complete my Bachelor of Science degree in biology at Morehouse College. While I began at Morehouse, with the intentions of career in medicine, I was exposed to research during my freshman year and have been immersed ever since.”

What three words would you choose to describe yourself?

“Compassionate, Ambitious, Wanderlust”


What is your favorite thing about your current program?

Community! Graduate school can be really tough. Having a support system within my cohort and graduate program have definitely contributed to making my graduate school experience a bit easier.”

What factors or interests led you to choose your current program or field?

I have always been interested in understanding how the brain works.  When choosing graduate programs, I was looking for a program that was both interdisciplinary and collaborative. As a trainee with mentors that span across the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center and The Center for Consciousness Science, I am able to study chronic pain in many different ways, alongside the experts!!”

What do you like to do when you have free time?

I really enjoy going to concerts and festivals. I also enjoy exploring the city and state we live in. I have started to explore art exhibitions, coffee shops, and restaurants in a number of cities between Ann Arbor and Detroit. A great game of Jenga never hurt anyone.”

What’s your secret for time-management and being productive?

“Personally, I think it takes time to find a system that works for you. Sometimes you have to create your own. I constantly experiment with different things to increase my productivity and time management. If it makes me less stressed, more organized, and productive I work to make it a part of my routine.”

Tony receiving the Graduate Student Award for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in July 2018.

How did other people help you get to where you are today?

My village, which consists of many friends and family and mentors, have continuously supported me and my decision to pursue science. While they may not know what graduate school consists of (i.e is it lab or class or work?), their support definitely goes a long way.

Dr. Daniel Hummer, my undergraduate research mentor, provided me with the invaluable experience to learn conduct research in his lab at Morehouse College. Working in his lab, showed me that I can enjoy research even when it is challenging.

Lastly, My Dad who kindly reminded me “I signed up for this” during an evening phone conversation. ”

What is your greatest source of inspiration to keep pushing toward completing your goals?

My friends have inspired me to dream, my siblings and cousins keep me humble, and my parents hold me accountable and ensure I keep my education and God first. I am also inspired by my interests to increase diversity in STEM careers, including academia.  As the eldest of 4 children, my siblings are all in pursuit of STEM careers (Engineering, Medicine, Computer Science).”

What’s the best advice someone gave you that you still use today?

“- Take advantage of the opportunity to explore many fields/programs/labs, with the understanding that you will learn something with each experience.

– Develop a routine to read new papers, both within your field and outside your field.

– Use a citation manager and keep any notes you make when reading articles with the article.

– Journal, daily.”

Can students and trainees contact you directly?

“Of course! Contact me to talk about Neuroscience, graduate school, fellowships, or HBCU.”

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Spotlights are created with the help of Nnamdi Edokobi, third-year PhD candidate, Pharmacology Department.