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Deborah Ayeni


Deborah is a 5th year PhD candidate at the Yale School of Medicine. Her research explores the conundrum of relapse commonly observed in cancer patients following an appreciable response to therapy. Using lung cancer as a model, her work investigates the highly promising potential of combining agents that stimulate the immune system with small molecule inhibitors that specifically target tumor cells. Deborah’s research is supported by the CUNY Salk award, a 3-year fellowship from the National Science Foundation, the Yale University Gruber and Annie Le fellowships and a 2-year NRSA fellowship from the National Cancer Institute.


Deborah got her bachelor’s degree from the City College of New York where she received numerous awards including the Minority Access to Research Careers fellowship, which supported her undergraduate research work. She is a first author on the publication of that work. While in New York, she pioneered a one-on-one weekend tutoring sessions for middle and high school students at her church, where she prepared students for the mathematics regents examination. She also ensured the sustainability of her efforts in this area by mentoring the next generation of tutors before leaving New York for graduate studies in New Haven. Her commitment to community service is on display in the New Haven community as well, as she volunteers with the non-profit organization New Haven Reads, which fosters reading and learning in children within the community who may not have access to needed educational resources.


While at Yale, Deborah has served as the Editor-in-Chief for the quarterly newsletter at CNSPY, a student and post-doc led organization committed to providing graduate students and post-docs within STEM disciplines with the platform to explore diverse career options, as well as connect them to established mentors within their career of choice.


A native of Nigeria, Deborah witnessed the dire consequences of the poorly regulated production and importation of food and drug products on close friends and family members as a young girl. This has inspired her strong resolve to pursue a career in science policy work, specifically focusing on the regulatory practices of industries.




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