By Meghan McCarthy
The prestigious program offers training, mentorship, and a generous research stipend to support developing physicians and scientists in the field of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
“I’m extremely humbled and honored to be selected for HESP,” said Dr. Ekuta. “I know that this award will be an important steppingstone toward becoming a culturally competent Alzheimer’s Disease physician-scientist ready to join the fight against Alzheimer’s disease inequities.”
Dr. Ekuta has an impressive background in championing health equity initiatives, such as being a Black Men’s Brain Health Scholar and an instructor for the MIT Introduction to Technology, Engineering, and Science (MITES).
As a HESP scholar, he plans to continue this pursuit through researching biomarkers for AD in minority communities.
“Unfortunately, much of what we know about AD biomarkers is based on research predominantly conducted in non-Hispanic White (NHW) participants,” said Dr. Ekuta. “Given the disproportionate risk of AD in African Americans (AA), validating biomarkers in this population is and should be a public health priority.”
Specifically, Dr. Ekuta will use data from the ADNI (Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative) at PMC to understand how race impacts AD diagnoses, disease biomarkers, structural MRI changes, and measures of patient cognition.
Within this fellowship, PMC neurologist Roy Hamilton, MD, will continue to serve as his mentor.
“With yet another Alzheimer’s drug expected to be approved by the FDA, it is a very exciting time to be in the field of Alzheimer’s Disease research,” said Dr. Ekuta. “Now more than ever, it is important to ensure that everyone will be able to benefit from these therapies.”
To learn more about Dr. Ekuta’s background and work, please click here.
To learn more about the Clark Scholars Program at PMC, please click here.