The fascinating work of emerging scientist Adeyemi Oduwole is certainly proving to be beneficial, not only for the descendants of the African diaspora, but for the world of genetic research. Oduwole is the son of Nigerian immigrants and grew up in the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina area and New York City where he was born. He would later attend the College of Charleston as a biology major. Oduwole’s diligence as a student would later open doors to even greater opportunities.

Back in 2013, the remains of 36 individuals were unearthed at the Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina. Later, in 2018, scientists from the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Theodore Schurr and Raquel Fleskes, collected bone samples from the 36 individuals. Based on DNA research, it was determined that these 36 women, men, and children were buried between 1750 and 1800. In order to make a comparative study to the bone samples found at the Gaillard Center, Schurr and Fleskes collected 78 DNA sample from people of African descent. In July and August of 2018, College of Charleston student Adeyemi Oduwole analyzed this material at the University of Pennsylvania with support from the National Geographic Society.

Oduwole’s outstanding work would later be acknowledged as he was named a National Geographic Explorer by the National Geographic Society and was awarded a $7,530 Early Career Grant.  Oduwole’s passionate approach to genetic science and research is captured in his own words as found in an online article published by The Post and Courier, where he states:

“Connecting the dots between Africa and America for himself and for other people is a personal mission, he said…..“My ancestors could have been these bones right in front of me,” he said.”

Much of Oduwole’s work in conjunction with the Gaillard Center has been covered by mainstream media, including outlets such as ABC News and National Geographic. He is currently attending Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Mount Sinai in New York with career goals to work as a scientist in genetics and as medical doctor. Readers can stsy up to date with Adeyemi Oduwole by following him on Instagram: Salute!

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