Sherifa Akinniyi

Sherifa Akinniyi

Nutritional Sciences

Nutritional sciences major headed to NIH to study Inherited Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes




Nutritional Sciences. Minor: Biology



National Institute of Health Undergraduate Scholarship (2022-2023),

Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship (2022)

WW Scholarship for Underrepresented Groups (2022), Gladys.

(Nannie) Nesbit/Flatt Education Fund (2021),

Zell Miller Scholarship (2020-2023)

YES Scholarship (2020) 

First Honor Graduate

Certifications: Certified Nursing Assistant, AHA Basic Life Support Certified, Human, Social & Behavioral Research CITI Training, Stop the Bleed: Bleeding Control 


Undergraduate Research – Child Diet and Health Disparities Lab 

Studied disparities in breastfeeding rates across urban and rural Georgia. Identified ways to remove barriers to breastfeeding to advance maternal and child health in the state. Research funded by the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participants (LSAMP). Continued research study in the summer of 2022 through fellowship funding by the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO). Funded to present research at the 2023 State of Public Health Conference (SOPH) and conferences at Harvard University and Valdosta State. 

First Responder at UGA Game Days – Piedmont Hospital 

Prepared for first aid events by stocking bags and assessing volunteer roles. Assisted EMT and Game-Day staff with emergency situations, Transported UGA game-day attendees between Stanford Stadium and First Aid emergency rooms. 

Resident Assistant – UGA Housing 

Promoted active learning programming, helped develop a thriving community, promoted social awareness and responsibility, and well-being. Supported the continued learning and personal development of residents. Facilitated community involvement, assist in the management of student concerns, and educated residents on their responsibilities as members of a residential community.  

Why I chose my major

I chose Nutritional Sciences because it requires students to understand the metabolic pathways that affect growth and development, but also highlights the impact socioeconomic factors play in living a healthy, nutritious lifestyle. I learned that nutrition is an applied science and connects aspects of biochemistry, physiology, sociology, and biology into one interesting major.  

What I like most about FACS

I was exposed to many resources as a FACS major. I have always been interested in research, so I was happy that FACS had information on ways to connect with research mentors. It is ultimately how I started my research with Dr. Sina Gallo in the Child Diet and Health Disparities Lab! 

Post-graduation plans

Starting this June, I will be working in the Clinical Genetics Branch of the National Cancer Institute at the National Institute of Health clinically studying Inherited Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes (IBMFS). My study aims to better understand how cancers develop in persons with IBMFS, with the aim of improving the healthcare that can be offered to persons with these disorders. During this time, I will be applying to medical school. 

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