Kennesaw State graduate selected for prestigious Harvard summer research program

KENNESAW, Ga. | May 25, 2021

Anjie Adeyemo
Anjie Adeyemo

Anjie Adeyemo wants to play a role in boosting the health of children and reducing infant deaths, an area she researched while studying at Kennesaw State University. She’s taking another step toward that goal as one of just 12 people selected for this year’s Harvard Summer Program in Biostatistics and Computational Biology.

A biology major and Honors student who graduated this month, Adeyemo served on the executive committee of KSU’s Undergraduate Research Club and earned the Honors Research Scholar designation. She says that her career goals changed a bit when she began doing research.

“I was thinking of becoming a pediatrician, because I really like working with children,” said Adeyemo, 23, who grew up in Kennesaw. “That’s why I started doing research. I want to improve healthcare for those who are typically disadvantaged by the system.”

During her undergraduate research, Adeyemo looked into infant mortality and growth charts. The main findings were that the American Indians and African Americans had the highest death rate for both C-section births and vaginal births compared to other races. She also found that the death rate differs between the delivery modes. Small infants delivered through the C-section method are correlated with lower death rates. Large infants delivered through the vaginal method are correlated with lower death rates. All of those rates are among the worst in the U.S. and higher in minority populations.

Based on what she found, Adeyemo shifted her focus to epidemiology — investigation into the causes of diseases and how to prevent them — and with the support of research mentor Michael Frankel, applied for the highly competitive program at Harvard. The six-week program gives participants training in the areas of biostatistics, epidemiology, and public health research. In addition to taking courses in those areas, Adeyemo will also be conducting biostatistical research with a graduate adviser and faculty mentor.

Because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, this year’s summer program will be conducted online. But, Adeyemo said that’s not a disappointment and she’s thrilled to be taking part. The program runs from June 7 through July 16.

“Anjie has excelled in her studies and research at KSU, and participating in the Harvard summer program will be a transformational experience and a huge advancement in her training in epidemiology,” said Melanie Griffin, assistant professor of microbiology and a mentor to Adeyemo.

– Gary Tanner

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit