Project Title: Dysregulation of Epithelial Metabolism and Regeneration by Sulfite Exposure in Pediatric Ulcerative Colitis
Position: Postdoctoral Research Scholar
Institution: Stanford University
Funding NIH Institute/Center: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Project ID: K99DK136971
Babajide Ojo, PhD, MS, was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and raised in small towns across Ekiti State, Nigeria. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Ekiti State University before moving to the United States. He became interested in academic research during his final-year honors research in undergrad when he came across studies that described the then-emerging concept of the gut microbiome's role in health and disease. Fascinated by this concept, he pursued his MS and PhD training in nutritional sciences at Oklahoma State University, where he studied diet and gut microbiota interplay in diet-induced obesity. As a graduate student, he was selected as a Top 5 Young Minority Investigator by the American Society of Nutrition and received the Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research Award at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Ojo's postdoctoral work at Stanford University involves leading the generation of a pediatric colon organoid biobank. His current research uses patient-derived colon organoids to identify metabolic anomalies during colon epithelial differentiation in pediatric ulcerative colitis. He’s also passionate about diversity and inclusion in STEM fields. He has served as a graduate college ambassador, where he had several opportunities to encourage and draw underrepresented students into academic research. He also co-founded Bestman Academy to provide resources and mentoring to young minority students to position them for rewarding careers via graduate education and for contributing to STEM-related interests.