PhD Career Connections: Working at the FDA

connection-logo.jpgPhD Career Connections presents: 

Working at the FDA
Wednesday, May 5
9:00-10:00am
PRB 206 

Registration is requested.

featuring Omari Bandele, PhD

Omari earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Chemistry from Tennessee State University. While attending Tennessee State, he was the recipient of several honors and awards including the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Scholarship and the Thurgood Marshall/Pfizer Research Initiative Scholarship. As a Thurgood Marshall Scholar, Omari completed two summer internships at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals where he worked in the Analytical Research and Development Department to develop and validate two-dimensional HPLC (2D-HPLC) methods to identify and separate impurities from potential therapeutic compounds.

Following his undergraduate studies, Omari attended Vanderbilt University where he earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry under the tutelage of Dr. Neil Osheroff. His doctoral research involved multiple projects to elucidate the mechanisms by which dietary bioflavonoids enhance the DNA-cleavage activity of human type II topoisomerases. During this time, he published four first-author publications and was the recipient of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award and several other awards.

After completing his doctoral studies, Omari accepted a post-doctoral fellowship within the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics at the NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) where he studied the effects of human single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on p53-DNA interactions in response to DNA damaging agents. This work resulted in four publications, including one first-author publication, and him being a recipient of the NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE). During this time he also wrote several articles for the Environmental Factor, the official newsletter of the NIEHS.

After leaving the NIEHS, Omari accepted an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) fellowship within the Division of Toxicology at the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN). During this time, he introduced methods and analytical technologies to evaluate the performance of novel biomarkers of kidney injury in response to nephrotoxic food-related chemicals (i.e., melamine). This work resulted in two first-author publications. Omari also served as a contributing columnist for Bio Careers, an online career service provider that offers career resources to life science PhDs and MDs.

In 2013, Omari joined CFSAN’s Division of Food Contact Notifications as a toxicology reviewer. As a toxicology reviewer, he is responsible for conducting premarket safety assessments of food contact substances (e.g., coatings, plastics, paper, antimicrobials, and antioxidants) that are used in food containers and packaging to ensure the safety of the nation’s food supply.