Only One Black Scholar Among This Year’s 22 Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences

The Pew Charitable Trusts recently named 22 early-career scholars as this year’s cohort of Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences. Each scholar will receive $240,000 in funding to pursue their research over four years. Since the program was founded in 1985, more than 900 scholars have received funding for their research. Pew Scholars meet once each year to discuss their research among their peers, explore different areas of biomedical science, and spark innovation in their fields.

Of this year’s 22 Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences, it appears that only one is Black.

Ibrahim I. Cissé is the Class of 1922 Career Development Assistant Professor in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His laboratory conducts research on the molecular events that unfold when genes are switched on inside living cells.

Dr. Cissé joined the department of physics at MIT in January 2014. Previously, he worked at the Janelia Farm Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Ashburn, Virginia. Earlier, Dr. Cissé was a Pierre Gilles de Gennes Fellow in physics and biology at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris.

Dr. Cissé is native of the African nation, Niger. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina. Dr. Cissé earned a Ph.D. in physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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