Sonia Okekenwa

Sonia Okekenwa

UCLA-HBCU Summer Research Student

Year in program: 2020

UCLA Mentors: Dr. Ketema Paul

HBCU Mentors: Dr. Steven Damo


Current Institution: Fisk University

Sonia was born and raised in Nigeria, a country where scientific research was not at the forefront of the educational or the healthcare system. This was due to the lack of adequate facilities and infrastructure needed to perform any type of research. Moving to the United States for college in 2018, she was able to overcome the narrow-mindedness that limited her from gaining a diverse and hands-on research experience. Sonia became interested in health-related research and developed a curiosity for neurodegenerative disorders and their effects on the human body. She is interested in the causative agents of these disorders and their impact on the way of living of those affected. She wants to be able to gain knowledgeable insight on these disorders and share innovative ideas that could impact patient care.